Productivity is declining at the world’s biggest ports, ‘mega-boxships not to blame’

This study is provocative, but may not tell the whole story. It is not clear to me that productivity should fall in direct proportion to the size of the call.  That’s a rough approximation, and captures the direction, likely.  But I suspect a nonlinear effect.  It’s basically a scheduling issue, and scheduling response rates are notoriously nonlinear.

It is complicated by the fact that a ship is usually only able to be scheduled at one terminal, even though another terminal may have excess capacity and be able to handle it exactly on time. That depends on the degree of cooperation possible among terminal operators.  An interesting study would be to look at calls at a single port with multiple terminals and see how often there is a berth available for an ULCV but the specific ship cannot use it because it is required to use a different terminal.

I don’t see an easy way for port management or terminal management or ocean carriers and alliances to solve that one.

That said, I agree with the conclusion: it’s not mega-calls. I don’t think we should be blaming the mega container ships for the problems.  Those ships will come, so ports need to innovate. A goal like 6000 moves in 24 hours is reasonable.

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New analysis suggest that port productivity levels are dropping, but ultra-large container vessels are not at fault

Source: Productivity is declining at the world’s biggest ports, ‘but mega-boxships are not to blame’ – The Loadstar

Artificial intelligence will remake global logistics

According to Sean Kilcarr (writing in Fleet Owner), many of the trends in logistics boil down to technological advancements. this article and especially the study from DHL details the types of technology moving to the forefront, and makes the case that they will revolutionize logistics.

I agree with that view. And the good thing about it is that these technical changes allow evolutionary as well as disruptive innovation, and over time will move the entire field to greater efficiency and more effective performance for each customer, perhaps much faster than we think.

Many of the changes are straightforward application of technology using industrial engineering techniques.  They will, however, require a highly educated and technologically literate work force. Those folks are coming along; young folks are already much more computer literate than their parents; but our educational system must still push the general populace by giving opportunities to learn coding, math, science, and engineering disciplines, and to have fun doing it through innovation and experimentation rather than boring classes.

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Global logistics provider DHL believes worldwide supply chains are beginning to undergo a fundamental transformation as more “artificial intelligence” is deployed to handle both the domestic and international movement of goods

Source: DHL report says artificial intelligence will remake global logistics | Fleet Management content from Fleet Owner

Here is the full 55 page report from DHL, downloadable here also:

dhl_logistics_trend_radar_2016 (pdf)

Shall we call it Ocean’s Four?

A new alliance is on the horizon. How will it benefit shippers and BCO’s?

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NEWS FLASH: Container carriers unveil plans for new “OCEAN Alliance” | AS Daily Newsletter | AS Daily | American Shipper

Source: NEWS FLASH: Container carriers unveil plans for new “OCEAN Alliance” | AS Daily Newsletter | AS Daily | American Shipper