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Cover Story : JAN - FEB 2017

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E-Commerce in Shipping & Logistics – What does the future behold?

In the latter half of December, news broke that had the shipping and logistics world sit up and take notice. Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, had tied up with Alibaba to allow shippers of goods to reserve space on its vessels through the Chinese e-commerce giant. It began offering the service to Chinese shippers on Alibaba’s OneTouch booking website. This was a hugely significant development, a move that bypassed the traditional middleman in such handling and transportation of cargo.

For decades now, it was through middlemen - freight brokers/freight forwarders/NVOCCs/MTOs or very seldom direct shipping lines that shippers have been booking space on container ships, but here was a line facilitating direct booking of shipments through the Internet.

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