Providers of integrated logistics services create added value for customers and carriers

‘The market share of ocean freight forwarders is growing faster than the market share of the ship owners,’ said Dr. Thomas C. Lieb, Chairman of the Management Board of Schenker AG, Essen, in London recently. Speaking to the delegates at the CI Global Liner Shipping 09 conference, he explained the factors which he believes will continue to be crucial for the success of the ocean freight market, not only in difficult economic conditions.

‘Over the past four years, the market share of the top 4 container shipping companies has grown by 4.3%. During that same period, the market share of the top 4 ocean freight providers grew by 18.8%,’ added Lieb. He therefore believes that major logistics companies will play an increasingly important role in future. On the whole, however, the ocean freight market is highly fragmented.

By constantly developing and expanding the supply chain, providers of integrated logistics services create significant added value for carriers and customers, continued Lieb. Thanks to more cooperation at the interface to the carriers, they can offer more reliable cargo space for both carriers and customers. On the one hand, the customer benefits from tailor-made solutions for optimizing and completing his supply chains. Large logistics companies can offer a wide range of value added services, for example in the IT sector. Lieb also pointed out that assigning customer support activities to a Key Account Management generates innovation potential that should not be underestimated.

‘Only logistics providers enable the comprehensive control of logistics costs,’ continued Lieb, especially in respect of the ratio between the costs of warehousing and the transport costs. Logistics providers enable their customers to control the supply chain by determining both the inventories as well as the size and frequency of transports. ‘Cost transparency means that the point of maximum cost effectiveness can be clearly defined.’

‘Green’ logistics is one of the four key trends for the future: ‘We already have a whole number of options for designing logistics as a truly sustainable process. These include lowering CO2 emissions, close cooperation with partners and suppliers, innovative solutions such as a combination of ocean and air freight, choosing the most suitable transport mode, as well as measures to save energy,’ stressed Lieb.