Destination to Watch: Myanmar

Destination to Watch: Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) is a name increasingly appearing in our booking systems. After 50 years of isolation, the recent surge in interest has stirred our creative team to investigate the new ‘destination to watch’.

The country’s economy is mainly supported by the agricultural production of rice. Rice farms span over 60% of the country’s total land area. But this fast developing country is catching up on decades of underdevelopment. The business opportunities are becoming vast and the country is becoming a key centre for resources.

90% of the world’s Rubies originate in Myanmar, prized for their purity and hue, with neighbouring Thailand buying the majority of the countries gems. The mountainous Mogok area, boasts “the valley of rubies” and visitors are able to gaze on the rare pigeon’s blood rubies and blue sapphires.

Thailand is not the only country benefiting from Myanmar’s growth as China and India have both formed strong bonds. Leading businesses are already operating in Myanmar for various sectors, including oil and gas exploration, IT, hydro power and port/building construction.

The new Silk Road development is expected to open trade doors for countless countries and Myanmar too is set to feature. The city of Mandalay will become part of the route stretching from Kunming to Kolkata, running through China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and India.

With renewable energy and our planets future becoming more and more prominent in policy and politics, Myanmar faces some major energy challenges. It has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world – only a third of the population have access to affordable and reliable electricity. With the world turning to technology more and more, it’s expected that the demand/need for electricity is said to increase by 700% by 2030.

Currently, 70% of Myanmar’s domestic energy is generated by hydro-power, as amazing as this is, it can be problematic due to unpredictable weather. The government is planning on adding more diverse types of energy to the country but have said that they will keep renewable energy as their priority. Solar and wind energy are great potential sources of energy for the developing country. With large scale infrastructure naturally comes opportunities for transportation companies. Huge, specialised equipment needed in infrastructure projects will require transportation especially as much of the investment is external.

Some of the key benefits for UK business exporting to Burma include:

  • strong historical and trading links with the UK with a recognition of British brands
  • increasing demand for products, equipment and services resulting from incoming foreign investment and a growing middle class
  • strong economic growth to date and positive future forecasts
  • Potential strengths of the Burma market:
  • access to 40% of the world’s population living in bordering countries
  • abundant natural resources
  • commitment to political and economic reform with strong international donor backing
  • proven agricultural capacity

With all this to consider perhaps we can expect many more bookings to Myanmar over the coming years.


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Prepared to go anywhere, providing it be forward

Prepared to go anywhere, providing it be forward

Another day another headline – forwarders under threat! Death of the Middleman! Automate or the industry won’t need you!

It’s not the kind of Monday motivation we look for. But it’s true, we should be worried. We’re under attack. New tech start-ups, ‘game-changing’ market entries from the big guys, aggressive competition from our long-term suppliers, all chipping away at the market share we work so hard to maintain. In truth we’ve been fighting a competitive and saturated market since the business was founded in 1994.

It’s been a while since I read any industry news and felt a sense of positivity about the global freight forwarder. With some article’s recently feeling more like a smear campaign than an ‘opinion piece.’ Is the only way to promote your new venture to attack existing businesses and forwarders in the market?

Shipping is not just about moving containers from A to B which is the premise some of the new tech start-ups rely on. A flat rate, inputted to a system, to quote a container from one destination to another. On the desk we all know it is so much more. Daily we experience customs clearance issues, customs brokerage, police escort arrangements, specialist handling, extreme weather conditions, and short shipments – the list goes on. Are we expecting a machine to process these considerations and make the same arrangements a human would?

When I tell my friends that I work for a freight forwarder they look at me blankly. I guess if you’re not in the industry you’d be forgiven for not knowing the term. I explain that we help importers and exporters transport their goods in a safe, efficient and cost effective way. By our own definition a freight forwarder has specialist knowledge to prepare the types of documents required for moving goods via sea, road, rail or air. There’s pick, pack, storage, distribution, warehousing, trucking considerations that need to work in sync for harmonious supply chains. So let’s say AI takes our place, how long would it take the machine to find the root of a problem, in one single part of the chain.

It’s not that we have anything against new tech start-ups, any entrepreneur developing software designed to make shippers lives easier is welcome in our office. When the right online platform comes along we’ll happily embrace it if it would add value for our customers.

Up to now I’ve tried 3 of the very publicly heralded freight marketplaces promising to revolutionise global shipping bookings. I entered a FOB 40ft Container from Shanghai to Felixstowe, one of the biggest trade lanes in the world. I was hoping for plethora of choice and super competitive rates. Quaking in my boots (thinking about my redundancy pay-out) I waited for the results to load only to be greeted with ‘your route cannot be found, sorry no rates found, no results found.’ I couldn’t even enter a destination on one site. Was I doing something wrong? And if I’m feeling like this imagine what a first time importer would think? Maybe they should change their slogans to “making global freight rates so transparent they can’t even be seen.”

We’d all welcome a sky scanner solution to the movement of global freight. It would certainly make our lives easier but I feel its living in a dream world. And even if we replaced people with amazing digitisation I would like to hope that the future of our world is not based on faceless online encounters. We visit a car dealership for the experience, the satisfaction of selecting the right product, the trust built from the test drive and the bargaining with the salesman. All these tangible aspects of a sale are still crucial for purchasing decisions. People still value people. They appreciate knowledge as value in the supply chain and lean on expertise… this is something technology can never really replace.

