Inbound Logistics’ 2012 Ocean Carrier Guide
The global ocean freight industry is swelling with capacity as New Panamax ships come online. But after enduring one of its worst years in 2009, container volumes continue to dip as the tides of economic recession sweep across Europe and parts of Asia. Steamship lines have been working cooperatively within alliances, and on their own, to scale capacity to demand. Many are idling ships; re-deploying assets; and realigning services, port rotations, and sailing frequencies to target markets and lanes where freight volumes are flush.
While steamship lines are challenged with balancing long-term investments and short-term changes in demand, ocean freight buyers are fully exposed to current market variables. Ocean transport remains the go-to mode for global shipping. No less important, more companies are looking at opportunities to leverage their supply chains and lengthen lead times so they can convert air freight to ocean, and reduce transport costs.
Market volatility has given ocean shippers a lot to think about. Inbound Logistics provides some clarity with our annual Ocean Carrier Guide. To help you keep abreast of current industry dynamics, we cast our net far and wide to find out where steamship lines are investing capital, and how they are enhancing fleets, services, solutions, and coverage areas to better meet your demands.
Atlantic Container Line (ACL)
Parent Company: Grimaldi Group
Since 1967, ACL has been a specialized transatlantic carrier of containers, project and oversized cargo, heavy equipment, and vehicles, with the world's largest combination roll-on/roll-off (RoRo)/containerships (CONROs). Headquartered in Westfield, N.J., with offices throughout Europe and North America, ACL offers five weekly transatlantic sailings and direct RoRo/container service under its parent company, Grimaldi Lines, between North America and West Africa. The company also offers service for non-containerizable cargo from North America to the Mediterranean, Middle East, South Africa, Australia, and the Far East.
Web Tools: Booking and rate requests, express documentation.
Fleet Size: Five vessels operate in the core North Atlantic service, and various vessels are time-chartered to the Grimaldi Group.
Customer Awards: Honda Premier Partner Award; Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association Customer Service Award
What's New: In 2015, ACL's five new Generation 4 (G4) vessels, the world's largest CONROs, will replace its existing fleet of G3 CONROs operating in the company's transatlantic service. The new vessels will be the first of their type ever built, and will be bigger, faster, greener, and more efficient than their predecessors. The G4s will have a 3,800-TEU container capacity, plus 311,077 square feet of RoRo space, with a car capacity of 1,307 vehicles.
Parent Company: NOL Group
Sister Company (Logistics): APL Logistics
APL is a global container shipping company offering more than 80 weekly services and 500 calls at more than 140 ports worldwide. It combines intermodal operations with information technology and e-commerce to provide shippers with seamless and integrated transportation solutions. APL is a unit of Singapore-based global shipping and logistics company Neptune Orient Lines (NOL).
Web Tools: APL's HomePort Web portal enables shippers to book and track cargo electronically, and provides e-bills of lading. Terminals connect with truckers via the Internet and mobile devices, enabling them to manage cargo pickup and delivery.
Fleet Size: 150 ships
Customer Awards: 2012 Top Ocean Carrier, Agricultural Transportation Coalition.
What's New: APL announced plans to cut key carbon exhaust 30 percent by 2015; launched the APL Southhampton, the first of 30 new, environmentally friendly vessels to be delivered over the next three years; and established the G6 Alliance in the Asia-Europe trade with Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and Orient Overseas Container Line.
Parent Company: China Shipping Group Company
China Shipping offers container transportation and related services including storage, transshipment, Customs arrival manifest filing, and intermodal on-carriage. Its 560,000-TEU fleet calls 12 China base ports and most river ports along the Yangtze River, the Pearl River, and their branches, providing fast, safe, economical containerized freight transportation. A total of more than 40 international routes round out the line's current service profile.
Web Tools: Tracking/tracing, electronic data interchange (EDI), eBrochure, sailing schedules.
