We all know that the global economic crisis hit many businesses hard in the last decade. The thing is; even several years later many industries are still feeling the effects. Many well-known brands have gone bust, and thousands of people have lost their jobs.
The sea freight industry seems to be an exception. Shipping companies appear to have weathered the storm and made it through! There are many reasons why they experienced few adverse effects from the last decade.
So, what is the key to their secret? And could other industries learn a thing or two about how they survived so well? Let me share with you some insights in the industry.
Rising demand for sea freight services
Many of the world’s leading countries import goods from overseas. It’s no secret that the Far East and China, in particular, are big exporters. Most of the things we use in our daily lives get assembled in that part of the world.
Air freight is an expensive way of getting those items to us, and so it’s more affordable to use sea freight. Plus, there’s also the fact that ships can carry larger volumes of cargo than planes.
One interesting fact is that we as Westerners are importing more goods than ever before. A bigger demand for products made abroad means there is a larger need for sea freight services.
Bigger ships are getting used to transport goods
Maritime technology has come a long way in the past twenty years. Today, it’s not uncommon to see ships getting built that are the size of small towns! New dockyards get built all the time to accommodate these larger vessels.
That means we can get the things we want quicker. So, it doesn’t matter if we want a new car or the latest gadget. We can be sure there will be plenty of products to go around!
Shipping companies aren’t always buying new ships
It was once the “done thing” to have new ships commissioned for sea freight companies. Nowadays, they are doing their bit for the environment and reusing existing stock.
As you can imagine, there is also an economic reason behind the concept. Shallow drafted product tankers for sale are cheaper to buy used than new. That means companies can use their resources to grow other areas of their businesses.
Old shipping containers get sold and repurposed
One might assume that old shipping containers are no longer fit for purpose. But, did you know most of them don’t end up getting sold to scrap metal merchants? Instead, plenty of those containers get sold to individuals and businesses for various purposes.
For example, some create affordable accommodation and storage facilities with them. Others use them as creative workspaces in up and coming areas of major cities. These days, wherever you go, you’re likely to find a repurposed shipping container somewhere!
They are more flexible with their customers
Shipping companies want to make as much money as possible. They now realise that they have to be more flexible with their customers. For example, one individual may not wish to use up a whole container. Instead, they offer people the chance to share a container.
That arrangement works well for freight firms because they make a sale. And the customers slash their shipping costs in half!