Let’s Fix It!

Now we’re hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth … as reported by Exim India in an article under the heading: “Maersk Line CEO calls for serious change in container shipping”

“In his keynote address at the TOC conference last week,” the article began, “Mr. Elvind Kolding, Maersk Line CEO, had a clear and simple message to the container shipping and logistics industry. If container shipping is to secure its license to operate in the future, the industry needs to change now!

“Containerization – often referred to as the engine of globalization – revolutionized world trade. The potential it unlocked by efficiently connecting producers and consumers across the world enabled both shipping lines and their customers to develop their businesses in ways that previously had seemed impossible.

“However, container shipping is also the story of an established business model that often disappoints customers: one in every two containers is late, shipping lines are complex to do business with, and the industry, even while being the most environmentally-friendly transportation mode, still lacks transparency and common goals.

“With examples from the automotive, aviation, portable music players and mobile phone industries, Mr. Kolding told the conference that just because an industry is established, it may only be a ‘few years from being completely overtaken’ by new technology. And that market and customer behaviour is forcing companies to ‘never lose sight of what customers really want’, including the needs that they are not even aware of.

“‘The container shipping industry stands on the brink of an era-defining moment and we face some fundamental challenges. However, why not see these as fantastic opportunities? What if we could guarantee that cargo could be on time, every time? What if placing a shipping order was as easy as buying an airline ticket? What if the shipping industry was known for beating environmental expectations, not struggling to meet them?’, Mr. Kolding asked in conclusion while inviting the industry to initiate the debate.” –

The debate? That’s the trouble with the industry. What’s to debate? That cargo shouldn’t be delivered on time? That placing a shipping order should be a hassle? Or that “environment expectations” should be snubbed? Debating and in-fighting is what has prevented the industry from reaching its full potential over the years and Mr. Kolding sounds as though he’s had enough of it.
The shipping industry, is one of the largest industries in the world – if not the largest – but if change doesn’t come about in a hurry, the industry just might be “completely overtaken”. For years the attitude has been, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well, what Mr. Kolding is trying to say is, “It’s broke now – so fix it!”