New book predicts what liner shipping will look like in 2025

A Splash regular contributor, Lars Jensen from SeaIntelligence Consulting, yesterday published his latest book. The well respected container analyst’s latest tome – Liner Shipping 2025 – How to survive and thrive – will be essential reading for top brass at most box shipping firms around the world.

“Global liner shipping is undergoing the largest transformation since the invention of the container itself. The core business models and business cultures which made the shipping lines successful are now failing. Shipping lines are facing a critical few years in which to begin their transformation, otherwise they will likely not be part of the landscape in 2025,” Jensen noted in a release promoting the book yesterday.

The current increase in the number of new online shipping experiments announced by the major container lines is, Jensen says, “only the beginning”.

“Digitisation and automation will continue to gather momentum – but shipping lines must first focus on getting solid process management in place,” Jensen argues, adding: “Essentially, digitisation is not about IT – it is about fundamental business processes and models, and without this baseline, IT projects will yield sub-standard results at best, and fail at worst.”

Jensen believes digitisation and automation will further drive commoditisation on many trade lanes, shifting the competitive differentiator away from being able to ship cargo and onto being able to help customers when exceptions occur.

Consolidation amongst the main carriers will continue, with six to eight main global carriers left by 2025, the Danish national predicts, albeit they will still be organised in three main alliances.

Similarly, Jensen reckons feeder operators will consolidate and get larger in order to unlock the value inherent in combining volumes to small outports.

In other predictions for the future of the liner trades, Jensen writes: “Demographic shifts, combined with near-sourcing partially driven by 3D printing and robotic manufacturing, will result in a wider geographic dispersal of the supply chains. This will disfavour the mega vessels and alter the way liner networks are designed. It will in turn result in a negative pressure on major transhipment terminals, resulting in some terminals growing much larger and some being drastically reduced.”

To buy the book, head on over to this Amazon link.

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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