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International transport: 6 trends and how Ritra responds to these trends

International transport: 6 trends and how Ritra responds to these trends

International transport freight forwarder Ritra Cargo

What are the trends in international transport for 2019? We are highlighting 6 trends that we expect (will) have a significant impact on shippers. We explain our views as forwarders and the steps we take to accommodate these trends.


1. Reducing CO2 emissions through transport

Cutting CO2 emissions is high on the global agenda. One good example of ongoing measures is the international ban on high-sulphur fuel for containerships. The impact of global transport on the environment is high on the agenda at Ritra Cargo and it hasn’t gone unnoticed that clients value this too.


As such, intern Rozwitha is working with Ritra Cargo to investigate how to calculate the CO2 emissions for a single shipment. The project examines the entire transport process via airfreight, sea freight, road freight, rail freight or a combination thereof. Whether it concerns transport to Canada via airfreight, a shipment to Turkey by truck or a sea transportation to Morocco, you will soon be able to see your exact carbon footprint.


Insight in CO2 emissions will initially only be possible for import shipments. This will also be enabled for export and cross-trade shipments as soon as possible. With this insight into the carbon footprint, Ritra Cargo wishes to help customers make a conscious transport decision, and contribute to a cleaner environment at the same time.


2. Sea freight on megaships

Containerships are constantly increasing in size, with shipping companies trying to save money. After all, a larger ship means space for more containers with less fuel required per container transport. There are disadvantages to this development.


For one, not all sea ports are able to process these megaships: as is the case in Bangladesh and for transport to India (depending on the port). As a result, goods with Rotterdam as final destination have to be transported on a smaller containership to a transhipment port first, for example Sri Lanka or Singapore. Here, the containers are transferred to the megaship. Therefore, depending on the country of origin, one extra transport leg via Singapore or Sri Lanka is necessary.


A megaship also spends more time in port, because more containers need to be processed. This often results in longer transit times. As a forwarder, we will always opt for the fastest transit time for your international transport. For example, transport from India may arrive as much as weeks earlier in the port of Rotterdam, depending on the chosen sailing.


3. Airfreight transport and paperless processes

Every international transport involves a sizeable document flow. This is especially true for airfreight, which means clearance and delivery of goods takes up unnecessary time. The e-Airwaybill (e-AWB) has gradually changed this since 2010.


The airports in Asia are at the forefront when it comes to using the e-AWB. On average, 60-70% of airfreight transport there are supported by this digital consignment note. With 80%, Changi airport in Singapore is one of the frontrunners. This means that you Singapore transport, once arrived at the airport, is processed in above average time. By contrast, you will have to wait a little longer for transport from Thailand, where the e-AWB is only used in 47% of cases.


Unfortunately, large-scale adoption of the e-AWB is still difficult because all parties – airport, airlines, forwarders – are required to invest in the necessary IT system and software. Some countries also demand that the original transport documents accompany the goods. It goes without saying that Ritra Cargo already uses e-AWBs wherever possible to speed up the process after arrival. There is international dialogue at the moment about the implementation of a surcharge on the use of paper transport documents for airfreight. This will hopefully accelerate the adoption of e-AWBs.


4. New Silk Route from China: rail freight

China has been one of the most important Dutch trade destinations for a long time. The country is especially big on fashion transport, but many other goods also originate from there. This country continues to develop swiftly in terms of opportunities for global transport. A good example of this is the rail connection along the New Silk Route.


Ritra Cargo has utilised the New Silk Route for quite some time now and uses it to organise rail-based container transport. This includes the route from Chengdu to Tilburg. It was recently announced that a rail connection between China and Coevorden is also likely to be established. Over the coming years, the New Silk Route is expected to keep developing, with new destinations and a higher frequency timetable. This will enhance the appeal of rail transport between China and the Netherlands for both import and export.


5. Scarcity in international road transport

Driver shortage has been a longstanding issue in the sector, not just in the Netherlands. European road transport is currently struggling with a massive 21% deficit. This could cause problems if you need to organise international truck transport to Turkey, Spain or Italy, for example. We therefore recommend that you notify us of your intended international transport in good time. It is difficult to predict how long this driver deficit will continue.


6. Fashion transport and ICT

Smart ICT solutions and easily accessible data-sharing are the future. It’s why Ritra Cargo has engaged in the future standards for data-sharing. We also offer an online communication platform in the shape of our ICT solution ‘Traffic Control System’ (TCS), allowing A to Z management of virtually every international transport. From your Thailand transport from Asia right up to your Morocco transport from Africa.


ICT solutions like TCS make global transport more transparent. For instance, a fashion transport from China can be monitored from the moment it leaves the supplier. This applies to import and export as well as cross-trade shipments, such as a direct transport from Canada from China. TCS also enables the management of a variety of matters surrounding the shipment. This could include accepting and consolidating sailings and scheduling final shipments. The possibilities are expanding.


If you have any questions after reading this article, then please contact us.


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