Fleet Size: 150 vessels
What's New: China Shipping introduced Transpacific, Transatlantic, Mediterranean, North Europe, China Pearl River Delta, and China Yangtze River Delta services.
Logistics Division: CMA CGM Logistics
CMA CGM, founded in 1978 by Jacques R. Saadé, provides regular services to 400 ports on more than 170 main shipping lines around the world. With a presence on all continents, and in 150 countries through its network of 650 agencies, CMA CGM employs 17,200 people and transports nine million TEUs annually. The group offers a complete range of activities, including transport by sea, river, and rail, and operates facilities in port, as well as logistics on land, to guarantee high-quality, door-to-door services. CMA CGM has also been investing in rail, inland waterway, and road haulage services and strategic shipping terminals worldwide.
Web Tools: Interactive schedules; routing finder, including line services and voyage finder; quotation requests; tariffs; container tracking; bill of lading printing (draft, waybill, original bill of lading); and shipment details.
Fleet Size: 394 vessels
Customer Awards: 2011 Matty Award, Mattel; 2011 Best Partner Carrier of the Year, Sony; 2011 Ocean Carrier of the Year Award, Lowe's Home Improvement.
What's New: CMA CGM signed an agreement for the operation, equipment, and expansion of the Gordon Cay Container Terminal in Jamaica's Port of Kingston.
COSCO Container Lines Americas
Parent Company: China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO)
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1961, COSCO maintains 85 representative offices in 49 countries around the world, and operations agencies in 1,000 cities in 160 countries. Cargo handling capabilities include 20-foot and 40-foot dry containers, refrigerated containers, flat-racks, open tops, high cube, and other specialized equipment. Routes and scheduling are designed for rapid and cost-efficient service worldwide.
Web Tools : Automated 24/7 cargo tracking service, complete listings of services and schedules.
Fleet Size: 120 vessels
What's New: In addition to equipment improvements, recent scheduling additions and revisions have resulted in significantly faster transit times. COSCO's 23 main line services connect more than 1,000 ports.
Parent Company: Crowley Maritime Corporation
Logistics Division: Crowley Logistics
Crowley Maritime Corporation, a privately held family and employee-owned company established in 1892, provides marine solutions, and transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets. Services include cargo shipments by containers and trailers; refrigerated and speed-to-market shipping; breakbulk, heavy lift, and over-dimensional items; and rolling stock such as cars, trucks, buses, and construction equipment, all with company-owned specialty equipment and top-quality Lift-on/Lift-off (LoLo) and RoRo vessels.
Web Tools: Track-and-trace, tariff retrieval, e-bill of lading registration, 24-hour manifest schedule, downloadable shipping documents, booking, rate requests.
Fleet Size: 250 vessels
Customer Awards: Outstanding Customer Service and Quality Award, Toyota; International Partnership Award, Payless ShoeSource; World Excellence Award and Silver Award for Supplier Excellence, Ford Motor Company; Dana Corporation Outstanding Supplier; Costa Rica Chamber Exporters Award; SC Johnson Service and Customer Award.
What's New: With Crowley's Speed to Market service, shippers can export cargo from the U.S. Northeast, Southeast, and Gulf coasts to the Caribbean Basin, Central America, and Canada. In December 2012, Crowley's logistics team will open Crowley Fresh, a new cold storage facility for produce, in Miami.
Parent Company: Evergreen Group
Logistics Division: Evergreen Shipping Agency (America)
Taiwan-based Evergreen was founded in 1968 by Group Chairman Dr. Yung-fa Chang, and commenced full container liner services in 1975. It has developed into a global carrier, operating a 560,000-TEU-capacity fleet and serving six continents.
Web Tools: Integrated e-commerce services via Evergreen's ShipmentLink portal; enhanced e-reports available to all customers, with new functions including event-driven notification, tracking reports, and statistics to help manage and monitor shipments.
Fleet Size: 150 vessels
What's New: Evergreen Line launched a new intra-Asia service linking Kaohsiung, in southwestern Taiwan, with Cebu, a province of the Philippines.
