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ESC – European Shippers' Council

ESC and export problem, mentioned in the press:

Since ESC’s first press release of the 17th of March 2017, the press reported on the problems that shippers are faced with in ports: the insufficient capacity to take all shipments, no guarantee that all goods of a shipment will be loaded, increasing prices for the available slots. ESC gave interviews and provided additional information to a number of publications:

  1. American Shipper, Shanghai’s Yangshan Port suffers massive delays”, 17.04.2017
  2. Journal of Commerce, “Asia-Europe spot market begins to inch up”, 14.04.2017
  3. PaRR, “Shipping alliances provoke global antitrust pushback”, 11.04.2017
  4. Lloyd’s List, “Carriers blame unseasonal demand for European exporters’ woes”, 06.04.2017
  5. The Wall Street Journal, “Cargo Owners Complain of ‘Total Mess’ Shipping Goods to Asia”, 05.04.2017
  6. The LoadStar, “Capacity-stricken box lines under fire from European shippers over lost contracts”, 05.04.2017
  7. Splash 24/7, “Extra capacity on main east-west trades set to calm shipper nerves”, 05.04.2017
  8. Lloyd’s List, “New alliances fail to reassure European shippers as cargo backlog grows”, 05.04.2017
  9. Journal of Commerce, “European shippers say exports to Asia delayed weeks”, 04.04.2017
  10. Splash 24/7, “Who’s fooling who as alliance reschuffle falls tomorrow”, 31.03.2017
  11. Shipping Watch, “Shippers want the EU to look into liner rules”, 29.03.2017
  12. Port technology, “Maiden Voyage Route Announced for Largest Containership”, 29.03.2017
  13. American Shipper, “ESC complains about ‘huge booking crunch’ “, 28.03.2017
  14. Port technology, “Shippers raise concern over alliance changes”, 28.03.2017
  15. Splash 24/7, “Shippers cry foul over April 1 reshuffle of the global container alliances”, 28.03.2017
  16. Nieuwsblad Transport, Reorganisatie allianties oorzaak voor capaciteitstekort, 23.03.2017
  17. Air cargo news, “Carriers see europe-asia demans surge as box lines feel a cpacity pinch”, 22.03.2017
  18. Fresh Plaza, “ESC asks for clarification capacity seaborne freight”, 22.03.2017.

Service quality of ocean carriers “poor to average”

The ESC and Drewry contacted several hundred of shippers and forwarders from all over the world in March 2017 and asked them how satisfied they were with the services provided by ocean carriers. According to the survey, the service provided by container shipping lines is rated as poor to average and has deteriorated in the past year. The three areas of service or price in which shippers and forwarders were the most dissatisfied with were “carrier financial stability”, “quality of customer service” and “reliability of booking/cargo shipped as booked”. More…

Second joint workshop with railways

On 6 April 2017, ESC organised a second joint workshop between shippers and railways on the competitiveness and attractiveness of rail freight. Discussions focused on the issues of reliability, with a request from shippers for more transparency, better customer care and improved performance, and last mile infrastructure and operations, which represent a big part of the costs of rail transport for shippers using conventional rail services. The group also reviewed and completed the draft action plan which will be finalised ahead of the meeting with rail freight CEOs on 4 May.

The joint workshop was followed by a meeting of the ESC railway transport council, where other hot topics such as railway noise and bans on noisy wagons, as well as involvement of end users in rail freight corridors were discussed.

The next meeting of the ESC RTC will take place on 14 June in Brussels. For more information or if you wish to join the group, please contact ESC RTC Manager Pauline Bastidon – / 0032 478776674.

10th edition of Multimodal

The 10th edition of Multimodal, the UK and Ireland’s premier freight transport, logistics and supply chain management event, took place from 4 to 6 April at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. Multimodal 2017 attracted almost 9,500 attendees, from all modes and all parts of the supply chain.

Participants were able to attend a range of seminars, some of which were provided by ESC’s member in the UK, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), and focused on topics as diverse as air cargo performance, megaships and maritime alliances, contracts of carriage and how to get the best out of your supplier when outsourcing, Brexit, the last mile in city logistics and the future of rail freight. Another highlight of Multimodal were the FTA Multimodal Awards, which took place on 4 April and recognised significant contributions in terms of carriers’ and 3PL’s performance and environmental efficiency.

The next edition of Multimodal will take place from 1 to 3 May 2018, at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information:

ESC Members Remain Concerned about Container Shipping

For many weeks now, ESC members have been expressing their concerns about the capacity crunch in Liner Shipping and the way ship owners handle it. To raise awareness, ESC publishes its first press release on 17 March 2017 on 17 March 2017 in which ESC describes the situation and invites both, authorities and ship owners, for a dialogue.

During ESC’s most recent and well attended Maritime Council held on 28 March 2017, the participants re-enforce their concerns as the situation always stays the same and ask for a more concrete action plan. ESC issues a second press release on 4 April 2017 underlining the problems experienced by shippers and providing a more concrete view on what ESC intends to do.

If, as a member of ESC, you require more information, please contact Fabien Becquelin at, or +33 142683480.

Joint shippers/railways workshop on 6 April

ESC is organising a second joint workshop with railways on ‘Rail freight competitiveness and attractiveness’ on 6 April, from 10.00 to 13.00, as part of the next ESC Railway Transport Council meeting.

This workshop will be open to all shippers that are members of national shippers’ associations and sectorial associations members of ESC, as well as direct members of ESC. It will also be attended by several railway undertakings members of CER, UIC and ERFA.


Meeting with Rail Freight Corridors – 21 February

On 21 February, Denis Choumert, President of ESC, and Pauline Bastidon, ESC Rail Manager, attended a strategy meeting with rail freight corridors to discuss railway undertakings and shippers’ expectations with regard to the corridors. The meeting was also attended by several shippers members of ESC or its member associations, representatives from railway undertakings and representatives from each of the nine European rail freight corridors. ESC highlighted the need for more reliable rail freight services, more attractive lead times and greater flexibility, that would all need to be provided to shippers at an attractive price in order to encourage more shippers to make use of rail freight.


FTA “Keep Britain Trading” event

On 15 March 2017, FTA organised a conference called ‘Keep Britain Trading’ which focused on the trade and logistics implications of Brexit. The conference gathered more than 160 participants from industry, the press and various UK Government Departments.

A key highlight from the event was a keynote speech by the Rt Hon David Jones MP, Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), who highlighted his vision of the UK as a global champion of free trade, noting that high-level dialogues with key trade partners had already started. He pressed industry to recognise that current arrangements would not continue in the future, but highlighted that the UK Government’s aim is to minimise additional red tape and ‘friction’. To this end, the UK Government wishes to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with the EU allowing cross-border trade to be as frictionless as possible, as well as a new customs agreement with the EU. (more…)