For businesses getting increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of service from ocean carriers, the right 3PL or ISP can help navigate a volatile shipping landscape. 

Businesses that work with ocean freight carriers are looking for reliable logistics partnerships capable of delivering value to their supply chain. Considering everything that goes into a successful international supply chain — from securing the appropriate documentation to clearing ports with minimal delays — it’s understandable why shippers expect the highest quality of service from ocean freight carriers. 

With that said, securing such a partnership is no small task. Among all the options of ocean freight carriers out there, shippers need to find one that meets their needs, fits their budget, and will serve their supply chain — and customers — dependably. 

Unfortunately, a recent survey conducted by Drewry and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) shows that more shippers than ever are dissatisfied with the overall quality of service they’re getting from global ocean carriers. On a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), shippers gave ocean freight carriers a total score of 3.1 — 0.1 lower than last year. 

For businesses looking to invest in reliable partnerships with ocean freight carriers, this presents a challenge. How can you successfully navigate the options at your disposal and the choices you need to make in order to secure the best possible service? Thankfully, experience logistics providers can help. 

The Results of the Survey

Respondents had the chance to rate various services on the 1 to 5 scale. The services that received the worst feedback were clarity on prices and surcharges, transit times, and reliability of booking/cargo shipped, all receiving a score between 2.8 and 3. Additionally, shippers reported that their partnerships with ocean freight carriers had gotten worse between last year and this year in terms of the availability of different carriers, the price of service, the range of different services available, and overall service quality. 

However, not everything was bad news. Shippers responded that ocean freight carriers have improved when it comes to sustainability/green initiatives and financial stabilities, and most were generally positive on documentation accuracy and availability of equipment. Additionally, while satisfaction did take a dip this year, only 4% of shippers were “very dissatisfied” with carrier service — although only 6% were “very satisfied.”

What This Means for Shippers

For shippers that rely on ocean freight carriers to keep their supply chain functional, this survey underscores the challenges of finding and investing in reliable logistics partnerships. With shippers around the world reporting that more transparency is needed, that costs are too high, and that transit times are subpar, it’s vital that businesses find ocean freight carriers that can meet their needs time and time again. 

By doing so, shippers can expand their international footprint, serve their customers well, and secure their supply chain with trusted partners. However, spending time and money with ocean freight carriers that aren’t up to snuff can be a drag on your bottom line and affect your ability to meet your own customers’ expectations. 

How Logistics Providers Can Help

While larger enterprises may be able to weather the volatility of the ocean freight shipping market on their own, small and mid-sized businesses likely need to be more strategic about who they do business with. To that end, shippers should consider working with a third-party logistics partner (3PL) or integrated logistics services provider (ISP) that can help them find the best ocean freight carriers for their supply chain.

Thanks to more than two decades of experience in the shipping and logistics space, Primary Freight has the industry expertise and professionals contacts businesses need to find the best carriers available for their product, budget, and timetable. With an award-winning customer service team, cutting-edge infrastructure, and widespread partnerships, we can help you drive value for your business and secure the best ocean freight service for your needs. 

If you’d like to learn more about how award-winning shipping and logistics services from Primary Freight, contact us today at (800)-635-0013.