The Journal of Commerce’s Peter T. Leach once again has shed light on the inner-workings of two of the transportation industry’s most robust markets—Non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and ocean container lines.
Using data from the recently-released PIERS NVOCC Market Report – Import Market Dynamics 1H-2011 vs. 1H-2010, Leach describes how the once uneasy competitors for cargo bookings are cooperating more than ever. Container lines once opted for contracts with larger U.S. shippers but are now looking to sell space to NVOCCs to fill bigger, newer ships.
Total volume shipments that non-asset-owning freight forwarders handle for U.S. importers grew 5.6 percent in the first half of 2011, compared with 4.2 percent in volume moving under traditional arrangements between carriers and shippers. PIERS began tracking figures in 2006, showing a particular acceleration during the global trade downturn and through the recovery. During the five-year period analyzed, the annual average growth in the value of the import cargo booked through NVOCCs was 0.6 percent, while the value of total trade declined at an average annual rate of 3.7 percent.
Major industry players weighed in on the report in Leach’s article. “When shippers scrambled for additional capacity, they turned to NVOCCs, who cemented relationships with the shippers,” said Phillip Damas, division director to Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.
Greg Johnsen, EVP of marketing and sales at GT Nexus said, “Once NVOs have found their way into selling space to larger shippers, they tend to be more inventive.”
“I believe it has more to do with small shippers finding it very difficult to interact directly with carriers. As a consequence, small shippers are increasingly turning to the forwarders,” said Lars Jensen, chief of maritime market research firm SeaIntel.