REGIONAL> Development
Time to change in the global shipping market
By Zhu Chengpei and Zhang Xiaomin (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-12 17:46

DALIAN: More than 500 professional managers from the world shipping community gathered to discuss new developing patterns during the weekend at the Third Global Shipping Summit in the port city of Northeast China’s Liaoning province.

“It is no doubt that the industry needs new patterns to tide over the current crisis. The theme of the summit is New New Patterns. It means that we need to find new methods and new countermeasure on the basis of analysis of the new market situation,” said Kang Shuchun, chairman of the organizing committee and CEO of, the sponsor of the event.

Kang introduced Shipping Mart, the core business of, adopted a new operational pattern, which combines E-commerce and shipping agents.

“By the end of 2007, 87 companies and 26 ports from all over the world have become members of Shipping Mart. It is expected to take three percent of the Chinese container market by 2010. We are confident that the system can provide the biggest online platform for the global market of container transportation,” he said.

Mahin Faghfouri, president of International Multimodal Transport Association, said that the multimodal transport needs new patterns too because it now cannot meet the customers’ demands.

“Everything is changing. We need change to adapt to the new situation of the world. Shipping industry is very conservative. There have been no changes for many years. I think New New Patterns is a very good slogan. People have to learn to change,” she said.

Shipping agents need to find new operational pattern and provide new services in order to cope with the changing market, said Yang Gen, general manager of Shanghai-based Orient International Logistics (Holding) Co Ltd.

“For example, traditional shipping agents can extend their service from merely arranging cargo spaces to other additional services that can bring more profit,” he said.

According to Jürgen Sorgenfrei, Chairman of the Port of Hamburg, a lot of new ideas were put forward at the shipping summit.

“There are a lot of ideas on the market. The problem is we only have to start,” he said.

Sorgenfrei is optimistic about the future of the shipping industry.

“The world has experienced many crises. What we must do in the current crisis is to think about the old things in new ways and find new answers to the old questions,” he said.

“It is cleaning the market. For some entities, it’s hard. But for the whole community, it’s good. What we have to do in the future is to rebuild our industry and find the New New Patterns.

“We must look for new business opportunities and new partners and prepare for the future. I believe we will be success again very soon,” said Sorgenfrei.

The 4th Global Shipping Summit will be held next year in Le Havre of France.