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  • DynaLiners Opinion - An invisible trade in the limelight

    Transhipment and associated Feedering is an invisible trade. It concerns containers that do not exist in statistics on the worldwide carriage of full containers.

    It is commercial full containers that are counted to assess the world full container trade, which reached around 168 million TEU in 2017. Commercial full containers are shipped on a Bill of Lading covering the carriage of the boxes from their (first) port of loading until the (ultimate) port of destination.

    In contrast, a feeder move constitutes an operational port-to-port activity, arranged by the mainline carrier using the services of a feeder company. Feeder containers usually travel on a Service Bill of Lading issued by the feeder operator to his principal, the mainline carrier.

    In the case of feedering, not the cargo but the container, full or empty, is the cargo. Relevant statistics do no exists, but the total number of feedered containers could be estimated at 67 million TEU worldwide.

    Feeder boxes may not exist in full container trade statistics, they count double in port-handled container statistics. In that case, both the move from the mainline vessel and the handling into the feeder are counted.

    Feedering is typically a shipping activity outside the limelight of the fancy big ships, but not recently. World’s third largest terminal operator DP World took over world’s second largest common feeder operator Unifeeder.

    Why? Is it part of a larger logistics plan that is yet to be revealed? If DP World would expect Unifeeder’s mainline customers to shift to its terminals, that is not the way it works! It is the feeder ship that follows the mainline vessel, not vice versa.

    Want to know more? Want to obtain?

    TRANSHIPMENT & FEEDERING - Trades and Operators - Ships and Hubs

    Dirk Visser - Senior Shipping Consultant - Dynamar B.V. -