Maersk freight forwarder customers left in limbo as carrier limits them to Spot offers
Maersk Forwarding and NVOCC customers are targeted by competing lines as the Danish carrier prepares to restrict their bookings to its Maersk point platform next year.
Meanwhile, the container spot rate indices, the foundation of the Maersk platform, are going against the usual offseason trend and are holding very high levels.
A UK-based NVOCC said The charging star this morning, his Maersk representative admitted that he could no longer offer him a three-month contract between Asia and Northern Europe, and that he would now have to book online, via Maersk Square, to cover all short-term space needs.
However, the NVOCC representative ensured that he could still discuss a longer term contract with Maersk, due to the reliable volume of the freight forwarder.
âI haven’t had a response yet, but I know the guy well and I’m sure he wasn’t just playing with me on contract options,â he said.
Nonetheless, the contact said he had received “more calls than normal” from other operators with “decent offers”.
“The calls came out of the blue and they were clearly in response to rumors circulating that Maersk might drop all of its transfer clients,” he said.
Another transfer contact said The charging star this week he would no longer be dealing with Maersk, as he had caught the carrier “tapping into some of our customers with offers of long-term discounted deals, and that was done for me,” he said. -he declares.
The large international freight forwarder in question will be on the radar of all carriers, but many smaller freight forwarders who have contracts with Maersk, or its subsidiary Hamburg SÃ¼d, hope to be able to make substitution agreements with other lines. But if they are forced to enter the spot markets, any hope that freight rates are on the verge of collapsing to some form of pre-pandemic normal looks very optimistic.
âDecember looks like another bullish month for containerized freight rates, with growing supply constraints caused by global concerns over the Omicron variant,â said Peter Stallion, head of air and container transport at Freight Investor Services.
Indeed, the Northern Asia-Europe spot rate components of the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) and WCI (World Container Index) were both flat this week, at $ 14,352 and $ 13,500 per 40 feet, respectively.
It was a similar story for spots from Asia to Mediterranean ports, with the FBX stable at $ 13,198 and the WCI unchanged at $ 12,480 per 40 feet.
On the Trans-Pacific, the FBX was flat from Asia to the United States, with a West Coast reading at $ 14,800 and the East Coast at $ 16,749, per 40 feet.
However, Drewry’s WCI, which does not include premium charges, fell 4% this week, to $ 9,698 per 40 feet and fell 5% for ports on the US east coast, at $ 12,582 per 40 feet.
Nonetheless, most analysts expect rates to remain firm on the trade route, if not to move north again as the Chinese New Year approaches in early February.
âThe market remains historically expensive, with little chance of that changing anytime soon,â Stallion said.