Foresight and future-proofing: how to attract the world’s biggest shipping line
Leading container line Maersk Line gives a perspective on the port industry, and an insight into their terminal selection process
Maersk Line, Copenhagen, Denmark, speaks with Port Technology International
Maersk Line is the liner shipping arm of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group, and is the world’sleading shipping company. The Maersk Line fleet comprises of 500 vessels while the total container fleet totals over 3,200,000 TEU. Maersk Line is, of course, a customer that any ambitious Port Authority or terminal operator would love to have calling at their facility – so who better to tell us about the key factors that influence their terminal selection process than the Line itself? Port TechnologyInternational recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tommy Nilsson, head of Maersk Line’s Global Terminal Strategy, to discuss the current state of the shipping and port industries, and how ports can offer the best possible service to shipping lines.
When deciding on new shipping routes, what are the factors that shipping lines consider when deciding which ports to call at,particularly when there are several options? There are two levels of decisions to be made by carriers:
Can you provide our readers with a bit of background information on Maersk Line’s business model and strategy?
Maersk Line has a vision of creating value for our customers through providing an end-to-end product that is unmatched in reliability, and at a competitive cost. The ability todeliver this to our customers is what drives our requirement setting towards terminals, i.e.: • Ensuring the most competitive cost proposition in the market • Strong focus on reliability and performance levels • Sustainability (i.e. an environmental focus).
1. Choice on port level: Adding a port call to a rotation needs to serve the requirements of our customers and make economic sense for ashipping line. It is a commercial decision based on a combination of factors such as size and growth outlook of cargo volumes; the network cost of servicing a port, and available inland/feeder connectivity. Furthermore, the availability of warehouses, as well as the customs regime, plays an increasingly important role in the attractiveness of ports. 2. Choic e on terminal level: In ports where thereare several terminals, the decision gets a more operational nature. Maersk Line is looking for the best overall value proposition including factors such as: • Terminal efficiency (productivity, reliability of operation, etc.) • Nautical accessibility • Competitiveness of cost levels • Environmental and safety record • Innovations.
P o rt t e c h n o l o g y I n t e r n at I o n a l
What would be on your ‘wish list’ of services offered by ports? And what services or factors make a port attractive to a shipping line?
In what areas can ports improve in order to provide better service? Are there any reoccurring inefficiencies that you routinely come across that you would like to see improved?
The wish list for ports depends on our requirements.Apart from obvious items such as locations and nautical accessibility, the following service offerings are what generally attract Maersk Line: • Differentiated product, i.e. superior performance in terms of productivity. • The supply chain approach – such as ensur ing smooth connections for feeder or barge operators, as well as road and rail links into the hinterland. • Unmatched reliability - jointefficiency drives to eliminate efficiencies from the processes. • Flexibility – i.e. ability to adapt to changing Line requirements on the basis of available capacity and berthing windows.
Overall, Maersk Line sees a lot of opportunities for the terminal industry to improve productivity levels, particularly based on the increasing call-sizes. Typically we have seen cost levels going up,...