In a bid to overcome stuttering container volumes and tap into an alternative revenue stream, container lines are looking to target out-of-gauge cargo, which includes reefer and dangerous goods, and project logistics cargo, according to The Loadstar.
David Piel, Senior Manager of Special Cargo in Europe at Hapag-Lloyd, said: “The feedback of customers is that they welcome the extra competition.
“The opening of Iran is likely to lead to a lot of investment, especially in the oil industry, while a lot of the other oil-producing countries are also investing in infrastructure to diversify their economies.
“For example, we are finding that the trade between the Far East and Middle East for special cargo has great potential.
“Our advantage is having weekly sailings and offering a global network. We are calling at all the main ports on an almost daily basis, while our feeder services are going to smaller ports and we can then tranship at hub ports.”
The container market has recently seen a big slump in demand brought about by weak global demand, an increasingly problematic situation with liners ordering ships of ever-larger capacity.
Despite a recent drop in global spot rates, the market appears to be improving, if only marginally. According to Bloomberg Business, the Baltic Dry Index is up to 388 points, compared to a recent slump of around 300.
Watch video clip of Olaf Merk, Administrator of Ports and Shipping at the ITF of the OECD, discuss four ways the shipping industry can tackle overcapacity.