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GSCW chat recap: How container shipping could evolve in the future

‘We see retailers restructuring supply chains with more of a focus on having a contingency plan’

This fireside chat recap is from Day 7 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 7 focuses on global maritime logistics.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The future of global container shipping

DETAILS: In the years to come, what will container shipping look like? Will vessel ownership be even more consolidated? Will ships remain the current size and ply the same trade lanes, or will shippers bring their sourcing closer to home?

SPEAKER: Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst, BIMCO

BIO: Sand has in-depth knowledge about the three main shipping sectors — tankers, dry bulk and container shipping — and is a frequently quoted source in financial and shipping media. He has been with BIMCO since 2009. Prior to joining BIMCO, he worked as an analyst at D/S Norden, which operates product tankers and dry bulk ships. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Copenhagen University.


“The big question is: Will liners continue to manage supply as they have been capable of doing? Obviously, that was very successful. But the next ‘new normal’ may be only one year down the road, when you and I are capable of traveling again and when [goods] demand reaches a soft patch. The next new normal may be just around the corner.”

“As you can see looking at the imports of goods into North America, the American consumers really dig the Chinese consumer goods. That really goes against the grain of politics.”

“We see retailers restructuring supply chains with more of a focus on having a contingency plan — so, moving away from 100% China to perhaps 80% China, 10% Vietnam and 10% Mexico. But even though some specific products have moved away from China, most have gone to other places of origin within Asia, like Vietnam and Cambodia. With origins remaining in the Far East region, it is still possible for liners to keep those long-haul, high-volume trades [Asia-Europe and Asia-U.S.].”