Page 16: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2019)

Cruise Shipping

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Lars Fischer

Lars Fischer is Managing Director, Softship Data Processing Ltd., Singapore © Ralf Gosch/Adobe Stock

Restoring Balance he repositioning of empty con- This is a signi? cant burden for carriers By applying exceptionally complex but means that spent containers are either tainers costs the liner industry working hard to maintain already slim reliable mathematical algorithms which left collecting dust at the discharge port an estimated $15-20 billion margins. While this has been a prob- con? gure supply and demand scenarios, or terminal or sent to sit in a nearby de-

Tevery year according to Boston lem that has plagued the liner segment software will be able to empirically as- pot. Each of these containers costs the

Consulting Group (BCG), as containers for decades, as an industry, we too have sess every available repositioning solu- container line in lost earnings until there sit idle at a depot or are repositioned to been sitting idle while technological and tion given the scenario parameters and is a suitable laden voyage from the same a different loading point while empty. software solutions for addressing this calculate the most ef? cient repositioning location. This can take weeks or months.

This is time spent not earning revenue, problem have been developing at pace route. The result will be more agile, ? ex- Alternatively, the spent container can while incurring additional costs, and is around us. There is a wealth of granu- ible and cost-effective container ship- be transported empty to a nearby port or estimated by BCG to account for 5-8% lar data from ports, terminals and depots ping solutions. terminal to collect a new load or can be of total operating costs for an average now available to us thanks to a greater sent directly to a customer. Reposition- container liner. These expenses can in- degree of automation and digitization Understanding the root causes ing containers incurs the inland as well clude inland repositioning by rail or across global supply chains. With this re- There are several reasons for the repo- as international transport costs involved road onto a different port or terminal, source, the liner industry should have far sitioning dilemma. An inherent asym- in moving to a point of demand. In many the costs of shipping to another location, greater control over repositioning opera- metry in global supply and demand for cases, the reallocation of these vital as- transhipment costs at terminals, and de- tions than it currently does. This is why containerized cargoes is the main causal sets can cost almost as much to move pot storage costs as well as all the associ- Softship has paired with the National factor. China exports more containerized empty as when loaded – all but eliminat- ated administrative, handling, labor and University of Singapore (NUS) to build cargoes than it will ever need to import ing the pro? t gained on some journeys. third-party costs incurred throughout. a digital solution. from most countries, for example. This When freight rates are particularly 16 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • MARCH 2019

MR #3 (10-17).indd 16 3/6/2019 10:27:43 AM

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.