Parent Company: The Oetker Group
Hamburg Süd specializes in containerized temperature-sensitive cargo shipping. Company services link North America, South America, Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia, India, Pakistan, and Australia/New Zealand.
Web Tools: Cargo booking, tracking, and tracing.
Fleet Size: 174 vessels
What's New: Hamburg Süd added a direct Asia Pacific Northwest transpacific service that connects Yantian, Hong Kong, Xiamen and Busan with Seattle and Vancouver. It is Hamburg Süd's first direct transpacific service.
Parent Company: The Albert Ballin consortium and TUI AG
Hapag-Lloyd connects all major ports worldwide via 93 liner services—including U.S. flag services. The carrier operates 300 offices in 114 countries, and offers a container stock of more than one million TEUs of all types, including one of the largest reefer fleets in the industry.
Web Tools: Schedule overview, download, and subscription; shipment overview listing; tariffs, freight rates, inland rates, essential terms, and local charges; detention and demurrage rules and regulations; shipping instructions (for registered customers); sea waybill of lading download; track-and-trace by booking, container, or bill of lading number; import overview with Customs information; invoice copy download; shipment/vessel rate of exchange; general rate of exchange information.
Fleet Size: 147 vessels
Customer Awards: 2011 Carrier of the Year, Whirlpool; 2011 Excellence Award, Eastman Chemical Company; 2011 PPG Excellent Supplier Award, PPG Industries Inc.; 2011 Ocean Carrier Award, Alcoa; Gold-Award of Green Gateway Program, Port of Seattle.
What's new: Hapag-Lloyd started a dedicated U.S. flag feeder service into the Baltic Sea, connecting the Port of Bremerhaven with Riga and Tallinn. The carrier also upgraded its Med Pacific Service to weekly frequency, connecting the U.S. West Coast via the Panama Canal with the Mediterranean. In addition, Hapag-Lloyd introduced a new eastbound Lisbon call in its MCA service from Montreal to the Mediterranean. The carrier took delivery of its first new 13,200-TEU vessel in 2012.
Parent Company: Horizon Lines Inc.
Logistics Division: Horizon Logistics LLC
Horizon Lines is a domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company comprised of two primary operating subsidiaries. Horizon Lines LLC operates a fleet of 15 U.S.-flag containerships and five port terminals linking the continental United States with Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Horizon Logistics LLC offers customized logistics solutions to shippers from a suite of transportation and distribution management services, information technology developed by Horizon Services Group, and intermodal trucking and warehousing services provided by Sea-Logix. Horizon Lines Inc. is based in Charlotte, N.C.
Web Tools: Booking, track-and-trace, and payment applications that allow shippers to create customized reporting; event notification; and e-mail or threshold activity alerts.
Fleet Size: 15 vessels
Customer Awards: 2012 Platinum Carrier Award, Lowe's Home Improvement.
What's New: Horizon Lines received recognition from both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Chamber of Shipping of America for its record of safety and stewardship.
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM)
Logistics Division: Hyundai Glovis, specializing in auto logistics
HMM is an integrated logistics company, operating 160 vessels and a global business network serving more than 100 ports of call worldwide.
Web Tools: Track-and-trace, booking, bill of lading, vessel schedules, customer reports, EDI, rates/tariffs, HMM21 Mobile.
Fleet Size: 160 vessels
Customer Awards: 2012 Best Partner of the Year, Samsung; Best Supply Chain Ocean Carrier, Best Buy; Global Partnership Carrier, Sony; 2012 Provider of Year, Target Stores; International Supply Chain Provider of the Year, JCPenney.
What's New: HMM added its third dedicated transatlantic service, connecting Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean via Panama. HMM security compliance now covers the United States (C-TPAT), Korea (AEO); and Europe (AEO).
