Hapag-Lloyd explores priority baggage concept for container shipping

Hapag-Lloyd is looking to take a leaf out the airlines in terms of revenue management. The German containerline is considering offering customers the chance to get their container loaded last and unloaded first. There will be an extra charge for the faster transit time, but the higher cost is something Hapag-Lloyd reckons will not deter shippers of certain cargoes such as perishables.

“It is correct that we are thoroughly looking at services that could add additional value to our clients and allow for a more differentiated pricing,” a spokesperson for the Hamburg-headquartered line confirmed to Splash today.

“A container that is loaded last and unloaded first can reduce transit times by days, which might be beneficial to certain client groups, for example when shipping fresh products such as fruits,” the spokesperson elaborated.

The new product is still at a conceptual stage.

Container shipping has trialled this concept before. The Daily Maersk premium service ran for four years through to 2015, but was eventually canned as clients were unwilling to pay the higher fees.

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. I hope that the premium will be good and realised for such a service.

    It will present a number of operational challenges, in terms of overall ship utilisation, interference with terminal productivity, and complified processes.

    I wonder how the THE Alliance partners will react when it is their operated ships which suffer the extra operational costs and challenges?

  2. This could present a nightmare for the stowplan. There are so many factors involved on where containers are placed: port of loading, port of discharge, hazmat, can it be comingled or does it need to be seperated from other cargoes, availability and placement of reefer plugs onboard, container size and type.

  3. APL has been doing block stow and premium priorities for over a decade. This addresses stowage and different levels of service.

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