Shippers hope carriers will partner in meeting challenges, conferees told

By: | Issue #660 | at 08:00 AM | Channel(s): International Trade  

Shippers hope carriers will partner in meeting challenges, conferees told

Beneficial cargo owners are hopeful that ocean carriers will collaborate with them in mutually addressing challenges, according to commentary at the South Carolina International Trade Conference.

International Paper Co.’s manager of international distribution, Marlon B. Jones, was among major shippers voicing such a view during sessions of the event, which was held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in Charleston.

“We had an opportunity to kick them in the teeth, and we didn’t,” Jones said, referring to carriers and the historic low freight rates of recent times, adding that shippers will soon begin finding out which container lines are reciprocally supportive.

Jones said his Memphis-based firm, the world’s largest pulp and paper company, has been challenged to secure a sufficient supply of containers to load with its products and also has encountered difficulties in getting needed shipment information.

“I want to know where my product is at all times, and, no, I’m not getting that,” he said.

Jones called for a better balance between the interests of BCOs and carriers, but pragmatically commented, “I really want to see the industry become healthy, but my job is making sure my company is healthy.”

Eastman Chemical Co.’s manager of North America marine, Klaus Schnede, said that, in his procurement role for the Kingsport, Tennessee-based global leader in specialty chemical production, he has found himself dissatisfied with customer service aspects of today’s heavily consolidated ocean carrier business.

“Some of the carriers are going in a direction we don’t like,” Schnede said. “It’s tough to get hold of the right person to fix things when they go wrong.”

Schnede said he believes it is imperative for carriers and BCOs to work together to provide an environment that is favorable to both parties…

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American Journal of Transportation

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For more than a quarter of a century, Paul Scott Abbott has been writing and shooting images for the American Journal of Transportation, applying four decades of experience as an award-winning journalist.

A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, with a master’s magna cum laude from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Abbott has served as president of chapters of the Propeller Club of the United States, Florida Public Relations Association and Society of Professional Journalists.

Abbott honed his skills on several daily newspapers, including The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Richmond (Va.) News Leader, Albuquerque Journal and (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel, and was editor and publisher of The County Line, a weekly newspaper he founded in suburban Richmond, Va.

A native Chicagoan, he is a member of American Mensa and an ever-optimistic fan of the Chicago Cubs.