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World’s biggest container line to focus on largest shippers

One of the world’s leading container shipping lines, Maersk, has decided to focus on its largest volume customers, in a move that leaves many smaller shippers potentially exposed.

It has been widely reported across the trade press, that Maersk has stopped negotiating contracts with SME shippers and forwarders and is referring them to its web-based spot market product, which is quite often unavailable on important trade lanes and routes.

PSP Worldwide Logistics has long-established relationships with shipping lines, across the three primary shipping alliances, together with many more-niche carriers, which means we can secure the space our customers need, irrespective of routing.

Small shippers or forwarders reliant on Maersk can only get spot rates, which means they cannot plan a shipment in advance, because the spot quote has a very short validity, that can expire on the same day if the selected vessel runs out of space.

Maersk is the only carrier to announce an intention to focus solely on its biggest shipper customers (BCO – beneficial cargo owners) and while it is possible that other carriers may be considering a similar approach, there is no evidence that this is the case.

This is not the first time that container shipping lines have sought to cut-out freight forwarders and while previous efforts have quickly floundered, the digitalisation of the freight process, means that this time around Maersk can offer access to services via their spot rate platforms, without providing any support or customer service.

In our view the pandemic has underlined how the freight forwarder is more essential than ever before, in helping customers overcome supply chain challenges and in supporting carriers deploy their capacity effectively.

Carriers do not have the ethos or capability, to provide the support, feedback and service that we provide to shippers. We help customers to trade globally with ease, by giving them advice, direction and resource, to plan and manage every shipment’s journey.

Shipping lines manage expensive assets and resources, that move between ports on fixed routes, but modern supply chains are fluid and need to react quickly, which is why we are invaluable in quickly finding and implementing effective solutions.

By helping our customers trade internationally, efficiently and effectively, we help them improve productivity and profitability, to enhance the bottom-line and make them more successful.