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ECU Worldwide has launched an expedited LCL service on Matson's weekly China-Long Beach Express run from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
Container lines and groupage operators are rolling out expedited and priority services as ocean shippers grapple with scores of canceled sailings as a result of measures to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and cargo owners with time-sensitive shipments see air cargo rates soar.
At least 77 liner sailings have or will be blanked as a result of the coronavirus effect on demand, according to data from Sea-Intelligence Maritime Consulting, which predicts the canceled sailings will result in 1.9 million fewer TEU in total 2020 volume.
In the air, the majority of passenger flights on the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic have been grounded, and with belly cargo comprising more than 60 percent of available global air freight capacity, this has created an acute shortage of lift at a time of strong demand.
In a direct response to the coronavirus-related decline in air and ocean capacity, less-than-container-load (LCL) consolidator ECU Worldwide this week launched an LCL express service that it said was aimed at its forwarder customers and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOs) on the trans-Pacific.
The new product, dubbed XLERATE, will operate on a dedicated route from Shanghai to Los Angeles, providing delivery to eight inland container freight stations (CFSs) in the US and offering a port-to-port transit time of 10 days via liner carrier Matson Navigation’s existing China-Long Beach Express service, the company said in a statement.
Express meets ocean
Tim Tudor, CEO of ECU Worldwide, said the new service would combine the benefits of an express service with a day-definite arrival and a simplified fee structure that includes price per kilogram on a freight-on-board (FOB) Shanghai basis through to the final CFS and the final CFS destination fees.
The LCL service allows shippers of time-sensitive products — such as medical supplies, raw materials to keep production lines moving, and perishables — to use ocean services and avoid the reduction in air cargo capacity through travel bans that has caused air freight prices to increase to levels 400 percent to 500 percent above those recorded in January before Chinese New Year.
In addition, CMA CGM this week launched its SEAPRIORITY Go product, which offers shippers priority container allocation and boarding, and a money-back guarantee if the cargo is rolled. The new service will be available on all major trades operated by CMA CGM from March 27 and will be available via the carrier’s online platform from the same date.
While not launched as a response to the coronavirus, the guaranteed ocean freight service offers shippers more certainty at a time when container shipping capacity is in short supply and shippers have been left with few alternatives. Rail services from China to Europe are in high demand and have limited space, and sea-air services via Dubai and Singapore, which in mid-February enjoyed a surge in popularity, have become harder to find with the grounding of Emirates Airlines passenger fleet and the suspension of most Singapore Airlines flights to Europe and the United States.
Mar 24, 2020
ECU WORLDWIDE LAUNCHES LCL EXPRESS SERVICE “XLERATE”
I just wanted to say a big thank you to Mark, Debbie and your teams for the great service we have received from ECU Worldwide. Your willingness and availability at all times are highly appreciated to achieve the service we get from yourselves.
Over a period of many years, Diamond Global Logistics have chosen to place business with ECU Worldwide UK. The service given to us by Ian, mark and their colleagues has been exemplary. In our view, ECU have set standards in customer service that other companies can only dream of. We are approached on a frequent basis by ECU’s competitors but no matter what they claim to be able to offer us, we are never convinced as to their abilities to attain the high standards that we seek in our service providers. In these days of rates being seen to be the all-important factor, with service often being an afterthought by many, ECU are a breath of fresh air in the marketplace. The relationship Diamond Global Logistics has with ECU is one that we place great value upon.
ECU Worldwide offers exceptional service at competitive prices and is our first choice for LCL shipments in the industry. Along with its extensive ocean freight service portfolio, they also provide a logistic hub and spoke service for the actual door-to-port service.