Trying to keep up to speed on all the moves the world’s ocean carriers have made over the past year was enough to make you seasick. The flurry of buyout, consolidation and alliance building news over that time found shippers scrambling to book space and reconfigure their supply chain network when and where they can.
And according to executive editor Patrick Burnson, global logistics operations will need to keep their ears open as rumors of more consolidation and alliance building will continue to swirl.
“When we reported that Hanjin declared bankruptcy and began abandoning vessels at ports worldwide last year, it appeared that a shipper’s worst nightmare was finally being realized,” says Burnson, who’s covered the ocean carrier market for two decades. “Well, the hope then was that order would surface out of chaos and all would be right with the world by now. However, that may not be the case.”
Indeed, we may continue to see the number of large-scale, international carriers contract into the single digits. According to Martin Dixon, director of research products for Drewry Maritime Trade Advisors, the rest of 2017 and 2018 will be challenging on the global freight transportation front despite the huge consolidation, scrapping, and fleet right-sizing efforts being undertaken by carriers.
“By 2019, the industry has a chance to emerge from its super-cycle trough as much stronger order books and supply pressure stops,” says Dixon. “But while intense consolidation is the reaction to the market ills, and is a positive, it’s not the savior alone.” He adds that even though freight rates rebounded strongly in the second half of last year due to the flurry of moves, ocean shippers should prepare for 20% to 40% higher contracts over the coming year.
But despite the topsy-turvy seas ocean carriers have had to navigate, Logistics Management readers have stated—without question—that the 12 carriers listed below have done nothing less than provide world-class service over the last year.
Pulling into port with category high 47.26 is TOTE Maritime Alaska. TOTE Maritime Alaska put up top marks in Value (11.39) and Customer service (9.85). OOCL scored an impressive 11.06 in On-time performance, while NYK lead the way in Information technology (7.86), and Matson had the top mark in Equipment & operations (9.93).
2017 Quest for Quality Winners Categories
NATIONAL LTL | REGIONAL LTL | TRUCKLOAD | RAIL/INTERMODAL | OCEAN CARRIERS | PORTS | 3PL | AIR CARRIERS and FREIGHT FORWARDERS