As our global correspondent Karen Thuermer reported last month as part of our comprehensive State of Logistics Report, it appears that stormy conditions will prevail for the global ocean freight market given the continued shortage of shipping services and containers combined with congested ports.
“Ocean carriers seem be dealing with an ongoing ripple effect,” says Thuermer. “And a major catalyst was the Shanghai lockdown that started in mid-March, which resulted in cancelled sailings by all alliances. Now with Shanghai opening again, West Coast seaports continue to brace themselves for a massive cargo surge.”
In fact, London-based Transport Intelligence (Ti) recently told Thuermer that these factors, along with current economic trends, will continue to affect rates, producing potentially violent swings. “Rising inflation and the ratcheting up of interest rates have already begun to suppress demand on head-haul routes into Europe and North America,” Ti states. However, it could be expected that at least some upward pressure on rates will dissipate as consumer demand drops.”
According to Thuermer, while there’s no single solution, analysts suggest that shippers enhance their communication with ocean carriers, particularly by providing good forecasts of their shipment volumes and booking early so that planning of capacity and operations is improved. “The good news is many see the ocean sector in a state of transition from a major undersupply of capacity toward one that’s more balanced between supply and demand.”
According to Logistics Management readers, the 10 ocean carriers winning Quest for Quality gold this year have done a remarkable job of managing some of the choppiest waters they’ve ever had to navigate. Pulling into port with the top weighted overall score is Pasha Hawaii with an impressive 56.92, one of the higher overall scores in this year’s survey.
In fact, Pasha Hawaii put up top marks across all of the attribute categories on its way to this score. Sealand, a Maersk company, scored an equally impressive 53.20 overall weighted score in an always-competitive category that boasts solid scores across the board.
|Sealand, a Maersk company||12.83||10.75||8.51||10.95||10.17||53.20|
|HMM Co Ltd. (Hyundai Merchant Marine)||11.09||9.68||7.56||8.42||7.82||44.56|
Source: Logistics Management, Peerless Research Group (PRG)