Parent Company: Intermarine LLC
New Orleans-based Intermarine provides worldwide ocean transport and inland heavy-haul services for breakbulk, specialized project, and heavy-lift cargo. The company also operates offices in Houston, Caracas, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Seoul, and Mumbai.
Web Tools: Company information, weekly sailing schedules.
Fleet Size: 30 vessels
What's New: In support of growing economic development in the West Coast of South America region, Intermarine added the port of Paita, Peru, to its regular liner schedule out of Houston.
Parent Company: A.P. Moller—Maersk Group
Established more than 100 years ago, The A.P. Moller—Maersk Group is a worldwide conglomerate that operates in 130 countries and employs more than 100,000 people. Maersk Line, the ocean shipping unit, offers a comprehensive service network.
Web Tools: Online sailing schedules; e-rates; e-booking; e-shipping instructions; electronic transport documentation and bill of lading printing; track-and-trace; and reports. In 2012, Maersk introduced MyFinance, a Web-based invoice review and payment solution with dispute resolution, to help drive efficiencies and streamline the management of key financial processes.
Fleet Size: More than 600 vessels
What's New: In March 2012, Maersk Line introduced Flagship Service, an import ocean/rail service direct from Asia to five key inland North America markets. These dedicated, non-stop Flagship Services, powered by BNSF Railway, arrive at a pre-determined time.
Matson Navigation Company
Parent Company: Alexander & Baldwin Inc.
Logistics Division: Matson Integrated Logistics
Matson's transportation offerings span the globe from Shanghai to Savannah, and encompass everything from providing a vital lifeline to the island economies of Hawaii, Guam, and Micronesia to offering a premium, expedited service from China to southern California. Matson continues to strengthen its ocean transportation services through fleet enhancements, industry-leading on-time arrivals, and award-winning customer service.
Web Tools: Online booking, tracking, billing, account balances, container tracking, EDI.
Fleet Size: 13 containerships, including four specialized barges
What's New: Matson launched its expanded China-Long Beach Express, offering weekly service from Hong Kong and Yantian and a new second weekly call at Shanghai. This expansion augments its weekly service from Xiamen, Ningbo, and Shanghai to southern California, and extends its geographic reach to the South China region.
Parent Company: MOL Ltd. (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines)
Consolidation Division: MOL Consolidation Services Ltd.
Logistics Division: MOL Logistics (U.S.A.) Inc.
MOL (America) Inc., MOL's wholly owned liner subsidiary in North America, employs approximately 400 transportation professionals in 16 sales offices throughout the United States. Founded in 1884, MOL's business diversity makes it one of the world's most financially solvent transportation companies.
Web Tools: Online booking requests and shipping instructions; bill of lading searching, viewing, and printing; global shipment tracking; reports; sailing schedules.
Fleet Size: 917 vessels, including 104 containerships
Customer Awards: 2011 Transportation Partner of the Year, Michael's Stores Inc.
What's New: MOL began weekly feeder service between Gothenburg, Sweden, and German ports at Bremerhaven and Hamburg, and opened offices at Fuzhou and Zhongshan, China.
Mediterranean Shipping Company SA (MSC)
MSC is a privately owned shipping line, founded in 1970. The carrier operates 438 container vessels, with an intake capacity of more than two million TEUs. During recent years, MSC's maritime fleet has expanded substantially to consolidate its position as the second-largest carrier in respect to container slot capacity and container vessels operated.
Web Tools: Track-and-trace, schedules, container specs, contact information.
Fleet Size: 438 vessels
What's New: MSC introduced its Jaguar service from central China to Los Angeles, and enhanced its existing transpacific service network.
Parent Company: Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha
Logistics Company: Yusen Logistics Co. Ltd. (YLK)
Founded in 1885, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) is a comprehensive global logistics group offering ocean, land, and air transportation services that draw on fleets of specialized vessels, trucks, warehouses, and aircraft.
Web Tools: Bill of lading processing, bookings, customized reports, rate inquiries, shipment alerts and information, shipping instructions, container tracking, and vessel schedules.
