Ocean cargo: Shippers are getting the attention they deserve

“The carriers are finally coming to shipper forums to listen, rather than just speak,” said Peter A. Friedmann, executive director of Agriculture Ocean Transportation Coalition

By ·

As many leading ocean carrier executives have noted recently, sharper shipper expectations are driving disruptive change in the industry.

“The carriers are finally coming to shipper forums to listen, rather than just speak,” said Peter A. Friedmann, executive director of Agriculture Ocean Transportation Coalition (AgTC). “We have observed a whole new attitude when it comes to service and shipper concerns.”

Those concerns were given full voice at AgTC’s recently concluded 24th annual meeting in San Francisco.  According to Friedman, the record turn-out of his constituents may have contributed to the “new dynamic” of interaction.

“The carrier executives didn’t just blow in here to give a speech and abruptly depart,” he said. “They came early, mingled, and talked to our members, making a real effort to understand their point of view.”

Given the fact that AgTC members control approximately 1.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) a year, this should not come as such a surprise. But there’s another key reason, too, said Friedmann.

“Our ‘ocean carrier performance survey’ – now in its seventh year – is very closely watched by the biggest and best global carriers,” he said. “And they compete aggressively for this recognition.”
AgTC members include agriculture and forest products exporters and are found on the list of the Top 100 Exporters, as well as hundreds of smaller, but still substantial volume exporters and many importers as well. In addition, freight forwarders, who often serve as the export departments of ag and forest products exporters, are members of the AgTC, and bring the their expertise to the survey.

This year, over 425 transportation professionals completed the survey based on the following criteria:

Documentation accuracy and timeliness; quote responsiveness; rate competitiveness; claims service; freight billing accuracy; on-time performance; ease of doing business; canceling or rolling bookings; equipment and space allocation; problem resolution; and customer service practices.

“OOCL always ranks high,” said Friedmann, “and they finished first this year. It’s also important to note that APL finished second, and Evergreen captured third.”

But that doesn’t tell the whole story, Friedmann, said, observing that Maersk continues to show marked improvement year upon year.

“Their leaders have demonstrated a willingness to change and work with our constituents,” he said. “They don’t take their premier status for granted.”

For related articles click here.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
The Benefits of Shared Transportation & Supply Chain Networks
In this new digital issue, the editors of Logistics Management have gathered four feature articles designed to help mangers break away from traditional, “transactional” relationships and move toward integrated provider partnerships for freight transportation.
Download Today!
From the August 2016 Issue
A growing number of low-cost lift trucks offer new avenues for pairing equipment and applications, but less cautious buyers might find that small up-front costs come at a steep price. Selecting the proper lift truck, lift truck tips 2016, Choosing the right Lift Truck
Megatrends in ocean freight
Ocean Cargo Roundtable: What’s in store for 2017?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...

Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....
Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...