In previous articles you’ve learned about the features and benefits of rail, air, and auto transportation. This final information is dedicated to sea transport. What is going on off the coast of Europe? Why might customers choose short-sea shipping? Let’s find out with Andrej Zajtsev, Deputy COO for AsstrA Sea Freight Transportation.
Andrej, let's start with some basic definitions. What is the difference between short-sea and deep-sea shipping?
Short-sea shipping is the delivery of goods by sea over a short distance, usually along the coast of a given continent.
Deep-sea shipping is the intercontinental delivery of goods via a route running across an ocean.
What short-sea shipping trends were evident in the first half of 2019?
The distinct tendencies of the first six months of 2019 were primarily a result of the events that occurred in 2018. At the end of last year, a number of large mergers took place. The largest port operator, DP World, bought Unifeeder. And shipping carrier CMA-CGM bought Containerships.
For several decades, there has been a trend towards consolidation in the maritime business, and there have been many mergers and acquisitions. Shipping lines involved in transportation over long distances absorb short-sea carriers. This has resulted in deep-sea carriers’ serving more delivery ports.
In recent years a new tendency has also emerged. Whereas previously large companies mainly bought small companies, now large shipping market players are also absorbing other large players.
In what scenarios do customers typically choose sea transportation for intra-Europe shipments?
As a rule, short-sea shipping is chosen for the transportation of large consignments. The goods are delivered in one lot. This makes it easier to work with documents and, as a result, reduces the risk of mistakes. In addition, a wide range of containers is available on the market. You can choose a container appropriate for your volume of cargo and get a competitive freight price.
In terms of price, intra-Europe maritime transport is more competitive than road transport. Shipping rates are set for a period of 1 to 12 months. Logistics costs can therefore be planned around this stability.
When organizing transport by sea, the AsstrA team primarily relies on trade lanes served by the group’s regional offices both in the origin country and in the destination country.
The company’s experts take advantage AsstrA’s well developed global network of offices to provide world-class service. Our next step is the upcoming opening of our Hamburg office to help customers make the most of short-sea shipping.