Ocean carriers return to core competencies

According to analysts with Drewry Maritime Resarch, ocean cargo container lines are still being squeezed out of providing “home-grown” integrated logistics services. This is evidenced by Maersk’s news last month that it has entered into an agreement to sell the assets of its U.S. trucking subsidiary Bridge Terminal Transport, analysts add.

By ·

According to analysts with Drewry Maritime Resarch, ocean cargo container lines are still being squeezed out of providing “home-grown” integrated logistics services. This is evidenced by Maersk’s news last month that it has entered into an agreement to sell the assets of its U.S. trucking subsidiary Bridge Terminal Transport, analysts add.

“Although partly driven by financial necessity, the ocean carrier trend appears to recognize that one-stop shops are not the way forward,” says Neil Dekker, head of Drewry Container Research. “That expansion via vertical integration should be replaced by greater focus on the provision of core services.”

Industry analysts contend that this is hardly a new trend, but rather one that has only been gaining traction this year. For example, in June Maersk announced the sale of its European railway company ERS Railways to Freightliner. In May Zim Line sold its holdings in two companies that own container manufacturing factories in China. In April MSC announced the sale of 35% of its ports division Terminal Investments Limited to Global Infrastructure Partners, and in January, CMA CGM declared the sale of 49% of its container terminal operating company Terminal Link to China Merchants Holding (International).

Much earlier, in 2010, Maersk already sold its stake in the logistics company Trans Siberian Express Service to InterRail, while others started reducing their involvement in third party logistics services even before then.

The implication is that the provision of “home grown” integrated logistics services by ocean carriers is becoming a distant dream that is unlikely to be resurrected in the near future, says Dekker.

“This will bring a smile to freight forwarders and independent third party logistics companies who have been arguing for years that ocean carriers should stay out of logistics, for which being asset light has many advantages,” he says.


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!

Article Topics

Drewry · Maersk Line · Ocean Carriers · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...

2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...