“As a supplier of hard cargo goods, we are still not sure what changes we need to make or provide,” Tung said, referring to container lines collaboration with online retailers like Amazon and Alibaba.
“Amazon and Alibaba seem to be taking over the customer relationship aspect from shippers and on our end we need to think about how such changes will impact upon us,” Tung said at the Sea Asia Global Forum held in Singapore on Tuesday.
Over the course of this year, Denmark’s Maersk Line has tied up with China’s Alibaba for online booking from China and IBM on the use of Blockchain to digitise paperwork processes. France’s CMA CGM has also teamed up with Alibaba to provide online booking for shipments.
In January this year, US-based Amazon moved into the freight forwarder space in ocean shipping by helping retailers in China ship goods via containers to the US.
Part of the reason for the rise of e-commerce is that the business is about speed, and consumers who are willing to pay for that speed have helped to fuel e-commerce popularity, according to Tung.
At the sidelines of the Sea Asia conference, Tung said OOCL Logistics, the logistics and supply chain services arm of OOCL, has inked a partnership with Alibaba about two years ago to act as one of its freight forwarding service providers.
“Certainly all of us [carriers] need to take a look at this ‘new economy’… and that’s something we will continue to evaluate,” Tung said.