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- Abir Thakurta
The litany of issues US importers are dealing with could stretch from one end of a containership to the other. Upstream pressures on production and downstream demand pressures are being exacerbated by a laundry list of disruptions on the water, including blank sailings, dwindling weekly capacity allocations, COVID-induced port shutdowns at the destination, and, of course, historic congestion and arrival delays at most US gateways. At the port, the problems don't stop: constraints on equipment, difficulty in returning empty containers, and uneven data quality between different terminals and carriers, to name just a few. Amid all of that lies a reshaping of the service providers in the industry. Container lines have famously raked in record profits. Some carriers are seeking to become more full-service transportation providers, while others are focused on core port-to-port operations. All are operating from a position of significant strength. This panel will dive into how these myriad dynamics might transform the way shippers and forwarders work with carriers, incorporating the strategic wisdom of a current shipper and two former shippers now in advisory roles to their peers.