A message from our Group Founder, Darren Wright.
As we fast approach the 12-month mark since the China Xpress service conception, we are reflecting back on the last year as one of the most rewarding, yet challenging times in not only our careers, but our lives as individuals and a collective.
It has often been said by many colleagues and customers alike that in 2015 if anyone would have asked us what we would have been doing in 2020, the actual truth of what happened would not have been in anyone’s response.
That being said, here at DKT Allseas we’re proud to say that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And we did just that in the form of the pioneering and market leading service that is the China Xpress. Collectively we have taken this landmark as time to reflect on the last 12 months and embrace the opportunity to not only be proud of the services’ success but also to learn and rectify some of the challenges that have been faced over the last 12 months.
There is no doubt at all that when creating a new service out of nothing, it is not going to come to fruition without its teething problems. With COVID-19 port closures, lack of available berthing slots and equipment shortages, to name a few. All of these challenges are recognised and we understand that ultimately, they have a knock-on effect to your supply chain.
One of the main differences between DKT Allseas and the mainstream shipping lines is that we are in a position to implement the service to support all of our customers and beyond but we are also very conscious the ramifications when something does not go to plan.
This is why as we step into the next 12 months, we are making some core changes to the service in order to provide more stability and ensure the services longevity:
Large scale investments have been made to ensure equipment availability “On time, in full” for customer requirements. We have surpassed the 30,000 units within our owned and operated fleet of shipping containers, most of which is brand-new and still coming off the production line. We recognise the challenges of picking up containers from the Factory floor as opposed to the usual CY’s and would like to confirm to our customers that this is only a temporary measure, as more and more of our brand-new units come into circulation, the containers will be made readily available at the Port CY’s we serve.
Our own Fleet
We are in the process of phasing out the use of the slower, less reliable, spot/voyage charter vessels and we have now entered into agreements to grow our own fleet of TC containerised vessels with the first of our fleet being named ALLSEAS PIONEER which has just departed on her maiden voyage on 11th March. We expect to have 6/7 similar sized container ships all deployed by May 2022, which will give us complete control of departure and arrival timescales and massively improve schedule integrity, which we understand is of paramount importance.
Negotiations with Ningbo port to ensure priority berthing slots and contingency plans in case of port closures/issues and implementation of the permanent South China port call through Dongguan. Initially we were looking to operate out of Yantian port but the business has taken a different direction in order to ensure stability and eventually to pass on the benefits of utilising Dongguan to our customers, i.e. extended CY opening times, priority berthing, domestic transhipment hub allowing wider Port coverage in China, reduced THC’s.
Not only have we been busy securing the liner element of the business but our haulage teams have been working extremely hard to manoeuvre through what has been a very difficult time for UK haulage.
During 2021 it was announced that there was a nationwide shortage of approx. 100,000 HGV drivers due to delays in driver testing during the course of the pandemic and a high number of EU nationals returning to the EU market, post Brexit. That, coupled with lack of container availability at origin points and then driver shortages once the cargo arrives, made for a very trying time within the freight industry.
However, our amazing team banded together to secure line haul contracts and work very closely with those contracts to keep all customers supply chain moving as swiftly as possible.
As we progress into 2022, the line haul team have worked very hard with both hauliers and the port operational team to work together to streamline the process overall.
Finally, I would like to personally take the opportunity to thank our current customers for your continued support and choosing to endeavour on this exciting journey with us.
We look forward to working with you all in the future and welcoming new customers on board to join us in this exciting journey to further developing the China Xpress service.
Founder & Managing Director