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N American marine terminal operators expand services inland

来源:    编辑:编辑部    发布:2018/04/12 10:36:52

THE truck capacity shortage and escalating transportation costs have driven North American marine terminal operators to expand their logistics services inland, saving beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) and their truckers time and money and securing more cargo for themselves.

Terminal operators are expanding beyond waterside operations by servicing intermediary container drop-off and pick-up locations that can be 100 miles or more from the ports. Drivers are also reducing their exposure to congested roadways and eliminating the need to call at congested marine terminals, thereby getting more revenue moves per day.

Terminal operators are either investing their own money in logistics operations, inland facilities, and trucks to serve their BCO customers, or they are partnering with logistics providers, motor carriers, and railroads who serve the same BCOs that are moving their containers through the terminals.

DP World and PSA are extending their control over the supply chain through strategic investments in logistics company acquisitions in overseas locations such as India and Peru. Such moves are not being made so much to diversify sources of revenue as to enhance the port or terminal operator's relationship with BCOs, improve service, and thereby build BCO loyalty to the port or terminal, said Lars Jensen, CEO of SeaIntelligence Consulting.

The terminals' extended control of the supply chain comes as ocean carriers have increased fees for BCOs as much as US$300 per container for existing contracts, in an attempt to recoup higher surface transportation costs.

At North American ports, where inland logistics is more advanced, some terminal operators are simply tightening their ties with their ocean carrier affiliates and the carriers' logistics partners to increase cargo velocity to inland locations. Others are investing in and taking control of logistics assets. Either way, BCOs support this development.

APM Terminals is partnering with BCOs and railroads to extend its inland reach. Jeremy Ford, head of commercial at APM North America, told a recent conference in Long Beach that its rail product is saving customers four to six days in transit to destinations in the Midwest by expediting the flow of rail cars from the APM terminal in New York-New Jersey.

APM is also partnering with Wal-Mart, which recently opened a 2-million-square-foot facility near its terminal at the Port of Mobile, to customise services for the large retailer. Mr Ford said it is a two-way process in which APM and Wal-Mart learn to better understand each other's operations in order to improve cargo velocity.

Rail-served facilities are also being developed by operating ports, such as Charleston and Savannah in the Southeast , reports IHS Media.