Xeneta Aims to Crack U.S. Market
Xeneta, the global benchmarking and market intelligence platform for containerized ocean freight, is looking to bring a new understanding to the world’s biggest container shipping market with its first U.S. office. The firm will now have a Madison Avenue address in New York, with CEO Patrik Berglund and William Di Ieso, Xeneta’s Director of Business Development Americas, heading operations on the ground.
Since opening its doors in Oslo, Norway, in 2012, Xeneta has brought real-time transparency to a marketplace formerly defined by static, out-dated information. The firm crowdsources data from more than 600 international businesses, providing up-to-the-minute information across over 17 million contracted rates, covering more than 60,000 port-to-port pairings. This gives shippers, freight forwarders, and carriers a view of pricing in a market characterized by dramatic fluctuations.
The move into the U.S. is, according to Berglund, a natural evolutionary step for Xeneta.
“Nothing stands still in this market, and neither do we,” he said. “If we look at our data for short term market average prices for 40-foot containers just this year we can see that. In March they were at near all time lows—$552 for Far East Asia to Northern Europe and $839 transpacific—and now they’re standing at $1615 and $1912 respectively.”
“The recent collapse of Hanjin Shipping shows how quickly the market develops, with oversupply switching to undersupply, new services being launched and rate hikes across the board,” Berglund added. “The only way to really keep up with such a dynamic segment, and get the best prices for your cargo, is to stay on top of the very latest big data analysis and decipher market trends. As the biggest importer of containerized ocean freight, the U.S. has a greater need for this new breed of market intelligence than anywhere else.”
Berglund argues that this, and the company’s presence in America, is a steppingstone to unlocking optimal value for all stakeholders in this crucially important logistics supply chain.
“Software platforms like ours are a vital means of benchmarking your own performance against the wider market, and therefore negotiating the rates that deliver the best value for your business,” he said.
In a recent study Xeneta commissioned, the research firm Aberdeen found best-in-class shippers could save between 20 percent and 50 percent, depending on their volumes, by utilizing the latest market intelligence. “Similarly, freight forwarders and the carriers themselves get a previously unheard of transparency, allowing them to decide fair pricing for this commodity trade,” said Berglund.
Berglund concludes that all companies, regardless of size, need to know where they stand on logistics costs, especially in a market as competitive as the U.S. “This is, in many ways, the global epicentre of containerized freight,” he concluded.
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