Oh how quickly we forget. Let's take a moment to reflect on the rollercoaster that was COVID, a time when shippers were having it real tough, trying to keep their cargo afloat in a sea of uncertainty. Back then, the market was a shape-shifting puzzle. Do you remember?
In this month’s State of the Ocean Freight Market Webinar, we had the pleasure of hosting Frederick Vanloon, Global Procurement Manager at Antwerp-headquartered Manuport Logistics (MPL). We did a quick dive back into those distant COVID memories, a colorful discussion on then-and-now carrier strategies, sustainability, and the need to stay flexible in a market that can flip at the blink of an eye.
Here are the key points from the discussion:
Current market and capacity management: Shipping lines are currently aggressive, but it seems they haven't learned many lessons from the past few years. Capacity management, once a significant concern, is no longer at the forefront of discussions.
Investment and strategy among shipping lines: Different shipping lines have varying strategies. MSC is investing in capacity, Maersk is aggressive with online rate boards, which may impact other players. Given the overcapacity situation, it would be easier for them to remove capacity to keep container rates at a certain level. But they aren’t doing it and the big question is why not?
Navigating a competitive market and embracing sustainability: The industry faces a survival-of-the-fittest dynamic, making green initiatives challenging. While cost remains a priority for customers, the potential for a sustainable shift exists, contingent on transparent communication and clear plans from shipping lines.
Steering through the buyer's market: Effective cost management is vital for survival in today's challenging conditions. Stay vigilant with market trends, engage with partners, and anticipate potential service changes or disruptions at any moment.
In a world of rapidly changing markets, we've seen the challenges shippers faced during the COVID disruptions not too long ago and the current volume and capacity challenges. Remember, markets can change suddenly.
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If you're eager for more actionable insights and aiming to stay competitive in the shipping market, take a look at the full webinar. Get insights to help you effectively manage the upcoming freight tendering and transportation budgeting season.
Don't wait for market changes to catch you off guard. Equip yourself with real-time data for full transparency. Skillfully handle your transportation costs and risks as you proactively manage with confidence. Make sure your shipping strategies are always a step ahead. Xeneta can help. Get a free demo.