This is part 10 of the Xeneta 11-part FAQ series focusing on key questions related to freight rate benchmarking and procurement.
The series provides answers to the most frequently asked questions revolving around the complex world of ocean freight rate benchmarking and procurement. It provides you some tips and tricks to make the process a little less painful.
ships were diverted from the original ports to alternate ports
shippers had to pay exorbitant amounts for their cargo to be released from the ports where the containers were stuck
cargoes packed and in ports but not shipped had to be unpacked and repacked at the shipper’s cost
there were several business casualties as these unexpected turns of events sent shockwaves across the shipping world creating havoc in the industry
Many of the small volume shippers went belly up because their monies were tied up in the goods meant for the Christmas season
So these things can and have happened.
The only way a customer can avoid this is to keep a track of which shipping lines are being used and watch for any news relating to the shipping lines, and not place all eggs in one basket - but distribute volume across carriers as well as alliances.
While these things are unpredictable or cast in stone, at least keeping an ear to the ground about these happenings may save your cargo from getting stuck.
Learning from this disaster, container lines within THE Alliance (Hapag Lloyd, K Line, MOL, NYK and Yang Ming Lines) developed safeguards, creating an emergency fund, to help recover stranded cargo if this eventuality happened to one of their members.
While the alliances have started trading, such occurrences are actually even more of a concern from a shipper’s point of view because while you may have a contract with one carrier, if something happens to one of the other carriers in the alliance your shipment could also be affected.
This is all about risk and its management as such potentially expensive supply chain disruptions can have a devastating impact on a company’s businesses and supply chain. Therefore it comes as no surprise that mitigating risk and putting contingency plans in place is something that's clearly on everyone's radar in the post-Hanjin era.