APL is ranked among the largest container shipping lines in the world commanding more than 560,000 TEUs of shipping capacity. Among its fleet of some 100 vessels are container vessels ranging up to 13,892 TEUs. These ships have only recently joined the fleet from 2012 onwards. The details are:
Vessel name Year built DWT TEU
APL Raffles 2013 150,951 13,892
APL Vanda 2013 150,951 13,892
APL Temasek 2012 150,951 13,892
APL Merlion 2013 150,951 13,892
APL Sentosa 2013 150,951 13,892
These ships are typically deployed on some of the largest container trades which include the Asia-Europe trade and the Asia-North America trade
(a) Show the importance of ocean freight transport in global supply chains by studying the growth potential of container trade along the abovementioned two (2) major trade routes over the next five (5) years to determine whether these vessels can be profitably employed. You should focus on the following:
• Establish the key challenges and factors that influence container trade on these trade routes.
• Estimate the volume of containers that are likely to be transported on these two (2) trade routes over the next five (5) years.
(b) Based on your knowledge of the Asia-Europe trade, plan effective ship operations by recommending the list of ports and the order of port calls for these vessels. Relate the strategies in ocean freight management to the work environment by examining the factors that APL should consider when deciding on the port of rotation for these vessels.
(c) Container shipping is a highly capital intensive business. As such, container shipping lines place strong emphasis on commercial viability. One method of doing so involves working with other container shipping lines in the form of alliances. Examine the advantages for APL to enter into alliance arrangements.