Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Survey: shippers not happy with service of box carriers

Clients of container shipping lines have expressed dissatisfaction with the service these carriers provide, saying that service quality has deteriorated in the past year, according to the results of a survey conducted jointly by Drewry and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC).

The ESC and Drewry contacted several hundred shippers—exporters, importers, and freight forwarders—from all over the world in March 2017 and asked them how satisfied they were with 16 price- and non-price-related attributes of the services provided by ocean carriers.

The survey also looked into areas most in need of improvement and how quality varies by type of carrier.

On a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), customers on average did not rate carriers higher than 3.3 for any of the 16 service attributes, the survey showed.

The three areas of service or price in which shippers and forwarders were the most dissatisfied with were “carrier financial stability,” “quality of customer service” and “reliability of booking/cargo shipped as booked.”

At the other end of the spectrum, the three areas where they were the most satisfied were “price of service,” “accurate documentation,” and “quality of equipment (containers).”

“We see that shippers want to be treated not only as customers, but also as partners, when discussing their container transport requirements. In times when supply chains are becoming more and more complex, partnership is of key importance and unfortunately it is missing,” said Fabien Becquelin, maritime policy manager at ESC.

“Comparing transport modes, the air freight industry is suffering from similar problems to the container shipping industry, but it came to the conclusion that partnership is the only way out and is reaching out to the shippers,” Becquelin added.

“Shippers and forwarders clearly see the necessity for the carrier industry to invest in IT and to balance the needs for cost competitiveness and for more predictability and reliability,” said Philip Damas, head of the logistics practice of Drewry.

The ESC and Drewry said they plan to run the shipper and forwarder satisfaction survey regularly.

Photo: Guilhem Vellut from Tokyo, Japan

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