The groupage of the seas

LCL-Services: Global transportation options with high economic efficiency and planning reliability.

Attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea and the associated detours and shipping delays are increasingly becoming a threat to the smooth transportation of goods and therefore also to international trade. In this interview, Christian Kruse, Head of Global Ocean Freight LCL, explains the role of intercontinental groupage, LCL (Less-than-Container-Load) services, and the specific advantages they bring for customers.

Mr. Kruse, what is the current situation in the ocean freight market?

Ocean freight is currently experiencing rather turbulent times. Since the beginning of the crisis in the Red Sea in mid-December last year, spot rates have risen sharply. At the same time, the situation is leading to longer transit times, as ships have to take long detours around the region. Unfortunately, we currently see no signs of a rapid solution. We are also experiencing noticeable delays on transport routes that do not appear to have any points of contact with the Red Sea, such as transports from India to China.

Overall, we have learned our lessons from the coronavirus crisis in sea freight. It has become clear that it is important to be prepared for potential bottlenecks in the market and to offer our customers a resilient and transparent supply chain.

As a logistics provider, how do you support your customers in this?

With our LCL consolidation service, i.e. consolidated groupage services, we offer a reliable and plannable transport solution in sea freight, although the current shipping delays are already causing us headaches.

With this "groupage of the seas", we consolidate the shipments of our customers in Asia, Europe, South Africa, North and South America and combine them into LCL consolidated containers. The smaller consignment sizes ensure greater flexibility, while regular weekly departures also reduce transit times. We therefore handle the entire transport process reliably and thus optimize our customers' supply chains.

In this complicated phase, with many delays in carrier schedules, our focus is on providing our customers with timely information and, if necessary, advising them on alternative transport routes

For which customers is the LCL consolidation service suitable?

LCL is particularly suitable for globally active customers who have a regular volume of shipments, but not enough to fill an entire container every week themselves. LCL transport is therefore an attractive option for keeping transport costs in proportion to the shipment size.

Interview with: Christian Kruse
Christian Kruse is Head of Global Ocean Freight LCL at DACHSER
And how else do you benefit from it?

Thanks to the weekly departures, i.e. immediate shipping via LCL, we help our customers' supply chains to run more smoothly - so goods don't have to wait unnecessarily for transportation until an entire container is filled, for example. With our LCL services, we offer global transportation options with high efficiency and planning reliability from a single source - naturally with the usual high DACHSER quality. Customs clearance services and transparency across the supply chain through our IT systems are also part of the portfolio. Another important aspect is that our customers gain access to our global network and thus a holistic approach to their worldwide procurement and distribution.

Can you give us an example to explain this in more detail?

Let's take a customer from southern Germany, for example, who imports his goods from Asia with us. At the point of departure, we select the appropriate routing for each shipment in order to unload the LCL container at a DACHSER branch in southern Germany as close as possible to the delivery address. Transportation from the port to the DACHSER branch is carried out by combined rail transport.

This gives our customers significant advantages, which are particularly noticeable compared to imports that are unloaded at the seaport and transported from there by truck to the hinterland. By unloading the container at a local DACHSER branch, the shipment is delivered immediately. This significantly reduces the number of transshipments and the associated risks. Our LCL solution is more cost-effective, faster and also reduces the CO2 footprint.

What does it take to manage this complexity in the long term?

High-quality LCL transports naturally also require an experienced, international team in order to manage the diversity of the supply chain safely in the long term, especially in difficult times. To this end, we are represented by our experts on all continents, which means we have a local presence with a great deal of logistics expertise and are always close to the market. Our network is growing continously and we are well equipped to get through stormy times safely.

Thanks a lot for the interview!

DACHSER worldwide
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Contact Vernice Chu Communications Manager Asia Pacific