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Charterers Taking Charge

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Charterers Taking Charge
Charterers have long been an influence in shipping.  From the terms of the deal and vetting requirements to the recent Sea Cargo Charter, they have a strong voice in how ships are run:
When money talks, there are few interruptions.
– Herbert V. Prochnow
For the past few years, I have cautioned shipping that if we didn’t get the BUSINESS of shipping right, companies like Amazon and Alibaba will run their own ships.  Since what they specialize in is logistics, it is no surprise that this has come to pass.  Time will tell if they choose to use their vast expertise to expand.

I was taken aback, however, that a company like Home Depot would begin chartering its own ships.  Yes, like other retailers their business was challenged by the impacts of COVID on the supply chain.  But do they really understand the complexity of shipping and its role in the supply chain?  Again, time will tell whether this strategy is successful.

In all cases, however, these shifts illuminate maritime’s need to either get better at the business of shipping or better communicate its ability to do so.  This week I participated in a SHIPPINGInsight podcast with Dr. Usama Fayyad of Open-Insights who urged the industry to focus more energy on the use of digitalization to increase efficiency.  In addition to saving money, reducing emissions, and providing a stable service it just makes good business sense.

That money talks, I’ll not deny, I heard it once: It said, ‘Goodbye’.
Richard Armour

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