The situation in Ocean Freight in the logistics industry is tough at the moment as the industry experience capacity challenges in both Air and Ocean Freight. At the same time, there is a shortage of equipment, which adds additional challenges for logistics providers who have to solve how to transport their customer goods reliably and on time.
Aditi Rasquinha joined the logistics provider DB Schenker as the Head of Ocean Freight in the Asia Pacific region. A 39-year-old woman and already a specialist in this field, she has worked for various logistics providers and has much experience.
Logistics Matters did an interview with Aditi Rasquinha on Ocean Freight and her view on the current situation, new experiences, and impact had on the Ocean Freight Business due to the pandemic.
Logistics Matters: What does the situation in Ocean Freight APAC look like at the moment?
Aditi Rasquinha: “For Asia Pacific, the volume demand is growing across the board. The challenge remains with finding space and equipment. The transpacific situation is more demanding than the far east west bound situation, and I think this trend will continue for at least the next six months. The market dynamics have shifted from the beneficial cargo owners, and freight forwarders have more power over the carriers, claiming more control over rates, space, and equipment.”
Logistics Matters: How has the situation changed in the last year? How has Corona affected the situation?
Aditi Rasqhinha: In 2020, the space and equipment challenge started with Transpacific, and towards the end of the year, the far east west bound was also impacted. This year, both trades continue to be affected. We see unprecedented rate levels across the board. Corona further moves the situation as we find ports and factories regularly closed due to breakout. This has created an immense backlog and shortage of equipment as the turnaround time for usage is longer.
Logistics Matters: What are the upcoming opportunities for the logistic industry?
Aditi Rasquinha: From my point of view, there are three significant opportunities which we are faced with.
At first, Digitalization: To transport efficiently, we have to use digital tools to plan our volumes, our processes, and our potential. We have to figure out how to use artificial intelligence, the possibility of data, and be ahead of the curve riding the first wave. Digitalization is a big opportunity for us but also a big transformation challenge.
Second, Carriers are entering the forwarder space with end-to-end service offerings: So, we have to rethink our products, we have to offer our customers the best way to transport, the best service, and the best quality so that we are their first choice as a logistics provider.
And last but not least, Sustainability: Since 2020, the sulfur restrictions in fuel have changed to a lower limit to be more sustainable in Ocean Freight. This is great but not enough. We have to think about biofuels and other more sustainable options for ships. This is a huge task we, as the logistics industry, have to take on and show responsibility. At the same time, we have to deal with the infrastructure we have in place. So, to serve both aspects, we have to develop sustainable opportunities, as fast as possible, which are at the same time affordable and accessible for everyone.
Logistics Matters: How is DB Schenker managing these challenges?
Aditi Rasquinha: DB Schenker invests in a digital presence through products like Connect 4.0 Ocean. We are also enhancing our end-to-end order management and visibility portfolio through our products. DB Schenker has made headway with carbon neutrality in Air Freight by using sustainable aviation fuel. And we look to have similar options in Ocean Freight. We communicate the change expectation in biofuels with carriers and partner with them on these initiatives.
Logistics Matters: How do you think the future in Ocean will look like?
Aditi Rasquinha: 80% of world trade moves on the Ocean, and this trend will continue. What will change is the traditional aspects, which will evolve digitally. Increased customer expectations on transparency and visibility, as well as demands on sustainable alternatives. I’m looking forward to being part of this development.
Published: August 2021