When George Washington said, “Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, and most noble employment of man,” he understood the dedication and hard work of U.S. farmers and the importance of this work. Now, moving into the fall agricultural (agri) harvest season, we’re looking at the challenges impacting these diligent U.S. farmers as they prepare their crops for export.
Greg Adams, Director Regional Sales, Hapag-Lloyd, one of our proud ocean carrier members, shares his thoughts about agri peak season and what Hapag-Lloyd is doing to assist agri shippers during this important selling period.
“Agricultural shippers are concerned about many issues that may impact their global supply chains. Vessel and truck capacity, along with equipment availability are top concerns. Chassis for intermodal container drayage and containers, as well as the condition of containers, are all important for reliable container moves for agri exports,” said Greg. “I’m happy to say that Hapag-Lloyd generally has surplus equipment in most Midwest locations.”
To address the needs of agri shippers, Greg explained that he “spends a great deal of time with vendors sharing forecasts and planning so customers have the optimal resources available. Overall, Hapag Lloyd is anticipating a strong 2018 harvest season.”
When asked about the impact of U.S.-China tariffs on agri exports, Greg explained that “the China tariffs, at this point, are mainly affecting bulk vessel shipments. And, since containerized agri cargo has recently shifted to other Asian countries, mainly East Asia and Bangladesh, as well as the Middle East, Europe and Mediterranean, to a lesser degree, the impact may not be as great due to this diversification. We’ll continue to closely monitor geo-political uncertainty and the potential risks.”
Hapag-Lloyd, as a member of NYSHEX, provides its customers the opportunity to secure a contract that has a guarantee of equipment and space as booked. To date, 99.8% of all contracts booked on NYSHEX have moved as contracted which is particularly important for the export of perishables. Hapag currently has an array of Transpacific westbound service offerings on NYSHEX, including services to China, as well as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. “We’re looking forward to strengthening our agri shipper relationships this harvest season by delivering space and equipment certainty and the comprehensive services they require,” said Greg.
“At Hapag-Lloyd, we are enthusiastic about adopting innovative digital solutions to improve our customers’ experience. NYSHEX offers a binding commitment from both the ocean carrier and the shipper creating a healthier fundamental container shipping transaction that improves business performance for all. This is going to be a successful peak season,” said Greg. George Washington will be pleased!