Fleet Size: 838 major ocean vessels, including 129 containerships (including semi-containerships)
What's New: NYK enhanced its intra-America services with upgrades on the U.S. West Coast to its weekly MAREX service and on the East Coast to ANS. A new South Pacific Gulf Express service links the Middle East and North America.
Parent Company: Orient Overseas International Ltd. (OOIL)
Logistics Division: OOCL Logistics (USA) Inc.
As one of Hong Kong's most recognized global brands, OOCL provides shippers with fully integrated logistics and containerized transportation services, with a network that encompasses Asia, Europe, North America, and Australasia.
Web Tools: OOCL's Web site and My OOCL Center portal provide advanced visibility and exception management, enabling shippers, consignees, and logistics providers to keep cargo moving and delivered on time.
Fleet Size: 120 vessels
Customer Awards: 2011 Partner Award, John Deere; 2011 Best Freight Forwarder Award, Canon.
What's New: OOCL introduced the Scan Baltic Express 3 service. Two 1,000-TEU containerships serve the route, which connects Hamburg and St. Petersburg.
Safmarine Container Lines
Parent Company: A.P. Moller—Maersk Group
As an independent container shipping brand in the AP Moller-Maersk Group, Safmarine is a global shipping line conducting business in more than 130 countries around the world.
Web Tools: Online sailing schedules; e-rates; e-booking; e-shipping instructions; electronic transport documentation and bill of lading printing; track-and-trace; reports; alerts and notifications; online transport certificates; arrival notices; shipment status overview and deadlines.
Fleet Size: Safmarine's vessel fleet is managed by Maersk Line.
Customer Awards: 2011 Excellence in Service Provision Award (Gold), Ford Motor Company of South Africa.
What's New: Safmarine opened a 3,000-TEU capacity container depot in the Coega Industrial Development Zone near the Port of Ngqura in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province.
Parent Company: Trailer Bridge Inc.
Trailer Bridge provides multiple weekly U.S. flag sailings between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico; weekly sailings between Jacksonville and the Dominican Republic; and weekly inter-island service between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Its innovative processes have brought the efficiencies of larger, high-cube equipment to the markets it serves. By utilizing a fleet of primarily 53-foot by 102-inch-wide high-cube equipment, along with single carrier door-to-port service, Trailer Bridge is able to provide increased value to its customers.
Web Tools: Shipment tracking, customizable reports, booking, rate request, sailing schedule.
Fleet Size: Seven vessels
What's New: Trailer Bridge has three 400-by-100-foot ocean-going barges available for charter-hire for project work. The barges are U.S. flag and Jones Act qualified, and are designed for RoRo, float-on/float-off, breakbulk, and container cargoes.
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC)
UASC is the largest ocean carrier of dry cargo to the Middle East. Maintaining a commitment to serve the Arabian Gulf, UASC offers a wide scope of services to the Arabian Gulf/Red Sea and Indian Sub-Continent regions.
Web Tools: Shipment tracking, bill of lading, and sailing schedules.
Fleet Size: 46 vessels
What's New: UASC launched an e-commerce platform, UASC Online, to promote and deliver shipping process efficiencies to its customers. Shippers can submit simple re-usable bookings, edit and approve their bills of lading, and manage their UASC business via this new portal.
Parent Company: Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation
Subsidiary Companies: Kuang Ming Shipping Corporation, Yes Logistic Corporation, Kao Ming Container Terminal Corporation
Established in 1972, Yang Ming operates a fleet of 87 vessels with a 364,000-TEU operating capacity, of which container ships are the main service force.
Web Tools: Scheduling, vessel tracking, shipment track-and-trace, bill of lading processing, booking, and tariffs.
Fleet Size: 87 vessels
What's New: Yang Ming has invested in exclusive terminals in Los Angeles and Tacoma; Keelung, Kaohsiung, and Taipei Harbors in Taiwan; Antwerp, Belgium; and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.