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The Many Consequences and Frustrations of Blank Sailing

By ussa-login on Monday, April 3, 2017 - Blog

For a BCO, blank sailing is one of the most frustrating obstacles in your path to success. Canceled sailing invariably means a delay and possible extra expense for shippers.

Why Blank Sailing?

Blank sailing occurs when a liner service operator has to cancel sailings that were previously scheduled. This may be done by skipping only one port along the scheduled route, or the entire sailing may be canceled. While blank sailing is a normal occurrence on various shipping routes, it is undoubtedly an inconvenience to many.

Reasons for blank sailing include:

  • A ship could need repairs that can be carried out only at a certain port
  • The vessel has to be off-hired until it may be repaired or dry-docked
  • There is severe congestion or delays at a port due to a strike, weather, or port closure
  • Delays may require ports to be skipped to catch up to schedule
  • Underutilization of the vessel or the string means one or more vessels may be pulled out of service
  • Overcapacity in the trade lane may require desperate lay-up of vessels

Solution to Blank Sailing

Rather than simply waiting for the next available vessel increase your negotiation skills for better contracts, provide projections to your carrier to ensure they are aware of your pending shipment(s), and use avenues to attain better carrier management attention to your problems.

U.S. Shippers Association

If your business involves international ocean shipping, you may want to become a member of USSA.  The benefits to our members include:

  • Reduced shipping cost
  • State of the art contract management technology
  • Greater industry knowledge
  • More contract choices
  • Broader negotiating skills
  • Low volume trade lanes support
  • Export Trading Certificate protection

To find out more about us, please contact us electronically or call 979-793-7375.

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