Despite uncertainty about Blockchain’s future as an enterprise technology, the world of international trade has tied its future to distributed ledgers.

As 2018 drew to a close, it appeared that Blockchain’s future was about as stable as the value of Bitcoin. In the world of logistics, headlines began to appear about difficulties that Blockchain-based trade platform TradeLens was having in attracting carriers and logistics companies.

The November 2018 announcement by CMA-CGM and several other leading vessel and port operators of a Blockchain platform — named Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) — raised concerns of fragmentation that would threaten Blockchain’s scalability

A massive convergence is underway between retail and logistics, courtesy of the rapid rise of e-commerce. Unfortunately, today’s logistics processes aren’t fast enough to keep up with the sales momentum that e-commerce generates.

There are, however, some countries that are well positioned to capitalize on this convergence due to their technological and infrastructural capacity. Australia stands out as one such example, and the potential it holds for future innovations in global e-commerce could be truly awesome.

Built to Deliver

Australia is an island — the world’s largest, in fact. Hence, it built a lot of ports to connect to the…

Source: Pixabay

When an industry’s deal-making activity reaches the frenetic levels that freight forwarding witnessed in February 2019, the result is usually consolidation that favors the biggest and most established stakeholders. Yet by the time March 2019 rolled around, it was clear that the legacy freight forwarding business model of the last several decades was dead.

One could be forgiven for missing this profound event amid February’s headlines of massive valuations and superstar acquirers, sellers, and investors. …

Back in 2016, when Amazon received a license to operate as an NVOCC between China and the U.S., the entire freight forwarding industry wondered what this would mean for traditional supply chain management professionals.

Despite having the option to sell ocean freight, Amazon largely moved into last-mile delivery in the years since, competing with delivery services like UPS and FedEx for its massive small-parcel volume, and leaving first- and middle-mile logistics companies relatively undisturbed.

It made sense, especially given the financial burden behind Amazon’s delivery offerings: shipping costs continue to rise annually, topping $20 billion, and Amazon attributed high costs…

On September 19, 2018 Maersk announced a restructuring of its business units that will include merging part of DAMCO, the world’s 18th-largest freight forwarder, into Maersk’s core liner business in order to create an “end-to-end” supply chain services company.

The announcement isn’t really the beginning of a reorganization but the end of a multi-year strategic shift for the world’s largest steamship line. Here’s a look at the implications of Maersk’s maneuvers:

The move: Since 2016 Maersk has sold its Maersk Oil business, and spun off its drilling business.

The goal: While these deals leave some industry experts asking “what’s left…

Mark the date: October 2017 will be remembered as the month in which retailers won the final mile of logistics. Who would have thought? Among the “winning” retailers are of course e-commerce giants like Amazon and AliBaba. But bricks-and-mortar juggernauts like Walmart and IKEA are getting in on the act as well.

The result is a radically transformed logistics landscape where the line between a click on a website and a knock at the door is increasingly blurred.

“Retailers are coming to the realization that the combination of the supply chain AND the value chain is the most important basis…


Earlier this month, news broke that Walmart acquired package delivery startup Parcel, which will allow them to offer last-mile same-day delivery in New York City. The young Brooklyn-based company already boasts clients such as Bonobos and Chef’d. The retail giant, which also acquired startup last year, will now be able compete in the brutal New York e-commerce market. Walmart has struggled to establish a brick-and-mortar presence in NYC, and now, by writing one check, they’ve achieved their goal.

This matters because speedy fulfillment and delivery time has become a “must-have” for consumers. It used to be that consumers would…

By now, we’ve all heard stories about how we’re on the brink of a new age of “Artificial Intelligence — or “AI.” AI is different from other types of technology. Most tech we use every day (like email or an iPhone) perform certain tasks based on human inputs according to a set of rules (a program) that is developed ahead of time. For example: when we write an email and hit send, your program knows to transmit your email to its recipient through the Internet. It does it the same way every time.

With AI, the technology learns as it…

Getting your head around the intersection of container shipping and technology is understandably challenging. It seems like every day a new company pops up on the radar with a new approach, a new service, or a new round of funding. How are we supposed to adopt new technology if we don’t know who’s who — and who does what?

Reprinted with permission from

Luckily, this week saw the publication of the Journal of Commerce’s definitive “Container Shipping Technology Matrix” compiled by Mark Szakonyi and written on by Hugh Morley (subscription required for both but highly recommended). This invaluable chart lays out more than 100…

Source: Walt Disney Pictures

At first glance, it seems to defy the laws of supply and demand.

Supply-chain activity is increasing, largely driven by e-commerce and small-parcel delivery. We all learned in economics that when there is increased demand for a fixed inventory of goods or services (in this case, capacity), prices rise to meet the demand. At Christmas, if there are only a certain number of Tickle Me Elmos, and everyone wants one, the price goes up. So logistics costs should be going up, right?

Not so fast. In fact, U.S. logistics costs fell by 1.5% in 2016 after five straight years of…

Fauad Shariff

Co-Founder and CEO of @CoLoadX: we make ocean freight easy!

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