As of April 1, 2017 new ocean carrier alliances will begin operations, consequently impacting importers and exporters around the world. With a common implementation date and various processes to change, the international trade community is bracing for potential port and terminal disruptions.
When the new alliances begin operations this spring, service interruptions could include, but are not limited to, chassis dislocations, lengthy wait times for truckers and availability for pickup or return of containers.
The restructuring of ocean alliances could also shift which terminal works a vessel, creating fluctuations in terminal gate volumes and impact rail connections (ocean carriers contract with different railroad lines).
Additionally, the new alliances are expected to decrease the number of direct port calls resulting in an increased need for transshipping of containers. Depending on the sailing schedules, this could cause longer transit times for some routes.