A survey conducted by Drewry Shipping Consultants and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) revealed that shippers and forwarders are not satisfied with the customer services provided by container shipping lines during past year.
Hundreds of exporters, freight forwarders and importers from all over the world were contacted last month by Drewry and ESC to find out the level of satisfaction related to 16 price and non-price related attributes of the services provided by ocean carriers, in a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). The survey also asked about areas of improvement, and how quality varies by type of carrier.
The results showed that customers are not convinced with the quality of services provided by shipping lines in 2016, as any of the carriers got a higher score than 3.3 for any of the 16 attributes.
The worst areas in terms of satisfaction were “carrier financial stability”, “quality of customer service” and “reliability of booking/cargo shipped as booked”. On the other hand, the most satisfied were “price of service”, “accurate documentation” and “quality of equipment (containers)”.
Fabien Becquelin, Maritime Policy Manager at ESC said that in today’s shipping industry, the customers want to be also treated as business partners when discussing their container transport needs.
Other issues that got low levels of satisfaction were the “clarity of prices and surcharges” and “transit times”.
“Shippers and forwarders clearly see the necessity for the carrier industry to invest in IT and to balance the needs for cost competitiveness and for more predictability and reliability,” said Philip Damas, head of the logistics practice of Drewry.
Drewry and the ESC are planning to run the survey every year to keep the track on shippers and forwarders levels of satisfaction.