NVOs accounted for 53.1 per cent of Asian imports from January through April, an increase of eight percentage points for the same period in 2020. The share of carrier-direct bookings fell to 46.9 per cent, down from 54.9 per cent.
'There is absolutely no additional capacity, either through the biggest guys or the next tier, so the vehicle for handling growing volumes has shifted,' said NVO Farrow COO David Bennett.
NVOs offer a full menu of services to shippers, such as cargo booking and shipment tracking and tracing. They also assist in arranging inland transportation from US ports to the destination.
Third-tier NVOs, which handle less than 85,000 TEU annually, increased their share 1.2 per cent to 56.1 per cent in the same period.
The ten largest NVOs, which handle annual volumes of US imports from Asia of 150,000 TEU or more, slipped 1.4 per cent to 31.9 per cent.
The second tier of NVOs, with annual volumes of 85,000 to 150,000 TEU, increased their share 0.2 per cent to 12 per cent.
As US imports from Asia are currently up 39 per cent, carriers have reported that vessel space leaving Asia is exceptionally tight, causing the largest NVOs to not book much additional cargo.
'The only way to grow the market now is from the bottom up,' said Mr Bennett.
NVO consultant Jon Monroe commented that shippers are turning to NVOs for help in managing their shipping needs.
'The realisation that the supply chain issues we are facing might get worse rather than better is forcing companies to engage more in proactively managing their supply chains. NVOCCs are still the best place to monitor premium charges,' said Mr Monroe.