Maersk's 2018 Peak Season Take Aways

Back in August we talked to Matt Hill, Head of Transpacific Trade for Maersk North America about Maersk’s decision to start posting Transpacific eastbound offers on NYSHEX, and hear his outlook for the last months of 2018. (Read the post here.)

It seems like ages ago now. Despite the fact that shippers were ramping up for peak season, it was a calmer more predictable time. At that point, trade tariffs were more of a blip than a bogey on the overall ocean radar.

So much happened since then, that we decided it was time to do a reality check-in with Hill on the success of Maersk’s TPEB trial on NYSHEX and this year’s crazy peak season.

“What a difference a quarter makes, 2,160 little hours…”

Successive announcements of new trade tariffs caused a steady scramble for space among shippers in Q4 that never seemed to let up. As a result, Maersk’s TPEB trial went from being a soft launch to a stress test in no time.

Back in August, Hill anticipated a busy peak season, but when asked if it met his expectations, he responded, “It has and then some. There was essentially no off-peak this year following the typical slow down we normally see beginning in early October.”

He attributes this largely to the tariff regulations going into effect and shippers advancing 2019 inventory into Q4 to beat the January 1st tariff implementation.

Maersk’s decision to offer TPEB contracts on NYSHEX paid off.

In the face of the turmoil, the idea of guaranteed space and equipment at a fixed rate resonated with shippers, and Maersk’s offers on NYSHEX ended up being the perfect solution for the moment.

According to Hill, “Generally shippers responded favorably to our PAC eastbound offerings on NYSHEX this year. It seems to fit what it was the customers needed in such a space-pressed scenario across the industry, as it gave them a strong assurance on space.”

Mission accomplished for Maersk Line.

The trial run affirms NYSHEX’s place in Maersk’s mission “to be more flexible for a dynamic customer base that needs innovative supply chains,” as Hill described back in August.

There was a bit of right place, right time going on, too. According to Hill, “Being able to offer our customers an additional solution in such a unique year was certainly an upside. This was particularly important this year when customers were up against timelines which potentially had significant monetary impacts. I’m of course referring to the tariff implementation.” 

NYSHEX’s immeasurable impact.

Hill says that because of the scale with which the program was offered this year, it’s hard to get an accurate read on the overall efficiency related to vessel or equipment planning; nevertheless, he considers the trial to be a resounding success.

“It was absolutely something that had a positive impact on customer experience for the shippers that chose to take advantage of what we had on the exchange. Improving customer experience is of course a priority and THE key metric for us,” he says.  

Want to improve the quality of your CNY experience?

NYSHEX has lots of TPEB offers to ensure your shipments don’t get rolled and your sailings don’t get blanked. Add certainty to your supply chain and avoid costly disruptions by guaranteeing your space and equipment through NYSHEX. Join for free if you haven’t already:

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