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Shipper, forwarders less satisfied with box carrier services

SATISFACTION levels among shippers and forwarders over the quality of container shipping services in 2018 fell compared to the previous year, according to a global survey by Drewry and the European Shippers' Council

Shipper, forwarders less satisfied with box carrier services

SATISFACTION levels among shippers and forwarders over the quality of container shipping services in 2018 fell compared to the previous year, according to a global survey by Drewry and the European Shippers' Council

16 April 2019 - 19:00

SATISFACTION levels among shippers and forwarders over the quality of container shipping services in 2018 fell compared to the previous year, according to a global survey by Drewry and the European Shippers' Council.

The average satisfaction rate dropped 0.1 per cent from a year earlier to an average score of 3.1 on a scale of one (very dissatisfied) to five (very satisfied). The respondents - 224 shippers and 14 forwarders or non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) - on average did not rate any of the service attributes above 3.4.



In fact only four per cent said they were 'very dissatisfied' with the services provided by shipping lines worldwide and just six per cent said they were 'very satisfied.'



The clarity of prices and surcharges average rating dropped from 3.3 in last year's annual survey to below 2.8, which ranked the lowest among the 16 service attributes in this year's survey. Between eight and 10 per cent said the clarity of prices and surcharges was the most important criterion, which ranked fifth among the services, American Shipper reported.



'It is very clear that clarity of prices and surcharges has become a key topic for shippers and forwarders ?particularly medium-sized ones,' said Drewry head of logistics Philip Damas.



'Starting from the 2018 emergency fuel surcharges and continuing with the current uncertainty over post-IMO 2020 fuel surcharges, we expect the conversation between carriers and shippers to remain ongoing in 2019.



'In the short term, carriers ought to be more transparent in their new BAF matrices and formulae and need to address their customers' growing needs for predictability and visibility of carrier performance in the long run if they want to reach good levels of customer satisfaction,' he said.



Transit times and the reliability of booking were the second and third lowest rated services, both of which averaged between 2.8 and three. Transit times tied with the availability of cargo space as the most important criterion with between 14 and 16 per cent of respondents rating it first. The reliability of booking remained in third place with 10 per cent listing it as most important.



Shippers and freight forwarders were most satisfied with carrier financial stability, which averaged between 3.3 and 3.4; accurate documentation, which averaged 3.3; and the availability of containers, which averaged 3.2.



Some 25 per cent said shipping line financial stability improved in 2018 compared to 2017, which was the most among the services, and 10 per cent said it worsened. One-fifth of those polled said 'green' performance also improved, with five per cent saying it worsened.


WORLD SHIPPING

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