Digital freight space in limbo: Kontainers

The digital freight place for the container sector remains in limbo, somewhere short of where customers would want it to be, a new white paper from ocean freight platform Kontainers contends.

The white paper posits that shipping is still far behind many other industries in adopting digital platforms, but in the coming few years it will have to catch up.

Kontainers argues that the majority of the top 20 liners today do not allow their clients to go online for instant rates or one click bookings, a practice which in most other industries is commonplace.

“The shipping industry has hesitated and to some extent feared what would happen if e.g. prices went online, as you see in all B2C industries and to an increasing extent in B2B as well,” the white paper maintained.

There are few platforms that are capable of offering a full package of services for shippers and lines, Kontainers claimed.

“There are intermediaries such as INTTRA that cover a large part of the market, but do not cover price. Xeneta covers the price element, but nothing else. So everyone is stuck in a limbo between what they were doing and what they would like to be doing,” the white paper suggested.

Concluding, the eight-page report argued: “Within the next decade, a digital interface will be a barrier to entry in shipping, just like a website is for any small business is today.”

The white paper can be downloaded here.

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.
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