Containerized shippers face numerous uncertainty as they enter 2019, but one thing is sure: They are looking at a more unforgiving ocean market that could undo the pricing gains they have experienced in the decade since the global financial crisis without the promise of greater value being created for their supply chains. The shift comes on top of continuing challenges on the North America land side in terms of tight trucking and inter-modal capacity that is expected to continue well into 2019. A key question: Can technology rescue shippers facing a more unfavorable market environment?
On the ocean side, carriers may have substantially less capacity on order — approximately 11 percent of the current fleet — than at any time since well before the financial crisis, but they also face sharply higher fuel costs to comply with the Jan. 1, 2020 implementation date of IMO-imposed limits on sulfur emissions — perhaps measuring in the billions of dollars collectively. How will they confront this with their BCO partners, and what approach should BCOs take, knowing that financially challenged carriers historically have demonstrated little success in passing along higher costs to their customers? On the other hand, certain factors could work decisively against BCOs. In general, when carriers face dire circumstances, they mobilize by withdrawing capacity. One needs only to think back a few months as this played out during the summer-fall peak season. Throw in the ongoing US-China trade war — barring a deal, a late-2018 truce on imposition of the latest round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods will be winding down at the time of this webcast — and nerves that were frayed during much of 2018 likely will fray further.
The shifting dynamic is playing out alongside a number of other developments that could impact the market in fundamental ways: The air cargo market is equally stressed; land side, trucking capacity grew historically tight in 2018 as the new electronic logging regulation took full effect; and the global economy, after nearly seven years of rapid growth, faces headwinds that could dramatically alter the freight supply chain’s course. Technology, meanwhile, is stirring at the margins, with blockchain and artificial intelligence beginning to show early signs of promise but remaining far from having a transformational impact. Will 2019 be the year technology really begins to take hold in ways that improve visibility and efficiency? All of these subjects — and more — will be front and center at TPM 2019 in Long Beach, California, on March 3-6.
This webcast, led by the senior JOC editorial team, will provide the key takeaways, lessons, and analysis from TPM that will help lay the groundwork for the rest of 2019.
Moderator/Presenter: Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and JOC.com, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit
Speaker (s): Bill Mongelluzzo, Executive Editor, JOC, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit
Interested in sponsoring this webcast? For more information, please contact Tony Stein at Tony.Stein@ihsmarkit.com