Truckers need to think integrated shipping

A new report released by IBM Business Consulting Services, shows that near-term profits in the market for container shipping services are at an all-time high and that the market is growing at 8% to 10% per year

A new report released by IBM Business Consulting Services, shows that near-term profits in the market for container shipping services are at an all-time high and that the market is growing at 8% to 10% per year. However, increased market growth and continued customer demand for greater reliability at lower total cost are straining the existing marine shipping infrastructure, challenging companies to find new ways to remain competitive and responsive.

While the report is about containerized marine shipping, there are implications and opportunities for trucking companies that read between the lines. For example, it would become increasingly difficult for truck fleets and other types of carriers to meet the needs of big shippers without being part of a totally integrated, door-to-door shipping solution, no matter where in the world those doors are.

In other words, truck fleets that serve very big shippers, especially fleets that operate in and out of ports, may find themselves edged out unless they look past their current pickup and delivery points and begin now, alone or with partners, to develop such end-to-end solutions with 100% visibility all along the supply chain.

The report also finds that package delivery providers like UPS, TNT and DHL are currently best positioned to assume this new role for shippers “because they already possess the type of business cultures, systems and processes needed to offer the product reliability and visibility demanded by shippers… A decade from now, land-based providers will have acquired the capabilities needed to offer door-to-door services with parcel industry standards of reliability, largely in collaboration with some container shipping lines, that are primarily port-to-port providers.”

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