Freight News, Sea

Do mega-alliances serve shippers?

[ November 18, 2015   //   ]

Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) chief Chris Welsh has called for a debate on whether mega shipping alliances such as 2M, G6, CKYHE and O3 deliver real competition or if shippers and the container ship industry as a whole would be better served by fewer lines competing head-on.”

Speaking at the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference in Hong Kong on 18 November, the GSF secretary-general told delegates that while GSF is not opposed to mega-alliances in principle, they must deliver enhanced quality in services as well as reduced prices. Better communication across the whole supply chain was also vital to ensure customers’ needs are not compromised by the container shipping industry’s drive to cut costs.
Mr Welsh said: “The industry is going through the mill – some of this is self-inflicted but it has been affected by the dramatic slowing of the economy in China. Carriers have responded by forming alliances but bigger ships have impacts on the supply chain such as delays and longer lead times, in particular undermining ‘just in time’ delivery concepts. And all of this has been done without dialogue with customers.”

UK-headquartered GSF, which has 23 fee-paying and five associate members, is preparing a report to be published by the end of the month that will review the situation from an economic and legal perspective and will make recommendations to facilitate a debate by all maritime supply chain stakeholders.