There’s no denying that the global maritime industry has had a turbulent 18 months.

Because of the pandemic, cargo volumes have plummeted and growth prospects have been hindered, not helped by the enormous uncertainty that accompanies the world’s efforts to recover from the pandemic.

Despite the gloom, UNCTAD expects maritime trade growth to return to positive territory and expand by 4.8% in 2021, assuming world economic output recovers. However, the organization highlights the need for the maritime transport industry to brace for change and be well prepared for a transformed post-COVID-19 world.

Studies of major shipping lines’ commercial and strategic activities can provide insight into the overall industry.

Fusions and acquisitions are sending mixed signals as we approach 2021 and clearly portray a picture of fluctuating fortunes.

Damco and Diamond S Shipping dissolve 

Damco’s air and ocean less-than-container-load shipping will be integrated into Maersk’s wider business in September 2020, effectively erasing the brand it merged with Maersk Line at the start of 2019.

The move was part of series of strategic plays by CEO Soren Skou that are geared toward a central goal of becoming an integrated logistics company that provides end-to-end solutions for its customers. 

The combined company will have around 2,200 employees and a market value of around $2 billion, and it will be headquartered in New York City.

K-Alliance and Hapag-Lloyd show brighter prospects 

As a result of a massive code-sharing agreement in South Korea, the K-Alliance, several shipping firms’ competitiveness in Southeast Asia is expected to be backed.

The move sees several enterprises joining forces–HMM, SM Line, Pan Ocean and the recently merged Sinokor Merchant Marine and Heung-A Line–with the intention of reducing operating costs and increasing quality of services.

Whether it is the move by giants such as Maersk to combine forwarding and carrier services, or the clear vote of confidence shown by Hapag-Lloyd in the African market, the dice are starting to be rolled after the standstill period brought about by COVID-19. 

Leaders of a number of the busiest U.S. ports count on congestion snarling maritime gateways to hold deep into subsequent year, because the weigh down of products from producers and outlets seeking to refill depleted inventories pushes beyond transport’s regular seasonal lulls. Ports are already swamped through report numbers of packing containers attaining U.S. seashorelines throughout this year’s height transport season, and the variety of vessels anticipating berth area at Southern California’s gateways is developing as logjams stretch into warehouses and distribution networks throughout the country. Port leaders, together with Mario Cordero, government director on the Port of Long Beach, Calif., who’ve spoken with transport strains and their shipment clients say the slowdown in field volumes that typically coincides with the Lunar New Year in February, while factories in China normally close down, is not going to provide a lot relief.

Griff Lynch, leader overseer of the Georgia Ports Authority, which works one of the country’s biggest sea passages at the Port of Savannah, said: “We think at least midway through 2022 or the entire 2022 could be very strong.”

Major U.S. ports were estimate to deal with what could be compared to some 2.37 million imported holders in August, as per the Global Port Tracker report created by Hackett Associates for the National Retail Federation.

Hundreds of thousands of containers are stuck aboard container ships waiting for a berth or stacked up at terminals waiting to be moved by truck or rail to inland terminals, warehouses and distribution centers. When the boxes do move, they are often snarled at congested freight rail yards and warehouses that are full to capacity.

shortages of truck drivers and warehouse workers are making shipping delays worse as the need to replenish inventories is at an all-time high. “I don’t think that’s something that just gets fixed in the next four to five months in accordance with the Lunar New Year,” he said.

As worldwide exchange keeps on changing the manner in which organizations are delivering, moving, purchasing, and selling merchandise across borders, it’s significant for store network pioneers to think about exchange drifts that can help them benchmark their organization against the pioneers and loafers.

To figure out arising and existing innovation, a new study by worldwide exchange the board programming supplier Amber Road and the Association of American Exporters and Importers gives an understanding of what innovation organizations are utilizing, the difficulties these frameworks are relied upon to address, and how organizations are executing them.

Here are some key statistics from the survey of more than 120 supply chain executives in a cross-cut of industries and roles.

While 77 percent of respondents state tariffs and duties top their list of concerns for 2019, 57 percent are looking to reduce supply chain costs.
More than 50 percent are looking to solve sourcing and quality issues using technology (see chart above).
Only 40 percent are leveraging a Global Trade Management system for supply chain execution.
Even then, not all processes are automated, indicating continued reliance on manual processes.
Blockchain is being considered at 30 percent of responding companies; probably the same 33 percent that considers their companies as leaders in technology adoption.
The report gives guidance on how to build the “right” technology stack. Although finding the right stack might sound daunting at first, this task should be seen as a way to spark your company’s innovativeness in finding new ways to compete and win.