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Maersk Line CEO says container shipping needs to change

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Maersk Line CEO, Eivind Kolding has a message for the container shipping and logistics industry: If containEivind_Kolding_02er shipping is to secure its license to operate in the future, the industry needs to change now!

In a keynote address to the TOC conference in Antwerp, Belgium, yesterday, Mr. Kolding noted that containerization – often referred to as the engine of globalization – revolutionized world trade. The potential it unlocked by effeciently 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, Eivind 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 behavior 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,” declared Mr. Kolding. “However, why not see these as fantastic opportunities? What if we could guarantee that cargo would 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?”

June 8, 2011

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