Forwarder: Carriers use preferential rates to learn forwarding business
Ocean carriers are starting to wise up to the competitive advantages that freight forwarders enjoy through providing shippers better services, according to one freight forwarder executive.
Carriers have long scratched their heads over the fact that forwarders are able to pinch their business, and often at higher rates, but have started to pull back customers through the development of logistics subsidiaries. While carriers branching off into logistics is not exactly a new phenomenon, Hans-E. Mahncke, managing director of freight forwarder Rhenus IHG Asia, a subsidiary of Hellman Logistics, said he has no interest in helping carriers learn his business.
'I, as a freight forwarder, will be hesitant to work with a line that has an in-house logistics provider,' Mahncke said at a carrier supply-demand forum in Hong Kong in late August. 'Some lines will offer preferential rates to forwarders to learn how they do business and apply that knowledge to their in-house logistics division.'
Other speakers at the forum, organized by the Hong Kong Shipping Gazette, talked about crippling bottlenecks having a definite effect on containerized volumes over the next few years. In particular, Europe may soon face the costs of rampant container trade growth this year.
'Europe's intermodal rail network is only capable of handling 15 percent of the total freight movements within Europe by 2020,' said George Goldman, vice president and managing director of APL in Hong Kong and South China. 'That will put huge stress on Europe's roads.'