During the last years, Container Shipping Industry has played and important role in the expansion of international trade practices offering a fast, safe and cost effective means of transportation in exporting and importing commodities. Container Shipping Industry also provides to their customers a reliable means to transport their goods or products at a minimal cost.
For these reasons, world-wide, 80 percent of general cargo, measured in terms of value, and 50 percent in terms of weight, now move by containers which is 40 times greater than airfreight (Transport RDT Programme, 2000). Container shipping has become the key driver of today's just-in-time, low inventory strategy used by the world's major manufacturers and retailers, a strategy that could not be realized without efficient, easy-to-use and low-cost door-to-door transportation systems (CP Ships, 2003).
Since Container Shipping Industry operates into the business-to-business market, in further stage it will be described and discussed the features of each of the main business resources in terms of IT, Human Resources and Finance that are necessary to succeed within this sector. CP Ships is one of the world's leading container shipping companies which combine the customer focus and market presence of a regional specialist with the scale economies of a global carrier to provide cost efficient and competitive ocean and related inland transportation.
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More than 80% of its activity is North American exports or imports. (CP Ships, 2003) As part of its competitive advantage, CP Ships offers a wide net of integrated information systems to improve the efficiency of documentation, invoicing and cargo tracking processes, which added to its human resources and an accurate manage of financials, enable the organization to meet with customers' expectations.
CP Ships is present in the shipping business among the principal commercial markets such as Europe, Asia, Australia, America and Asia. In order to achieve an important market position within these markets CP Ships operates in 21 trade lanes, which are served by two or more of its seven brand names: ANZDL, Canada Maritime, Cast, Contship Container lines, Italia Line, Lykes Lines and TMM Lines. The overall strategy of CP Ships is focuses on what it does best, that it is to Deliver Value to customers through its service quality. Read about Carson Container company
Most important, since part of the challenge is to have the right strategy and the rest is to be able to respond quickly to significant changes in market conditions, every point in the strategy comes under continuous review. In other words, CP Ships is nimble (CP Ships, 2003) As result of CP Ships business extent, the organization has decided to divide its activity into different Service Units for each main market. These Service Units (SU) are responsible for managing their own resources at the time that they comply with the overall strategy of CP Group.
Well known as "Carrier of the Americas", TMM Lines is the liner shipping division of CP Ships which is one of the largest containers carriers in Mexico. The overall goal of TMM Lines is to serve a great number of organizational customers in order to fulfill with their exports needs. Established in 2000, TMM Lines offers regular door to door services to the Mexican Shippers delivering them high quality transportation service.
TMM Lines is managed by the Service Unit located in Mexico City which is directly responsible for the performance of this business. An overall understanding of TMM Lines activity can be outlined through the following diagram (CP Ships, 2003) In order to assure that TMM Lines is competing effectively in the container shipping sector in Mexico, the heads of the Service Unit have defined an aggressive business strategy regarding Information Technology, Finance and Human Resources that enables the company to maintain its leadership.
Considering that in Mexico the vast majority of the maritime services providers are forwarders and representative agencies that operate on behalf of the main container carriers, the sector in which TMM Lines is involved can be reduce to a few number of big competitors that have similar extent in terms of infrastructure and resources. TMM Lines has recognized APL Lines and Maersk Sealand as its direct competition within the Mexican market therefore, the approach of the sector is extremely link to the performance of these firms.
APL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines, a global transportation and logistics company engaged in shipping and related businesses (APL, 2003). The firm is present in more than 80 countries worldwide, and has gained also an important position among Mexican customers. While shipping continues to be an important their business, the new trend of APL services is focused on one global "supply chains" thus, the company is assisting retailers, manufacturers and other customers to manage their own supply chains in whole or to manage distinct and individual links of those supply chains, such as shipping (APL, 2003).
APL Logistics is dedicated to providing these solutions by enhancing supply-chain visibility and introducing new products and services that help customers run their businesses more efficiently (APL, 2003). II. III Maersk-Sealand Profile Maersk Sealand is a trading name of a division of the A. P. Moller - Maersk Group which is also one of the largest liner shipping companies in the world, serving customers all over the globe. This company operates in more than 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North and South America.
(Maersksealand, 2003) The main feature of their service is related to the company assets, Maersk-Sealand is well recognized within shipping industry as the largest vessel owner. Its competitive advantage is focused on providing the "state of the art" technology to its customers. Besides shipping and containerized services The Maersk Company Limited is also active in the oil and gas sectors. Part of the global AP Moller-Maersk Group.
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