COUNCIL OF INTERMODAL SHIPPING CONSULTANTS
ANNO XXXVI - Numero 31 MAGGIO 2018
STUDIES & RESEARCH
LAND-SEA INTEGRATION - THE NEW FRONTIER OF SHIPPING
Our (Drewry) last briefing described the opportunities and
challenges of Port Community Systems (PCS) in the digital
transformation of ocean shipping.
PCS should be active in pivoting the maritime industry towards
inland operations as we have witnessed more strategic initiatives
But they face a number of challenges in relation to inland
container management, complex technology model and the variety of
Ocean carriers and ports are investing in inland services
Ocean carriers have announced their plans.
Maersk's strategy is to become the global integrator of
container logistics, building an end to end integrated logistics
solution connecting the entire supply chain through a one stop shop.
While French carrier CMA CGM is moving in the same direction
with its recently announced stake in CEVA Logistics and its
multi-temperature logistics facility at DP World's London Gateway.
And large ports such as Rotterdam with their 2.6 million TEUs
moving inland annually are enhancing their intermodal operations by
investing in container shuttle train operator PortShuttle and
Nextlogic electronic platform.
Cargo owners are at the centre of these initiatives as
demonstrated by the "Peel Off" program at the Port of Los
Angeles which increases shipment velocity for high-volume shippers.
Integration of land with sea operations is more than a simple
service enhancement of traditional maritime service providers.
It provides new service options and additional value for BCOs as
well as broader economic and environmental gains.
Critical gains for the industry
The inland leg of the container shipping supply chain is under
pressure to achieve rapid efficiency gains.
The evolution of carrier alliances and larger vessels has made
the integration of inland and port operations a key efficiency
factor with the risk of increasing congestion if smart planning and
shipment release systems are not in place.
In particular, the once moribund practice of vehicle booking
systems (VBS) has seen quite a renaissance of late, supported by
cloud and mobile app technologies.
Already the port of Manila has reported a 50% rise in
productivity thanks to implementation of a VBS.
Economies of scale have slashed costs, but empty container
repositioning operations remain unlocked with 33% of containers on
the road carried empty.
Increasing compliance requirements, whether for security or
environmental purposes, require more data to be passed and checked
on the land side.
Cargo owners understand the efficiency gain opportunity for more
information and better control of Detention & Demurrage.
Their expectations for more land-sea integrated services open
opportunities to technology driven operators.
So which technology is likely to change inland container
Technology initiatives are addressing specific problems such as
terminal or depot gate appointments management, real time asset
tracking and scheduling systems, container reuse and electronic
For instances, technology companies such as Matchback Systems or
Avantida are engaging the street turn and triangulation challenge,
in North America and Europe.
Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) container Xchange addresses the
repositioning cost burden through its container interchange
Australia based 1-Stop.biz and Containerchain.com are actively
implementing vehicle booking systems, which connect depots,
terminals and truckers through mobile apps in various Asia Pacific
The objectives are better synchronisation of yard movements with
truckers, less manual processing and more analytics.
Elane's container drayage marketplace Tuochebao.com claims 80%
market share in China thanks to a complete service including
truckers' invoice generation and payment.
These container trucking apps tend to be regionally focused,
such as "matchbox.bid" in Africa.
The trend is well supported by carriers with Maersk's
development of its "spotlanes.com" portal covering certain
locations and CMA CGM's investment in the collaborative port haulage
Standalone applications are not enough
Inland container logistics needs scalability, data and process
re-engineering to rapidly reach the expected gains brought about by
predictive analytics, planning and marketplace processes.
It requires market wide adoption and alignment of players'
operational systems through an acceptance of a minimum set of
It can be tricky as it may need public and multiple private
stakeholders to collaborate.
Moreover, there is structural complexity attached to each region
such as chassis management in North America.
Carriers may still struggle with forecasting their empty
container positioning needs.
Beyond technology, challenges can simply be in the behavioural
practice of moving to more standardised processes.
Such a systemic and integrated approach is likely to succeed
through the initiatives of large operators or authorities seeking
safer and greener inland container logistics.
Their support in encouraging inland container start-ups should
drive some of the coming changes.
(from: hellenicshippingnews.com, May 18th 2018)
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