2023 will be the year of focus – “party over, work harder”

Dear members & friends, 

it is that time of the year again, where everyone makes some predictions for 2023, sets their tone and agenda or objectives for the new year. 

I had the privilege to interact with many of you personally during my trips over the recent months, which helped me to sharpen my own view on 2023. 

The fundamentals, demand and supply, are no doubt indicating an end to the rate frenzy of the past years and we are all aware that this has been an exceptional period for our industry, that is unlikely to recur. The geopolitical environment is shifting and while some old links and alliances seem to break and threaten some trade lanes, new ones do emerge and pockets of opportunity are opening up everywhere. 

I called 2023 the year of focus, as the time where almost every activity in our industry yielded some form of reward, is coming to an end. Declining margins, rising cost and increased competition demand our eye on the ball, constantly. Thus this year will no doubt be about focusing energy: Ruthlessly killing what does not work and doubling down on what does, being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, optimising efficiencies. The bigger players will face bigger challenges adapting to this new environment, many that broadened their scope during the up-cycle will struggle with focus, which opens more opportunities for the more dynamic and customer focused players. 

The pandemic has already pushed the One-Stop-Shop concept to the floor and the post pandemic period, might knock it out. Despite record earnings, many global players lost marketshare and many smaller ones gained, as customers needed solutions and flexibility.

In terms of LogTech, it will not be different. Rising costs of capital will force the never-ending digital transformation of our industry into a reality check, hopefully distinguishing sense from non-sense and what adds value, from bling-bling and pseudo-innovations. Where it comes to selecting any tech or sharpening your existing toolbox, focus on the customer, your value proposition and your process efficiency to deliver that. Ignore the hype and avoid distractions. 

Things won’t be easy, but easy everyone can do. Let’s remain optimists and take on the new times. 

To all of you personally, a very blessed Christmas time and a great start into 2023! 

Kind regards

Ruben   

PS: Bear in mind the 3 key events for your 2023 Agenda: Intermodal – Sao Paulo Feb 28-Mar 2 (OceanX Drinks on Feb 27th), Transport Logistics – Munich May 8-12 (eCommerce Workshop on May 7th, Member Dinner on May 11th), OceanX Annual General Meeting – Kuala Lumpur Nov 15-18.