• ITVI.USA
    14,128.230
    318.660
    2.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.970
    0.490
    2.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    14,109.280
    325.230
    2.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.810
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.870
    -0.030
    -1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.290
    -0.190
    -7.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.760
    -0.310
    -10.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.040
    -0.240
    -10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.630
    -0.090
    -3.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
    -0.050
    -3.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    14,128.230
    318.660
    2.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.970
    0.490
    2.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    14,109.280
    325.230
    2.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.810
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.870
    -0.030
    -1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.290
    -0.190
    -7.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.760
    -0.310
    -10.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.040
    -0.240
    -10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.630
    -0.090
    -3.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
    -0.050
    -3.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
American ShipperIntermodalShipping

Shippers seek ‘all-in’ pricing, better cargo visibility

Real time data needed for distributing, marketing, promotional and sales activities, according to the Global Shippers Alliance.

   Members of the newly-formed Global Shippers Alliance say shippers want “all-in” pricing and better visibility for their cargo.
   Writing on the website of the European Shippers’ Council, Joost Sitskoorn, a special envoy for the ESC summarized a panel discussion that he chaired at the Intermodal Asia conference in Shanghai featuring himself and other GSA delegates: Sunny Ho, executive director of the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council, Paiboon Ponsuwara, special advisor to the Thai National Shippers’ Council and Chaischan Chareonsuk, secretary general of the Thai National Shippers’ Council.
   Shippers, logistics providers and carriers found “to the dismay of all these parties involved, talks between them generally boiled down to discussions about price. This is mostly due to the fact that contacts are usually between sales representatives, whose job it is to negotiate about price,” Sitskoorn wrote. “A yearly contact between sales people should give way to more frequent contacts on different levels about services.”
   “A second reason, to some, was the perceived commoditization of transport, especially in maritime transport. When service differences are gradually chipped away from the equation, the only thing that remains to talk about is price,” he added.
    Sitskoorn said, “Shippers are very much aware of the fact that margins are small in transport and profitability is at an all time low. Additionally they see a growing demand amongst shippers for better information on the whereabouts of the shipment, transparent and precise billing, information on shipping lanes and ports of call, punctuality. Services that shippers are in some cases willing to pay for.”
   The panel added that today “dozens of indistinct surcharges usually amount to more than the naked transport price.”
   Sitskoorn said shippers are pleased that some airlines and now moving away from surcharges and presenting customers with an all-in price and “hope the same can apply to maritime transport in the near future. As an alternative the panel mentioned for liners to add a paragraph to their annual report on surcharges, clarifying about what was levied and how it was used.”
   He noted shippers are criticized for “overbooking by 30 percent just to be sure they have enough capacity available” and liner companies believe shippers “could be more transparent about their specific wishes regarding (extra) services.”
   Shippers, Sitskoorn said, mention “real time information on the whereabouts and arrival time of their shipment as one of their first priorities. Their distributing, marketing, promotional and sales activities depend on it.
   “In this day and age with GPS and other information technology readily available, this shouldn’t be much of a problem,” he said. “Most liners already have this information available, so it should be only a matter of making this accessible.”
   Sitskoorn said “single window initiatives, synchronized with port community systems are very important developments that should be given the utmost priority.”

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.