Maersk has terminated its agreement with DB Schenker after the German company attempted to hijack customers from Damco. DB Schenker confirms the break up to ShippingWatch but does not link it to the offer sent to Damco’s customers. A German media reports that CEO Søren Skou was personally involved in the decision to terminate the agreement with DB Schenker.
Below are the notable comments on the story.
I agree with Jens Bjorn Andersen assessment that this development is a ‘paradigm shift’. Nobody to blame for that but just another ‘logical’ development, same as the acceleration of digitalization. Verticalization in the container shipping industry has been on the agenda for far more than 10 years already and seems to start ‘materializing’ now. While there will always be a need for freight forwarders/NVOCC’s (‘Complex shipments ‘ and ‘Special’ cargo, DGD cargo, OOG, BBK) I believe the role and value proposition of the FWD/NVOCC to their customers may look very different in future than it does now.
I don’t understand why Maersk has “overreacted” regarding DBSchenker assuring Damco FCL customers not to worry. Damco is/was a NVOCC. DBSchenker is a NVOCC. But Maersk has decided to discontinue the NVOCC activity of Damco. Let’s be clear: The new Maersk is a VOCC (used to be called Maersk Line), a Freight Forwarder (incl. Airfreight) and a Solutions Provider (Buyer’s Consolidator/SCM). Thus Maersk is “not a NVOCC”! What’s even more interesting: Maersk has already hired a no. of Freight Forwarding Professionals. Thus it is clear that Maersk will go after the BCO business which is “today largely controlled by the NVOCC customers of Maersk” (i.e. the Top 20 NVOCC’s). Any which way: Maersk will not/cannot support their NVOCC customers much longer. Possibly Maersk will target the customers of DBSchenker first. Let the BCO’s decide who they want to work with, particularly if the BCO’s are looking for a neutral “consolidator”. Interesting times ahead.
Interesting development. I wonder how many more “breakups” are really possible. There is only so much capacity and most of it controlled by the top 6 carriers. Top forwarders must be careful not to over commit with one line vs. another (and this move points in that direction). Could the same happen with CMA logistics and CMA who walk away from their top NVO partners as a result of new carrier strategies? Carrier forwarder hybrids could trigger changes in the way the industry does things.
As a freight forwarder, I love what DB Schenker did, we shouldn’t lose our ground without resisting and howsoever possible we should fight the ocean carriers and limit their role to sailing boats.
Earlier: DB Schenker to AP Møller-Mærsk: Welcome to the jungle 11.SEP.20