Price dominates as main reason shippers ditch carriers

Price, risk management and loss of trust are the three main reasons shippers give for switching container carriers, a survey carried by Oslo-based Xeneta shows.

Xeneta, the benchmarking and market intelligence platform for containerised ocean freight, has quizzed its worldwide database of contributors to uncover the main reasons businesses end agreements with containership carriers.

“One might expect bad service to be the main reason for swapping supplier,” said Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund, “but that isn’t the case in container shipping. The current state of the industry, with huge capacity oversupply leading to collapsing teu rates, has effectively created a price war, pushing cost front of mind for anyone shipping large volumes of product.”

“Container costs are fluid and if you aren’t up to date with price fluctuations and market trends then you won’t be able to optimise your shipping costs,” he concluded. “The container ship industry needs greater transparency to achieve some sort of stability, potentially setting commodity prices that everyone can agree on, and we believe the intelligent use of big data will be the foundation for this.”


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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