As we have seen, advertised GRIs have a habit of being reduced or, in many cases, never materialising. Unfortunately, this does not help a market which for far too long now has seen an instability which must be addressed for the good of everyone in the supply chain.
Ever since the EU in its wisdom decided that freight conferences were no longer allowed, I have argued long and hard with people that, while they may not have been perfect, they did bring a stability to the market which far outweighed any accusations of price fixing.
Recently I have started to see that people are now starting to regret what they wished for, and the perceived utopia of a market allowed to ebb and flow has not delivered what some people expected.
GRIs of the magnitude we have seen over the past two years – even when they do not materialise, or where they are reduced at the last minute – are no good for anyone.
Shipping lines need to make a sensible profit to allow continued investment; ordering and building ships is not a short-term business. This needs to be accepted by the market, and equally the lines need to take into account that their customers, and their customers’ customers need to set budgets and fix prices long term.
This has been and remains impossible in the current, seemingly endless, climate of see-sawing rates.