10 trends from the ferry business, about the ferry business
Did you know that 80% of the global trade by volume and over 70% of global trade by value are carried by sea and handled by ports worldwide*. With that in mind, it is not difficult to understand why shipping logistics is an important focus area for us at Stena Line. But what are the big trends within our business – when it comes to logistics, network and fleet? Our very own experts, Peter and Lance share their thoughts.
Peter Kleberg has an extensive experience in both the logistics and shipping industry and has worked with Shipping Logistics within Stena Line since 2013. Before that he worked for DFDS Seaways and for North Sea RoRo as Sales and Marketing Director.
Here are Peter’s thoughts about the current trends within logistics;
- The biggest and the best – The trend that we have seen for some years now with major pan European trailer operators taking over small family owned and operated transportation companies seems to continue.
- Denmark in the lead – In northern Europe, it is the Danish transport companies that win market shares. The explanation lies in Denmark’s geographical position, being the land bridge between the Nordic countries and Europe and being a country where the haulage industry have developed into sophisticated businesses, acquiring companies in both Europe and Scandinavia.
- .com companies decide the conditions – .com (dot com) companies, i.e. web based companies are signing new deals directly with the industrial companies instead of working via agents which demands for a new way of working.
- Longer contracts – The industry requires a longer contract. Today it is both complicated and time-consuming to put together an RFQ (Request for quotation) and therefore the industry wants to set up longer contracts. This is nothing new; the automotive industry has had this for a long time.
- Welcome to the Uber world – Haulers regularly report where their units are and the industry make real time reports about where they need trailers. It’s a new kind of reality – an Uber world.
Lance Trengereid joined Stena Line and our very own Network and Fleet team, which works with optimising the fleet, in 2012. Before that he worked as Business Controller for industrial shipping at TransAtlantic. Lance has also experience from Volvo Cars as financial analyst.
Here are Lance’s thoughts about current trends within network and fleet;
- Smart design on newbuildings – Several operators have announced orders for newbuildings, both RoPax and RoRo vessels. Flexible design which enables conversion/adaption to different type of fuels and gas cleaning equipment are important factors when constructing new vessels. Economies of scale are also important, especially within the RoRo segment. By constructing vessels with a high lane meter capacity (combination of length, width, number of decks) the vessel cost per lane meter can be pushed down generating advantages on the cost side.
- Sustainable shipping – Like Stena Line, more and more companies within shipping are focusing on environmental issues, and to be more exact the focus is put on fuel and emissions. Methanol and LNG are in focus when it comes to fuel, scrubbers when it comes to purification of emissions, battery operation for maneuvering and shore power at berth, and so on.
- Partnerships – As mentioned above, larger operators buy smaller operators but it is also more common with partnerships between operators to be able to offer a larger network. Cobelfret, Fjordline and Colorline (Hirtshals) are just a few examples of this.
- Digitalisation, customer touchpoints – E-commerce and digitalisation of the business is becoming increasingly important to customers. A good example where customers have pushed for digital development is mobile solutions for reservation and cancellation.
- Digitalisation, ships – Another area where digitalisation is becoming increasingly important is onboard the ships to reduce environmental impact. A lot of projects are ongoing within this area. As one example from our own business, Stena Line has successfully implemented a Fuel Management System on a majority of the ships, reducing fuel consumption significantly.
* According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)