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 Essential Guide to High Value, Low TCO WMS on the Fast Track
A warehouse could become your weakest link if you can’t execute with speed and accuracy. Your bottom line will be negatively impacted, so will your customer’s experience, and they are only one click away from buying from your competitors!
Download Today!
From the November 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships into true, collaborative partnerships—and greatly strengthened its logistics and supply chain operations in the process.
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: 2017 Awards Dinner
Trucking Regulations: Washington U-Turns; States put hammer down
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Logistics Showcase: Rising to the same-day delivery challenge
Today’s delivery puzzles are very different than traditional DC to store or warehouse to DC puzzles. It’s not just the shorter time frame for delivery; the basic requirements are significantly different and more complex as well. In this session you'll learn how to address same day delivery challenges while also driving down costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...

26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...