Freight News, Sea


The end of strife in shipping?

[ October 6, 2017   //   ]

Representatives of the UK-headquartered Global Shippers Forum (GSF) have committed themselves to new talks on the future shape of world shipping, brokered by the International Transport Forum (ITF).

The ITF, part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), says the talks will involve global container shipping lines, shippers and other stakeholders in the supply chain and will be held before the end of 2017.

Speaking at the end of the GSF’s sixth annual meeting in Gran Canaria, Spain, secretary general Chris Welsh said he hoped the talks will help to bolster relationships between shippers and stakeholders and lead to a less adversarial relationship.

He explained: “These discussions will help us move our relationship with the shipping lines on from historical confrontation to greater future collaboration. All shippers ask for is for shipping lines to engage with their customers in a spirit of willingness to understand their needs and develop innovations that improve the quality of services.”

Welsh added that global container shipping is in the throes of an unprecedented restructuring with more than 20 individual businesses consolidating into just three ‘super-alliances’ which will dominate services on the world’s main trade lanes.

He added: “Although shipping costs have been relatively low in recent years, shippers have suffered from poor reliability, cancelled sailings and longer journey times as shipping lines adjusted to the new operating schedules under the alliance structure. These costs and delays have impacted supply chain reliability and costs and required higher stock holdings and inventory costs.

“The OECD initiative is a welcome and important step in encouraging collaboration between those committed to moving the global shipping industry into a stronger, more profitable position, and the GSF and its members stand ready to contribute in an informed and positive way.”

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