Shippers are concerned about the rates increase, lack of service, and supply chain disruptions in maritime.
This year the lines have been merging services, with blank sailings as a consequence. Now the lines are pushing the rates up further even though there has been a substantial decrease in the cost bunker fuel this year without any reduction in rates. As ESC Maritime Policy Manager told Container News, “it’s completely immoral” what shipping lines are doing. The lines put a goal to increase rates and profit from this, but not to manage the decrease in demand.
A lot of supply chain disruptions, caused by cargo rollovers, are happening on the routes from Asia to the US and Europe. Container lines don’t notify shippers when cargo is delayed. This affects transit time visibility and, therefore, the transparency of the whole maritime transport flow.
Scheduling of vessels and the scarcity of capacity make it difficult for shippers to adapt. With the mismatch between the production time and delivering products to market, there is more inventory delayed in ports. The intermediate stocks that were located around the world were ready for repositioning to places where the demand was. But the lack of capacity due to low demand prevented the movement of that inventory. Instead of acting only as volume movers, shipping lines should shift to developing customer-oriented services.
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Shipper anger as THE Alliance adjusts November schedules on higher rates