Eimskip continuing to grow as demand for shipping cargo, freight forwarding increase
Icelandic shipping company Eimskip has seen demand grow for both its cargo liners and its freight-forwarding service, and the company expects that to continue in 2023.
The company runs multiple cargo liners in the North Atlantic, offering services to Portland, Maine U.S.A.; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada; Iceland; the Faroe Islands; the United Kingdom; Scandinavia; the Baltics; and the Mediterranean. Its freight-forwarding service runs worldwide, Eimskip Executive Vice President of International Operations Bragi Thor Marinosson told SeafoodSource at Seafood Expo Global, which ran in Barcelona, Spain, from 25 to 27 April.
The two sides of the business form its two “pillars,” Marinosson said, with freight-forwarding becoming an increasingly important part of the company’s overall business. The service got its start in 2004, after the company realized its liner system alone wasn’t enough, he said.
“The reach of our liner system was not meeting all of our customers’ needs,” he said.
Eimskip began its freight-forwarding system the same year it opened its first office in China. Marinosson said it took off from there.
Eimskip's presence at Seafood Expo Global was due seafood accounting for the majority of what the company carries in its frozen and chilled segment, Marinosson said.
“Here, we are simply following the fish and the people who are trading it,” he said. “This has been the core of our business.”
As it did for many other companies, the Covid-19 pandemic caused unprecedented business difficulties, but Marinosson said Eimskip's liner service was able to survive as a result of the locations it serves.
"If you look at the liners, we had very very strong management on it ... and we had very frequent meetings with all our countries' [governments] together to go through the situation,” Marinosson said.
On the freight-forwarding side, along with many other businesses in the sector, Eimskip suffered from a shortage of space and containers due to congestion at major ports. Overall, Marionsson said Eimskip's customers praised the company for doing what it could to minimize delays despite the complicated trade environment.
While Eimskip's battle with major Covid issues has eased, Marinosson said there has been ongoing slowdown in cargo.
“The space and the containers are not an issue; Now, we see that the flow of cargo is slower,” Marinosson said. “Overall, cargo is moving slower.”
Despite the slowdown, the company is continuing to see growth due to its services, Marinosson said. A new cold storage facility being built in Portland, Maine, U.S.A. will be a boon to the company and other seafood-related companies using the port.
“[It] will definitely have a positive impact on our customers,” Marinosson said.
Eimskip will continue to aim to meet its customers’ needs, he said.
“Through our recent strategy, we have essentially been growing with our customers,” Marinosson said.
Photo by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource