Amazon ventures ahead as an ocean freight forwarder

Amazon has started its long held plan to ship goods from Chinese merchants to the US, bypassing freight forwarders, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon has been booking space on containerlines and has managed to ship around 150 boxes since October the newspaper reported.

Last January Amazon’s China affiliate registered with the US Federal Maritime Commission to become a licenced ocean freight forwarder allowing it to buy and sell space on vessels.

The company is buying up logistics firms, trucks and air freight infrastructure in Europe and the US at the moment with a view to cutting its own logistics costs, which are believed to cost Amazon around $1bn a month.

Amazon’s China rival Alibaba has recently tied up with Maersk Line whereby it can now offer customers dedicated space and prices on the Danish carrier’s ships.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. There will always be room for the small, family owned Forwarders and brokers who give personalized service and protect the interest of their customers, rather than the alternative of having a lot of young, inexperienced people trying to do everything on line. This trend for texting, instead of talking and having human intervention will continue to destroy the customer service that we were accustomed to in the past.
    Also, the lack of ethics in the upcoming generation will result in their own demise.
    Many companies need to have the advice and guidance of experienced Forwarders, Brokers and Agents who know how to source the best services and logistics and be able to solve problems that come between the Shipper and the Carrier. The so called “savings in cutting out the middle man” will not be worth the loss in services that are provided by these companies.
    Have you noticed the increasing lack of customer service in our country? This is how it starts. The airlines tried to cut out the Travel Agents which has caused higher rates and less service without someone to come to your aid when they overbook your flight or leave you stranded. The carriers that respect Brokers and Forwarders will end up with their support and hopefully win out against this monopolistic trend.

Back to top button