Geodis is the latest freight forwarder to charter tonnage to alleviate the container capacity shortage on the major Asia-Europe trade lane. The first exclusively operated 1000-TEU vessel is scheduled to arrive in Hamburg on 28 February.
This ship is carrying a total of 435 forty-foot containers for customers who have found it increasingly difficult to secure space with regular carriers at a viable rate. The second vessel left Shanghai last week and depending on demand, Geodis will plan additional sailings over the coming weeks.
Also read: ‘Shortage of container ships is untenable’
The move is prompted by the unforeseen spike in demand for Asian goods since the end of the summer. Demand from Europe and the US has been exceptionally high, while export from these regions remains suppressed. In addition to the super-tight ocean freight market, this has also led to a shortage of empty containers in Asia which makes the situation even more difficult for shippers.
‘We understand the current market challenges, resulting from unprecedented customer demand and the limitations of ocean carrier capacity and sailings from China and other parts of Asia,’ comments Matthias Hansen, senior VP Global Ocean Freight at Geodis. ‘We are working hard to find solutions for our customers. Hence, this exclusive vessel charter to supplement fixed long-term agreements we have with core carriers.’
‘Our primary aim is to offer multi-modal solutions to our existing customers to enable them to ship on time and in a reasonably economic manner,’ adds Onno Boots, Geodis’ CEO for the Asia Pacific. ‘Geodis is permanently looking for alternatives including rail, ocean and air products that fulfil this aim for shippers on the increasingly volatile Far East-West Bound (FEWB) trade lane.’
This article first appeared on Project Cargo Journal, which is another publication of SWZ|Maritime’s publishing partner Promedia.