McKinsey is talking more about the ailments of the container shipping industry. It’s about customer service. But will customers pay for it? Shipping on its own is a business with very low margins. And there is tremendous price pressure. But as the authors point out, improving service quality also can save money. That is standard operations and service management doctrine, and has been shown many times in real businesses. So it is time for ocean carriers to pay attention to how they provide service, and to learn how to manage or cooperate with the rest of folks’ supply chains. while the voyage is the longest stage, the balance of a journey is very complex in movements and information flows, and it cannot be ignored any longer.
Despite challenging market dynamics and rising operational complexity, container lines can both increase profitability and improve their customers’ experience.