Part 2: Evergreen Line celebrates 50 years of success in the container shipping industry

What has happened in the container shipping industry over the past fifty years? And what does the future hold?

This is the second part of our articles series about the relationship between Evergreen Line and Greencarrier Liner Agency and the celebration of Evergreen Line’s fifty-year anniversary. If you haven’t read it yet, here is Part 1: Evergreen Line celebrates 50 years of success in the container shipping industry.

Challenges in the container shipping industry today versus 50 years ago

Even if a lot has happened during the past 50 years, some challenges still remain and new ones are lurking in the horizon.

“Infrastructure was and remains a challenge. Fifty years ago, the vessels were able to carry approximately a hundred TEU containers at the most, compared to 23,000 TEU containers today. This puts high pressure on ports and terminal capacity”, says Tuomas.

“Also, there is the issue with supply and demand. Many cities grow rapidly and have become huge importers, but they have little or no export. Containers arrive at the ports fully loaded but leave empty. The fill rate of a ship going from China to Europe, for example, is generally 90 to 100 per cent, while in the opposite direction, it is only half – at its height. Having to carry thousands of tonnes of empty containers, in an already strained and competitive industry, is a big concern. This is a global problem and a great challenge for the entire shipping industry – economically and from an environmental perspective”, says Fredrik.

Greencarrier Liner Agency and Evergreen Line prepares for the future

Operating in an industry that, perhaps more than any other, enables for a truly global economy – connecting countries, markets, businesses and people – also comes with great responsibility and the need to respond and evolve to new changes and customer demands.

Digitalisation will play a very important role in the future. It allows us to expand our sales options and customer service capabilities. Also, carriers will most likely start to control the transportation chain to an even greater extent – all the way from the producer to the consumer – and offer more extensive logistics solutions”, says Tuomas.

Fredrik agrees. “Digitalisation is definitely a future challenge. A lot of documentation is difficult to digitalise and the shipping industry is still somewhat conservative. How the goods flow will be managed and financed are major questions for the future. The blockchain technology and its transparency is also interesting to keep in mind. But a lot is happening and I think we will benefit greatly once new digital systems are up and running”, says Fredrik.

Also, increasing tonnage, continued strong price pressure, and more mergers are awaiting. “In the nineties, there were about 30 major shipping companies in operation. Today, there are about seven. In only a few years, the number will probably have dropped to five or six due to mergers”, Fredrik says.

But both Greencarrier Liner Agency and Evergreen Line are prepared for the future. “Greencarrier Liner Agency is a company built on knowledge. We want to contribute with our knowledge, involvement and commitment and be part of the dialogue to have on impact on the shipping industry and politicians – globally as well as locally”, says Fredrik.

Sustainability and environment is also part of the future plans, as it has always been a successful concept for Greencarrier Liner Agency. Fredrik explains: Over the years, we have increased our focus on smart and eco-friendly transport solutions to meet customer demands and be a frontrunner in the transport industry.

Tuomas continues: We always offer our customers alternative transport solutions when required and alternative shipping routes if necessary”. As for Evergreen Line, they are consequently pursuing the latest technology, compatible with modern environmental policies.

In line with the Greencarrier Spirit and the belief that everything is possible, both Tuomas and Fredrik are optimistic about the future.

“As there are many great challenges, there is also great potential to create new superior transport solutions. I believe the possibilities are just as great today as they were 50 years ago, and I look very much forward to continue working with Evergreen Line and see what we come up with together in the future”, Fredrik concludes.

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