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Freight forwarder expresses concern about shipping alliances’

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A Miami-headquartered online freight forwarder has warned that the launch next week of new shipping alliances will result in a shortage of options for freight forwarders.

The company’s co-founder raised concerns that the shipping companies’ reshuffle may reduce shipping options, which were already affected by the recent collapse of South Korean carrier Hanjin Shipping.

He said: “Given the sharing of vessels and routes, this basically translates into multiple carriers having the exact same schedule. Instead of having seven or eight carriers offering a sailing of their own, we will perhaps only be getting three.

“Generally, this means having fewer alternatives when customers need to meet certain deadlines, which can be rather frustrating.”

The four existing shipping alliances will be regrouped into three, namely THE Alliance, Ocean Alliance and 2M, starting from April 1 this year.

Together, the three alliances account for 77.2% of global container capacity and 96% of all East-West trades.