Competition is increasing in line with customers reviewing their flow of goods and looking for more efficient solutions. Ports and other links in the transport chain are therefore having to act proactively and offer supplementary services and be able to manage the effects of increasing digitalisation.

Traditionally, ports have had competitive advantages through their geographic locations, which have attracted certain types of freight and customers. This paved the way for customer relationships where the logistics flows were fairly stable and sales work was focused on dealing with incoming enquiries.

New conditions
Freight and transport customers now have more options and are evaluating their logistics flows more frequently and more extensively than before. 

”The customers are now considering the potential in larger catchment areas than was previously the case. This is increasing the competition between ports in the same region. The customers are also considering rail availability, infrastructure, technological solutions, expertise and much more in their endeavour to achieve a well-functioning transport chain,” says Ann-Charlotte Halldén Åkeson, Key Account Manager at CMP. 

Given these changes, there are increased requirements on dealing with the following issues or areas: 

Broad market knowledge – ability to follow developments and understand how trends and patterns of behaviour are changing and where there is potential in the market.

Understand the sales process – understanding of where crucial decisions are made in the transport chain and that the customer’s customer or other actors can affect how the logistics flows are configured.

Attractive supplementary services – differentiate offers and provide the customers with added value in their logistics deals, for example, within storage and special handling. Of equal importance is the ability to function as a link in the individual business network, including connecting different actors with each other and thus offering them new services or freight volumes.

Capacity to adapt quickly
New technology, new business models and new actors – or old actors in new roles – are expected to change the conditions in the transport market in the near future. 

”Even though the patterns are not always clear, it is important to follow developments and adapt one’s own operation,” says Ann-Charlotte Halldén Åkeson, “including through focusing on”:

Flexibility – flexible in the service offered, but also in relation to technical equipment, storage, areas available and other aspects which match customers’ needs and make a difference for them.

Digitalisation – understanding of how new, digital technology affects business development, in part in the integration with customers, collaborative partners or new types of partnership, in part in the work of streamlining internal work flows.

Proactive – work actively to attract customers and freight volumes, take the initiative and constantly evaluate new business opportunities in order to locate the potential in the market.

Right mode of transport – good for the environment and the economy
CMP is a link in the global transport chain. In this chain, we want to contribute to ensuring that the mode of transport that is most efficient and environmentally compatible is always selected. We want to participate in a development of the transport industry that is beneficial for both the environment and the economy. As a part of this development, it is important that the mode of transport that is most efficient and environmentally beneficial is selected in every situation.

The ports in focus
In order to derive maximum benefit from each mode of transport, the design of the overall transport infrastructure is an important issue, for example, that of the EU’s future transport network. One concrete issue concerns the so-called Core Ports, which the EU has designated as especially important for the development of the European transport systems.

”By focusing on investments in, for example, train connections at these ports, they can maintain a modern infrastructure and continue to be Core Ports. Of equal importance is ensuring the depth of channels, which benefits shipping and enables more freight to be moved to this environmentally smart mode of transport” says Ulrika Prytz Rugfelt, PR & Corporate Communications Manager at CMP.

Equal treatment important
Moving more freight to sea and rail is a clear objective – both within the EU and in many national transport markets. As stated, managing this requires investments in the most important ports, but also changes in the conditions in the transport market.

”It is positive for both the economy and the environment if different transport options are treated equally and can compete on equal terms. It concerns, for example, simplifying the administration within shipping so this mode of transport is selected more frequently and the benefits that sea, rail and shipping have, can be optimally utilised ” she concludes.