Demand will have hard time catching up with supply in Transpacific
February 29, 2012 - SCMR Editorial
The impact made by the new generation of huge container vessels and the Panama Canal expansion will be addressed next week at a major industry event examining Asia Pacific maritime trade.
In an exclusive interview with Supply Chain Management Review, a prominent analyst shared his views before making his formal presentation.
Lars Jensen, CEO and Partner of SeaIntel Maritime Analysis in Copenhagen took issue with a number of widely-held assumptions, including the “game changing” impact of the Panama Canal expansion.
“Quite frankly, I don’t expect the Canal Authority will meet its deadline of 2014,” he said. “It will probably be closer to 2015.”
Furthermore, noted Jensen, most U.S. east coast ports will not be ready to accommodate the next generation of “mega-vessels” coming on line in the coming years.
“The harbors are not deep enough, and the rail and bridge infrastructure will need to be addressed before that’s going to happen,” he said. “But there’s no hurry. Supply has far outstripped demand for the time being, and carriers are faced with the ongoing problem of too much capacity.”
What the industry lacks, however, is sufficient market intelligence to solve the problem now,” said Jensen. His company, SeaIntel Maritime, is one of the few think tanks providing analytics and measurement tools for the creation of “value” in the supply chain.
“For us to do this,” he said, “we need to identify the decision which the information is supposed to improve, and then make the information and analysis available to the right people at the right time in the right format.”
SeaIntel Maritime Analysis has also mapped the eCommerce offerings provided by the 51 largest global container carriers. These carriers control 92 percent of the global container trade.
“This overview is a good foundation for carriers seeking to develop a competitive eCommerce strategy,” he said. “It is also good for shippers seeking to optimize their carrier portfolio vis-à-vis eCommerce capabilities and for IT and eCommerce service providers seeking to bring additional services and functionalities to market.”
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