Following a wave of an unprecedented number liner consolidations over the past number of years, there have been indications that this trend is likely to persist in the shipping industry in 2018. However, whether this applies to liners or other players involved in the immense ocean freight industry is debatable. According to iContainers, the mergers and acquisition activities for shipping lines are likely to lose steam and slow down this year.
What’s causing the US trucking shortage problem? Even as autonomous trucking tests and trials advance, getting them fully implemented remains very much a thing of the future. Focusing on today, the current trucking situation as such appears to be heading backwards, with a nationwide shortage of truck drivers threatening to throw the entire country’s ocean freight services logistics chain into disarray. Truck driver shortage in itself is something we’ve been seeing in the US for decades so it isn’t exactly a new problem.
Top 5 shipping stories of 2017 To say 2017 has been an eventful year for the ocean freight industry would be an understatement. From new alliances, an over-active hurricane season in the Atlantic, and numerous cyber attacks, there was no short of contenders for the top shipping events that shaped the year. But with every chronicle, there are takeaways, lessons to be learned and mistakes to be avoided. So without further ado, here are the top 5 shipping stories of 2017 put together by the iContainers team.
Ocean freight carrier schedule reliability In the ocean freight industry, it’s always good advice to anticipate the unanticipated as the complex logistics industry isn’t short of its hiccups. That said, there are aspects of shipping that are simply beyond your control. This includes the carriers’ schedule reliability, which is what we’ll be addressing in this post. Just recently, SeaIntel named Hong Kong’s OOCL as the most reliable carrier, in terms of on-time arrival rate, for the third quarter of 2017.
The wrath of hurricanes on shipping and logistics For a few days early this September, the US Sunshine State saw neither sun nor shine, as Hurricane Irma bore through with a wrath that left even the most fervent of all storm chasers in awe. Cleanup operations began soon after. But this is something that’s expected to last a while – if not longer. On land, the cleanup is physical and emotional for some.
South Korean shipping lines join forces It’s been one year since the collapse of South Korea’s then-largest shipping liner, Hanjin Shipping. The country’s shipping industry is now taking a step forward and getting serious with reestablishing itself as a key player in the global container shipping industry. The remaining South Korean shipping lines, including current leaders HMM and newcomer SM Line, have come together to sign a memorandum of understanding to form the Korea Shipping Partnership.
Latest shipping merger: Cosco Shipping acquires OOCL In the seemingly endless story of mergers and acquisitions in the ocean freight industry, Cosco Shipping is set to acquire OOCL. The Chinese liner confirmed a $6.3 billion bid for its OOIL, OOCL’s parent company, last week. “We are proud of the business we have built and the people who have been building it. This decision has been carefully considered and we believe it helps ensure the future success of OOIL.
5. Spanish port workers strike Spanish port workers’ strike disrupted goods transportation in southern Europe as carriers were forced to redirect their cargo to avoid logistical delays. Ports in neighboring Portugal, Morocco, and even Malta have been called as alternative destinations. The strikes were called by the CETM union following the breakdown of talks with the Spanish government and companies. It pertains to the abolition of a dock labor scheme which grants port workers job security and improved wages.
Shipping lines tired of no-shows If the ocean freight industry didn’t already have enough fees and fines, here’s another. Shipping lines Maersk, CMA CGM, and Hapag-Lloyd have began implementing no-shows fines on shipments that fail to show up on the vessel. Maersk started the ball rolling in April when it began levying a no-shows fine on eastbound shipments out of Europe. French liner CMA CGM followed suit in May, on shippers who do not deliver containers on booked routes.
With all that’s been going on in the ocean freight industry, time is passing by at an unusually quick rate. Already, we’re reaching the end of the first quarter of 2017. Three months into the year and definitely no lack of headlines. Without further ado, let’s look at the top 5 shipping stories the industry has seen since the turn of the year. 5. Freight forwarders spend $500 million a year processing freight rates A Drewry investigation has revealed that it costs freight forwarders a whopping half a billion annually to process carrier rates.