The Shipper/Carrier dynamic at #TPM2019

Navigating challenges between shippers and carriers is (finally) becoming less arduous

JOC-TPM

The Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference in Long Beach, CA, hosted by JOC, is a must-attend event for supply chain leaders from every corner of the market. 

This conference, more than any other, is the time of year where shippers and carriers take a hard look at the most important short-term challenges and discuss longer-term macro trends. Hot topics of 2019 included the IMO 2020 Sulfur Cap, the North American capacity crunch, the US-China trade war, technology innovation, and how market conditions are impacting rates. Here, we’ll discuss the last two – and the promising outlook on integrating both technologies and stakeholders.

Historically, there’s always been tension between shippers and carriers, as they naturally view the same macro challenges through different lenses. And while market conditions will only continue to add pressure, the reality is that shippers and carriers share the same unique set of problems. And that, according to Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, means both sides of the supply chain need to collaborate better. SupplyChainDive quoted;

“It’s a historic issue, the shipper and carrier dynamics.” – Port of Long Beach Executive Director, Mario Cordero

At TPM, we found that shippers and carriers alike are increasingly willing to embrace technology in order to better collaborate and improve service – a marked change from even five years ago. 

For shippers, Ai powered pricing algorithms and TMS integrations now enable them to quote and book truckload shipments in seconds without ever having to leave their native system, eliminating the time consuming back and forth over phone and email. For carriers, these same technologies have made it dramatically easier to find relevant loads and minimize empty miles, all while reducing paperwork.

These technologies are quickly headed in the direction of intermodal automation, as companies like Maersk look to offer their customers end-to-end solutions across modes. And according to Maersk CEO Søren Skou, the timing could not be better. 

JOC reported notable comments from Skou’s talk and pointed out that while 40-45% of Maersk’s business is coming from freight forwarders, Skou warned forwarders ignoring the wave of automation;

“If the only thing they provide is a booking service with a carrier, then it is going to be a hard place to be.” – Maersk CEO, Søren Skou

Did you attend TPM 2019? If so, what stood out to you?

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