Monday, February 6, 2017

Shipping: A Warning To Freight Forwarders, The Good Times Are Over

I, without thinking, initially headlined this post "...The Happy Time Is Over".
Then did a "Wait, what?" and quickly changed it.*

From gCaptain:

Warning to Forwarders as ‘Plug-and-Play for Sea Freight’ Aims to Cut Them Out
Australia-based China Sea Rates has launched the world’s first plug-and-play, door-to-door ocean freight booking system for e-commerce websites, potentially bypassing a host of middlemen, including freight forwarders.

Aimed at US consumers buying Chinese products, the platform can be installed on any e-commerce or shipping company website to enable a “supplier-to-consumer” supply chain for large and bulky items normally restricted to retail purchases.

China Sea Rates chief executive Tim Routh told The Loadstar anything from a fridge, a sofa or a container of cement mixers could be purchased direct from China and shipped efficiently using his sea freight rate and booking platform.

“Our ‘One Click, One Ship’ solution will remove many added layers of handling and cost – any item greater than a 25kg air courier box is now available to you at a big discount,” he explained.
Mr Routh wants to make e-commerce as compatible with ocean freight as it is with trucking and air cargo.

“Sea freight is a much more clunky and disjointed pricing process and the differences with air freight handling are vast, yet when consumers click on a website for a purchase they have the same expectation of delivery, no matter the item,” he added.

While Mr Routh recognises the competition from existing sea freight marketplaces, he believes China Sea Rates has some advantages when it comes, specifically, to B2C e-commerce.
“With the existing online marketplaces you’ve got to go to their websites, whereas my marketplace will be ‘in your face’; it’ll be on your phone, on a website you’re buying from.

“I think those guys will find it difficult because they’ve built their systems on what freight forwarders and shipping industry people want.

“Everything is going to end up on our devices, so what we need is plug-and-play for sea freight – that’s the way of the future,” he added....MUCH MORE
Shipping: "Amazon Enters Trillion Dollar Ocean Freight Business" (AMZN)
Shipping: Maersk, Alibaba Team Up To Offer Space On Container Ships.

*It's a WWII ref:
From June until October 1940, over 270 Allied ships were sunk: this period was referred to by U-boat crews as "Die Gl├╝ckliche Zeit", the Happy Time.
Followed by:

Second Happy Time
The Second Happy Time was the informal name for a phase in the Second Battle of the Atlantic during which Axis submarines attacked merchant shipping along the east coast of North America. The first "Happy time" had been in 1940/41.

It lasted from January 1942 to about August of that year. German submariners named it the happy time or the golden time as defence measures were weak and disorganised,[1] and the U-boats were able to inflict massive damage with little risk. During the second happy time, Axis submarines sank 609 ships totaling 3.1 million tons for the loss of only 22 U-boats. This was roughly one quarter of all shipping sunk by U-boats during the entire Second World War, and constituted by far the most serious defeat ever suffered by the US Navy.

Not the sort of thing you want on a shipping post.