Shipping Industry Explores Digitalization to Improve Service Reliability




Affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, starting from the second half of 2020, the international logistics market has experienced large-scale price increases, explosions, and shortages of cabinets. At the end of December 2020, the composite index of China's export container freight rates climbed to 1,658.58 points, hitting a new high in the past 12 years. Although the freight rate fell slightly after the Spring Festival, the sudden Suez Canal incident led to the container freight rate reaching a new high.
The manufacturing industry reflects the value of international division of labor and international trade with a long supply chain, and continues to pursue large-scale ships to improve economies of scale. However, the new crown pneumonia epidemic and the Suez Canal incident have also made the industry begin to reflect on the rationality of ultra-long supply chains and ultra-large-scale transportation capacity, and explore the use of digital technology to improve the security of transportation services.
Ensuring the stability of the international supply chain and controllable risks, aligning the industrial chain and supply chain in the region, and ensuring the reliability of production and the effectiveness of transportation capacity under extreme circumstances have become the focus. The data shows that there is great potential for the growth of shipping volume in Asian routes. In 2021, the shipping volume of container exports in Asia is expected to increase by 5.6%; among them, the growth rate of routes from Asia to the Middle East and India is faster.
According to the analysis of market institutions, although the container newbuilding market is prosperous in the short term, there is a potential crisis. Affected by factors such as the historically low shipbuilding price, the outstanding performance of the container shipping market, and the new round of liner companies optimizing fleet capacity, new ship orders began to bottom out in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, more than 15,000 TEU exceeded New orders for large container ships hit a five-year quarterly peak. However, the market variables in the future are also very large: on the one hand, with the skyrocketing prices of raw materials such as iron ore and steel, the performance risk of many new shipbuilding orders is increasing; Small container ships under 6000TEU. In addition, with the easing of the epidemic and the increase in the number of return containers and new containers, the lack of new ships may once again lead to excess capacity.
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