Tag Archives: pricing

Forwarders fear ‘shut-out’ as other major lines emulate Maersk strategy

This complaint from freight forwarders is starting to resonate. It appears the major container carriers are gradually refusing to sell bulk space on container ships to brokers and forwarders, instead making them buy on the spot market.

One of the issues is to determine whether the liner companies are favoring large brokers and forwarders with discounted contracts, to the disadvantage of smaller brokers. Are there sweetheart deals? I am betting that for sure there will be space available from large brokers to smaller brokers. Price discipline is notoriously hard to enforce.

Is it anti-competitive to offer spot prices? No, I think not. Is it anti-competitive to offer different prices to different groups? Quite possibly. It’s worth a review by government agencies and regulators.

In competitive economics, fairness is not a principle; however, in political life it could be seen as unfair to drive out of business a group of substantial size who provide customized services of a very precise nature in a niche, to some shippers. Those skills may have value to society as a whole that are not captured in prices. That’s where regulation comes in.

By Alex Lennane and Ian Putzger 20/01/2022

Forwarders fear ‘shut-out’ as other major lines emulate Maersk strategy – The Loadstar

Blanking voyages masks real impact of Covid

Spot rates for container shipping are staying up, but only because ocean carriers continue to blank voyages big time.

If you were shipping and you feared your voyage would be blanked, what would you do?  You would be prepared to buy some shipping at spot, to be sure you can get on the ship.   Your ratio of long-term (and possibly delayed) contracting for shipments and your short-term purchases would change in favor of the short term.  And that would keep short term demand up in spite of a long-term need going down.  That’s what’s happening now.

With COVID-19 out there, and no certainty about international trade, it seems certain that conditions are much worse than are being reported based on shipments. At some point the other shoe will drop, and all prices will go down.  We need not to trust the BIMCO spot prices for future predictions right now.



via Blanking voyages holds ocean rates steady, but masks the real impact of Covid – The Loadstar