Carriers to Debate ‘New World’ of Shipping


Regional heads from APL, CMA CGM, Hamburg Süd, Maersk Line, MSC and the Mexican Association of Shipping Agents will gather in Cancun this October at the TOC Americas Conference to look at the big changes ahead for liner shipping operations and networks across the Americas.

The recent opening of the expanded Panama Canal has helped pave the way for a new era of ‘big shipping’ for North and Latin America, with potentially profound effects for container trade flows, ports and intermodal operations right across the region.

As the first wave of 8,000-10,000 TEU ‘Neopanamax’ vessels starts to flow through the widened canal, and with merger-and-acquisition and alliance activity rapidly reshaping the shipping landscape, ocean carriers will gather to take stock and discuss the future with other key supply chain members.

Efraín Osorio, Head of Latin America Trade for APL, is the latest regional liner executive to confirm his attendance.

He joins an October 11 session on ‘Forecasting the Future of Shipping Networks: the Changing Dynamics of Liner Trades’ alongside Maximiliano Alcorta, Regional Operations Manager at MSC Chile.

Other speakers include Matthias Dietrich, SVP of Region Caribbean & Latin America West Coast for Hamburg Süd, Vino Kumar, Director in the Americas of Operations and Logistics at CMA CGM, and Mario Veraldo, Managing Director of Mexico & Middle America at Maersk Line.

Analysis: Top 5 Trends Shaping Shipping

Michael Kaasner Kristiansen, former Head of Operations for Maersk Line for Latin America and the Caribbean said that ocean carriers will use the Panama Canal expansion to “reap much-needed synergies by combining east-west and north-south liner networks, using larger tonnage optimised via transhipment.”

The first stage of the changes will be completed in Q2, 2017 when the big three new east-west alliances – 2M with Hyundai, The Ocean Alliance and The Alliance – finalise the deployment of their new liner networks.

Mr Kristiansen said: “Systematic capacity management, deployment optimization and network synergies offer significant upsides” to a straitened shipping sector.

Carrier consolidation is fuelling the trend towards bigger tonnage on Americas trades – witness the Ocean Alliance’s recent announcement that it will deploy 18,000 TEU vessels on the Transpacific – but this coincides with a period of low to no trade growth.

The upshot is said to be fewer liner services, said Kristiansen, and “larger but fewer business opportunities” for ports and terminals.

Understanding how ‘big ships, big carriers and big network synergies’ will impact regional port and terminal operations – and investment – will be a key part of the debate in 2016, with views from some of the biggest global and regional terminal operators, including APM Terminals, Grupo Mexgal, Port of Cartagena, Ports America, PSA, SSA Mexico, TC Mariel Cuba and Ultramar.

Shippers and 3PLs will also have their say on the broader supply chain impact, with guest speakers Bill Rooney, Vice President of Trade Management in North America for Kuehne + Nagel, the world’s largest ocean freight buyer.

Returning to Mexico for the first time in a decade, the 2.5 day event will also feature two country panels exploring the contrasting fortunes of Mexico and Brazil, a special Cold Chain focus and an in-depth look at the impact of digitisation, automation and IoT on regional supply chain, shipping and port operations.

PTI recently hosted its own Automation and Training Conference in London, in which PTI-TBA’s online training portal was launched as a solution for boosting terminal staff productivity.

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