TTT Shipping

Reinventing the Shipping Industry

BCG’s international shipping consulting team helps shipping lines and port operators take on new and longtime challenges to emerge leaner, cleaner, and more profitable.

The perfect storm that has been buffeting the shipping industry—overcapacity, consolidation, stagnating revenues, and declining profitability—is intensifying. Today’s new reality has ratcheted up the existing threats:

  • Uncertainty is further hampering demand and escalating trade volatility.
  • Digital technology and innovative business models threaten to disrupt the entire shipping industry, and incumbents in particular.
  • Climate change, which looms on the horizon, will accelerate these competitive forces and heighten cost pressures.

To ensure their long-term survival, shipping companies must undertake a transformation that digitizes business and fleet operations and prioritizes climate action. Working in partnership with BCG, they can devise new offerings and new ways of working within and along the transportation and logistics value chain to gain efficiencies, reduce emissions, save costs, and serve new markets and customers.

Digitizing the Shipping Business to Expand Offerings and Cut Costs

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BCG’s experienced shipping consultants help firms integrate digital tools and capabilities and introduce advanced cargo-management systems to allow liners to move into higher-margin parts of the supply chain.

BCG’s digital expertise further helps our shipping industry clients find smooth end-to-end logistics solutions and new ways to collaborate across the shipping logistics ecosystem. We help our clients move beyond their core businesses and harness digital to add new capabilities, increase efficiencies, and reduce costs.

Revenue Management

Advanced Analytics and Control-Tower Fleet Monitoring

Blockchain Technology

Digital Lead Management

Multimodal Collaboration Platform

Going Beyond Green to Pursue Sustainability in Shipping

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The growing focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments and practices is transforming the business environment for ports and the shipping industry in several key ways:

  • Bottom-Line Improvements. We help shipping companies examine and make investments that will secure them a more financially and environmentally sustainable future. For example, we help analyze the bottom-line impact of scrubbing technologies that bring high-sulfur fuels into compliance with IMO 2020 and of alternative fuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Regulatory Requirements. Ports are also under renewed pressure to become carbon-free, reduce noise, and embrace electrification.
  • Top-Line Growth. Beyond government regulations, shippers and ports alike face a mandate from customers, many of which seek emissions data as part of their requests for tenders. The companies that deliver environmentally sustainable offerings stand to capture not only new markets and customer segments but price premiums as well.

BCG’s shipping strategy team helps shipping companies and ports transform their organizations to reduce emissions, win on new sustainability metrics, and thrive in this new environment.

BCG’s Shipping Consultants

Featured Client Work in the Shipping Industry

Developing Sustainable Fuel Production with a Denmark Collaborative. BCG has joined forces with several Danish transportation and logistics companies, the Danish government, and Danish-based engineering consulting firm COWI in a partnership to develop a new hydrogen and e-fuel production facility in Copenhagen. The facility could deliver more than 250,000 tons of sustainable fuel for buses, trucks, maritime vessels, and airplanes every year.

Building a Predictive Maintenance Capability with a Large International Shipping Company. By installing monitoring sensors in its control systems and engine rooms, the company boosted the reliability of its fleet and cut maintenance costs.

Turning Around a Container Shipper. A container company had consistently been among the least profitable in the industry. We helped implement a transformation program, optimize trade coverage, redesign the sales organization, and identify significant cost-cutting opportunities. By the second year of the effort, the company’s earnings before interest and taxes had risen above the market average.

Our Shipping Industry Insights

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Transportation & Logistics and COVID-19

When the crisis finally ends, companies’ transportation and logistics’ needs will be forever changed. Through agility and adaptiveness, a transportation and logistics player can enhance its ability to be among the winners in the transformed industry.

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To Get Smart, Ports Go Digital

Ports must adopt connected technologies that help stakeholders coordinate and collaborate to boost productivity, cut costs, and gain a competitive edge.

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