With supply chains being upended, and the world in lockdown, COVID-19 is presenting some major challenges for businesses. Ocean freight has not been exempt from the COVID-19 threat either, with carriers feeling the full brunt of the lack of demand in the first half of 2020.
While it’s hard to say when we will all be returning to normality, it’s fair to say that we will return to a ‘new normal.’ For the shipping industry, this new normal is digitalization.
Shipping has taken hard knocks since January 2020. The last five years have not been stellar for ocean carriers as they feel the burden of having smaller rooms of error for losses.
Initially, 2020 was met with optimism in late 2019, with the only concerns being for IMO 2020 with extra charges and the cost of installing scrubbers. It has now become more apparent that with the lockdown in China in January, and the subsequent lockdown of Europe and North America, that demand for ocean freight has simply dropped.
What Does All This Mean for Shipping?
There is a potential loss of 10% of shipping volume due to COVID-19 (roughly a loss of 17 million carrier TEU). In addition, it is estimated that container lines are losing revenue of up to between $300m to $350m as they blank sailings. According to FreightWaves, the worst-case scenario for carriers is a collective loss of $23b this year.
Moody’s also downgraded the ocean shipping outlook of 2020 from stable to negative with an expected loss of 6-10% of carrier EBITDA. However, despite this, ocean freight has remained more resilient than other types of shipping.
Ocean Freight Has Remained Resilient During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Despite the negative outlook for the global economy and shipping in 2020, there are still some positives to recognize.
According to a DHL report on COVID-19 on March 10th, while airfreight continues to present challenges, ocean freight has remained relatively unaffected with China, Europe, North America, and many other regions still operating as normal with only a few ports being affected.
Likewise, China has already begun the road to recovery. Like post-SARS in 2004, there is an expected boom in demand for shipping, and economic activity will return, minus some initial haulage problems.
However, until a full recovery is in place, what can shippers do to ensure their cargo gets to where it needs to be?
Well, that’s where BlueX comes in, and we believe that the new way of shipping through digitalization will be the new standard of ocean shipping.
COVID-19 has been a disruptive element in 2020 that has both slowed and halted global supply chains. However, this disruptive element can be minimized with innovation, notable digitalization with the BlueX Standard.
What is the BlueX Standard?
The BlueX Standard is our promise for a seamless online Freight Commerce Platform (FCP) with digital services that shippers need and the monetization strategies for ocean carriers. Our FCP was developed with the expertise from both Silicon Valley and from the shipping industry.
Since 2019, we at BlueX have been striving to create a new way of shipping. From carriers to shippers, we offer a pathway to digitalize ocean shipping through our FreighTech-enabled FCP. By providing integrated trade services through a neutral ecosystem, we offer shippers a digitally seamless experience with the following benefits:
- Instant quotes
- Digital bookings
- Secured space
- Global, real-time sailing schedules
- Reliable data
- Real-time alerts and notifications
Added to that, we also offer ocean carriers the ability to monetize their containers through our white-label solution - GreenX, Evergreen Line’s BlueX powered online booking platform.
Traditionally, booking freight required a behemoth task of making phone calls, sending faxes, mail, emails, and waiting. While some shippers in the industry are comfortable with their current freight booking procedures, many of these methods are no longer possible during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Instead, you can make your bookings on GreenX, a BlueX white-label solution. The GreenX platform has been tailored for shippers, BCOs, and freight forwarders to book and manage their cargo. Making a booking is as simple as:
- Get an Instant Freight Quote - Fill in your port of origin and port of delivery, the type of container, and your estimated time of departure, and click search
- Choose a Port pair - Review all routes and rates for your cargo
- Enter Booking information - Fill in the information about your booking parties, shippers, consignees, importers, and forwarders
- Review and Reserve - Confirm your reservation after reviewing your booking
- Choose Your Payment Method - Choose between Traditional Payments via an Evergreen Line counter, payment through ACH (Automated Clearing House), or Payment Terms with our trade service partner, Decent (DLC)
- Manage Your Bookings - Managing everything online like your application and booking number, booking parties, the cut-off date, booking prices, and booking statuses
As our trade service partners continue to increase, our white-label solutions across all ocean carriers will be enhanced with new features to allow you to book freight online seamlessly.
To overcome COVID-19 and get your freight moving, simply register with GreenX here, and once you’re approved, you’ll be able to make digital bookings. If, however, you’d like to make digital bookings through our white-label solution via your preferred ocean carrier, please apply for our BlueX Shipper Ambassador Program to be part of the discussion to change how we ship cargo.