Tag Archives: alliances

Drewry – West Coast upgrade

Drewry’s Container Insight Weekly had this detailed piece on West Coast usage by large ships.  The major takeaway: bigger ships are calling but it may be too soon for many of the ULCC (18000 teu or so) to call yet, due to port related delays.  There’s also a sort of bedlam caused by the reshuffling alliances; the firms in each alliance have different preferences as to which terminal to use at the ports. Hence there’s no stability in where a ship might call on each visit.  To fix this will require compromise on ocean carrier objectives, like “always use our affiliated terminal when you come to LA”.  Stability would make it simpler for the terminals to plan how to unload or load and get the customers’ cargoes on the way to their destinations.  That part is challenging enough for the ports terminal operators today. Everyone has to work together to improve the customer (cargo owner) journey (literal and figurative!!!).

  The number of containerships of 13,000 teu or above deployed on the Asia-US West Coast trade has nearly doubled since the start of 2017. How long before the mega-ships arrive?

Source: Drewry – Weekly Feature Articles – West Coast upgrade

Top 30 U.S. Ports 2017: Preparing for the uncertain 

Patrick Burnson has compiled a nifty analysis of US Port import volumes, with comparisons to 2015.  It shows some smaller changes in import volumes on the East Coast, and it shows Los Angeles stealing business back from Long Beach. But his points about the uncertainty created by alliance churning are good ones.

  The advent of new carrier alliances and “big ship readiness” will determine which of the top ports gain share and supply chain advantages. Meanwhile, logistics managers must hedge their bets to mitigate risk and avoid relianceon a handful of key gateways.

Source: Top 30 U.S. Ports 2017: Preparing for the uncertain – Logistics Management

PODCAST: Behind the Flexport phenomenon; Ryan Petersen interviewed 

This interview with Ryan Peterson, CEO of Flexport, is fascinating.  It is well worth registering at the Loadstar in case you don’t already have access.

Ryan points out that only 75% of freight bookings are kept.  This may be a correlative of on time percentage of about the same amount for ocean carriers; but it is more symptomatic of a situation in which the uncertainty breeds more uncertainty.  It’s like new product introductions; no one knows if your new product (disk drive, for example, in the business I was in years ago) is going to sell; it has plenty of promise, but also lots of competition. As a result your distributors (NVOCCS and freight forwarders) over-order, trying to convince you they can peddle lots of them, for fear that they will be cut out of the allocation when you start to deliver but can’t give them their whole order.  In a sense, for an ocean alliance every voyage is like a new product launch. People over-order, they plan, but can’t full ships, so they cancel (or reroute, changing schedule).  It’s a no-win for everyone.

Ryan is right in my view; data and sharing it can help. The issue is whether companies can be talked into sharing data.  That’s what his firm is partially about– facilitating the exchange (for a price of course!). And for many firms, shippers and carriers, it should be worth it; a trusted intermediate can greatly reduce transaction costs.

Listen up– you’ll learn a lot!

Source: PODCAST: Behind the Flexport phenomenon; Ryan Petersen interviewed – The Loadstar