We love Andrews Craig Bennett’s article in Splash “War has been declared on forwarders.” Well if it’s a war they want try fighting us with the right weapons. We’re fighting back.

Kate’s opinion piece ‘prepared to go anywhere’ has been covered by a number of industry publications from Splash 247, to Lloyds and the Loadstar. It’s stirred some big debates online but we’d really love to hear your thoughts too…

Monton Cobras – PSN Tournament winners!

Monton Cobras – PSN Tournament winners!

The Monton Cobras are made up of 7 determined football fanatics, Callum, Lucas, Gracie, Addison, John, Travis, and Kody. Tuscor Lloyds are the proud sponsors of the Cobras training kits, keeping the team warm over the winter months.

On the 15th January 2017, the team took part in a very exciting tournament held at the local power league centre. 6 teams from across Salford came to play for the winning trophy but it was the Cobras who brought their team to the victory, cheering as they brought the trophy home.

The Cobras under 7’s formed last September by enthusiastic parents and two equally determined coaches Jason and Liam, who have taught the children resilience, form and the importance of working together.

Monton Cobras Tuscor Lloyds

It looks like there’s no stopping the cobras with the team moving through the league as well as the fantastic result at the weekend’s tournament.

We couldn’t be any prouder… keep up the good work Cobras we can’t wait to see what trophies you’ll be bringing home next season!  

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Global Container Market: Then and Now

Global Container Market: Then and Now

2016 was a turbulent year for the container shipping industry. Amongst the top ten global carriers there have been countless alliance reshuffles, an inevitable bankruptcy and poignant mergers.

We take a closer look at the evolution of carriers since 2000 and how last year’s events have left the global container market moving into 2017.


It’s amazing to consider that in January 2000 the three leading shipping lines Maersk Sealand, Evergreen and P&O Nedlloyd held a combined market share of 23.7%, when compared with today’s figures. According to Alphaliner the three leading carriers Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM now hold a total of 39.9% of global capacity. *This figure only set to increase as Maersk’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd completes at the end of 2017, taking the top three to a dominant 42.8% of global capacity share.


Top 3 Combined Market Share Then: January 2000


Top 3 Combined Market Share Now: January 2016*

Global Container Market Share 2000-2016

Maersk have prioritised organic growth through acquisitions, confirmed in a 2016 statement and the recent acquisition of Hamburg Süd, the world’s 7th largest container line. Ever since running into difficulties after the purchase of Royal P&O Nedlloyd (that saw their market share shrink by 2%) Maersk have only grown their global fleet.

MSC and CMA CGMs growth over the past 16 years has been impressive for different reasons. The CMA CGM group growing through multiple high profile acquisitions and MSC demonstrating consistent organic growth with only two small takeovers.


Merger / acquisitions timeline

1999 Safmarine & Sea-land Service

2002 Torm Liner Service

2005 Royal P&O Nedlloyd

2006 Mercosul Line

2016 Hamburg Süd

2003  WEC services

2006 HMS services

1998 CMA CGM bought the liner division of ANL

2002 MacAndrews services

2005 Delmas and SudCargos

2007 Cheng Lie Navigation, CoMaNav and US Lines

2016 APL / NOL

Where’d all the liners go?

After revisiting Alphaliner’s report the evolution of carrier fleets 1996-2012’ it’s fascinating to see the ghosts of carriers past, blighted by bankruptcy or absorbed by global leaders.

The trend to consolidations and acquisitions has had a significant impact on the number of container lines on the market. For direct shippers and cargo owners, mergers have not been the only concern when looking for fair market rates. Alliances formed by the leading global carriers have only heightened worries over price fixing and concentrated schedules have dramatically reduced consumer choice.

With the top 3 suppliers operating at a 42% market share the container market is now the definition of an oligopoly. According to Drewry, “this trend will continue as the leading five carriers have the largest order books and, as history has shown, the biggest appetite to acquire other carriers.” 

Sources: Alphaliner, Drewry, WSJ 

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Maersk Hamburg Süd Sale in Numbers

Maersk Hamburg Süd Sale in Numbers

When reports confirmed the sale of Hamburg Süd to Maersk Line, it’s hard to say the industry was surprised. 

Maersk haven’t been shy about their desire to grow organically through acquisitions. The deal between the two European lines will now see Maersk boast 18.6% global capacity share.


Maersk Hamburg Süd Infographic

Maersk Line have said to be interested in North South trade lanes, looking to capitalise on Hamburg Süd’s strengths in regions such as Latin America and Oceania.

Prior to the sale Hamburg Süd ranked as the world’s 7th largest container shipping line with the company owning 130 container vessels, a container capacity of approximately 625,000 TEUs.

The company has roughly 5960 employees and, with revenues of around 6.1 billion euros, contributes just under 50 percent to the total sales of the Oetker Group (all figures refer to the 2015 financial year).

The acquisition will result in Maersk total container capacity standing at around 3.8 million TEU, 18.6% of the global capacity share. The combined fleet will have 741 vessels, with an average age of 8.7 years (compared with 9.2 years before the deal.)

”With this acquisition, Maersk Line follows the strategy announced on 22 September 2016 to grow market share organically and through acquisitions. Acquiring Hamburg Süd will create a unique opportunity for further development of Maersk Line’s business to the benefit of customers, employees as well as shareholders,” Maersk Line said in a statement.

The deal is said to be completed by the end of 2017, subject to ironing out final agreements and regulatory approvals.

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