Special Report: Top 30 Ocean Carriers turn up the volume

Now that pricing has been restored and capacity restrained, the leading vessel operators are staging a comeback. What lessons have they learned from the recent recession and dismal earning cycles? Here’s what the top analysts are saying.
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By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
October 08, 2010 - LM Editorial

In the school of hard knocks, the tough will survive. Those who prevail, however, are the ones who hit back harder. That’s what shippers should be expecting from the Top 30 ocean carriers this year; and analysts are warning shippers that when it comes to contracting in 2011, the gloves are off.

Shippers saw evidence of this on October 1, when Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) began increasing freight rates on its services between North America and Europe and the Mediterranean. The Geneva-based carrier, the second largest container shipping line, says that the general rate increases are necessary “to preserve the existing comprehensive range of services” and “to advance freight rates towards a sustainable level.”

This blow was delivered just after MSC imposed a peak season surcharge on all shipments from the Far East to the U.S. East and West Coasts. However, MSC was hardly alone in making this move. Maersk Line—the largest carrier of U.S. imports— had warned shippers in mid-summer that it was going to impose a similar surcharge to ensure space in the Asia-U.S. trade lanes.

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About the Author

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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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Article Topics

Features · Freight · Trade · Shipping · Ocean Shipping · All topics

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