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About the Author

Sri Laxmana — Vice President, Global Ocean Product, C.H. Robinson

Sri has been with C.H. Robinson since 2000 and has served multitude of roles during his career. He has worked in Customs Brokerage, Ocean/Air Imports, Ocean/Air Exports, Business Development and Trade Management for a variety of trade-lanes. Sri is currently the vice president of global ocean product at C.H. Robinson. Sri is responsible for the global strategy, volumes and revenue for ocean transportation. Sri holds an engineering and business degrees and is based in Eden Prairie, MN.

Ocean Shipping Trends: What to Expect in 2019

What a difference a year can make! This has been an interesting year for the ocean shipping industry. Ocean carriers were mostly profitable at the end of 2017, but that trend eroded quickly in the first half of 2018. And, with fewer carriers now in business—a result of past consolidations—carriers are finally focusing first on profitability instead of on ensuring vessels are full. This smart focus continued to improve the carrier’s financials towards the latter end of 2018. Will this trend continue into 2019 and beyond? Or, yet again, is this just a temporary recovery, as the trend has been since 2008?

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3 Benefits of LCL Shipping

3 Benefits of LCL Shipping | Transportfolio

lcl-ocean-shipping

One way global shippers can deal with tight transit times and fast changes in demand is to keep a lot more inventory on hand. But there is another way. You can use less than container load (LCL), which enables you to ship more frequently and still lower inventory costs.
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5 Things to Know Before Negotiating Ocean Shipping Contracts This Year

5 Things to Know Before Negotiating Ocean Shipping Contracts This Year | Transportfolio

ocean-shipping-contracts

The 2018-19 contract season for ocean shipping is here, and it’s time to think about the best way to approach negotiations. Of course, you want to control costs, consider options, and mitigate risks, but it will also be important to keep these five factors in mind as you talk to ocean service providers about the year ahead.
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Global Shipping Trends: What to Expect in 2018

Global Shipping Trends: What to Expect in 2018 | Transportfolio

Ocean-Shipping

Overall, 2017 has been a good year for the ocean shipping industry. It’s a big switch from 2016, when the bankruptcy of Hanjin, one of the largest container shipping providers, forced everyone to confront how volatile this industry really is. Now, at the tail end of 2017, we are starting to see most carriers’ operating margins improve, driven mainly by robust demand, positive inventory developments, and higher rate levels. While this is very positive for the shipping industry, you have to wonder. Will the positive recovery continue? Or is this simply part of the cycle we’ve experienced between 2008 and today—a vicious cycle where carriers are truly profitable for only 3 to 4 years at a time?
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4 Factors to Help Negotiate Better Ocean Shipping Contracts This Year

4 Factors to Help Negotiate Better Ocean Shipping Contracts This Year| Transportfolio

ocean-alliance

The 2017-18 ocean shipping contract season is underway. As you evaluate your budget and ponder the best way to approach negotiations, you will want to keep costs down, consider options, and mitigate risks. But this year, there are four other key points you will want to keep in mind as you talk to ocean service providers.
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Global Shipping Trends: What to Expect in 2017

Global Shipping Trends: What to expect in 2017. Transportfolio by C.H. Robinson

Global-Shipping-MegaShip-Tblog

The global transportation industry was dealt a year full of surprises in 2016, and with that came challenges. For most ocean carriers, the first three quarters were extremely challenging financially. While these financial pressures have been ongoing since 2009 due to several factors, overcapacity was certainly one of the most prevalent. Ocean carriers continue to see their average operating margin dip below zero as rates fell to their lowest levels since 2009. All of this mounted to the Hanjin bankruptcy, one of the largest container shipping bankruptcies in history. This action will continue to accelerate the carrier acquisition activities in 2017.
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3 Major Japanese Container Shipping Lines to Consolidate

3 Major Japanese Container Shipping Lines to Consolidate | Transportfolio

container_ship_consolidation_transportfolio

As we predicted in early 2016, consolidation within ocean shipping is something that will affect the industry in 2017 and beyond.

The latest consolidation effort involves Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), three of Japan’s largest container ship lines. They have agreed to establish a new joint venture company by approximately July 2017. And by April 2018, business is expected to commence pending regulatory approvals.
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Countdown to Black Friday: From across Oceans to Store Shelves

Countdown to Black Friday: From across Oceans to Store Shelves.Transportfolio

bf2016_ocean-freight_300x200

Black Friday: a shopping bonanza for bargain-hungry consumers and a day of record-breaking sales for retailers. It’s also the ultimate test of preparedness for supply chain professionals. Planning for the holiday surge starts months in advance—a step that’s even more critical when your freight needs to cross oceans. » Read More

East and West Coast Ports to Battle for U.S. Region After Panama Canal Expansion

East and West Coast Ports to Battle for U.S. Region After Panama Canal Expansion.Transportfolio

Editor’s note: This post originally ran in October 2015. Since the Panama Canal is scheduled to open this Sunday, June 26, we wanted to share it with you again.

Port ImageYou might think that shippers along the East Coast will be the biggest beneficiaries of fierce competition between the East and West Coast ports. In fact, the battleground on which ports compete for customers will likely expand and move several hundred miles west, toward Chicago and Memphis. It will take in other metropolitan areas like Detroit and Columbus, and encompass a newly contested region that accounts for more than 15% of the U.S. GDP. » Read More

SOLAS and Container Weight: What Shippers Need to Know

SOLAS and Container Weight FAQs: What Shippers Need to Know | Transportfolio

SOLAS-Rule_Blog

If you ship products globally, you probably know changes were made to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention in 2016. SOLAS, while not new, got an update when it comes to ocean shipping weight requirements.

What is SOLAS?

What is SOLAS? | Transportfolio

SOLAS is not a government led initiative, it is a rule from the International Maritime Organization (IMO)—a global authority for the safety, security, and environmental performance of international shipping—and was first introduced in 1974.
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