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Biggest problems facing customers in container shipments

Disruption, Innovation, Big Data, IoT, SaaS, Digital freight forwarders, Blockchain.. No its not a Thesaurus test..

These are just some of the big fancy words thrown around in the market and media currently in relation to shipping and freight..

These tools are all (or should be) designed to assist the customer, whether you are a buyer, seller, trader, forwarder, NVOCC or shipping line to conduct their business smoothly and efficiently..

I recently wrote about Vintage Shipping – the way it was done and when we critically compare Vintage Shipping and Contemporary Shipping, we can see that the main beneficiaries from the technological advances from then and now has been

  1. Communication – has been the biggest beneficiary as contemporary communications have made things so much simpler and easier for EVERYONE. Anyone can access anything from anywhere such as bookings, freight rates etc..
  2. Port Operations – has also been another beneficiary that has gained a lot in the contemporary era as port productivity have improved exponentially.. As per The Container Port Performance Index (CPPI), launched by the World Bank and IHS Markit, East Asian ports including Yokohama in Japan and Qingdao in China led the rankings, with Yokohama taking just 1.1 minutes on average to load or unload a container in a standard port call. The Port of Algeciras in Spain was the top-ranked European port in 10th place and Canada’s Port of Halifax was the only North American port in the top 50..
  3. Information exchange – there are several new methods of data transmission and information sharing which has helped in increasing and improving global trade and bringing the world a whole lot closer..
  4. Ease of doing business – has also definitely improved due to the improvements in communication accessibility of information..
  5. Visibility – with several platforms available for visibility of cargo, container and ships, visibility in container shipping is at the highest its ever been..

Following automated ports, Autonomous ships are being touted as the next new thing in shipping, but when we hear of incidents like the collision between the US Navy Destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the container ship ACX Crystal which claimed 7 lives or the collision between an oil tanker Seafrontier and cargo ship Huayan Endeavor one has to wonder..

problems with container shipments

Yet with all these advances, innovations, digitization etc customers still have problems with container shipments on a daily basis..

Whether it is with a shipping line, with a forwarder, with customs, with port, with hauliers etc etc etc, there are still many problems on a daily basis..

It is something like “the more things change, the more they stay the same”..

So my question today is, in spite of such advances in technology, communication, operations, trade documentation, and accessibility, why are many customers still facing problems with container shipments..??

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Article republished after critical updates

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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. Over all the process is pretty efficient.

    From my experience areas for improvement would be:
    Rate transparency
    Rate volatility, surcharges and increases
    Chassis logistics
    Billing issues, timely and easy to understand
    Origin visibility; booking to port entry.


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