As the world becomes figuratively smaller, the need to conduct business with the most competitive companies is vital for survival. The emphasis on customer needs now provides a competitive advantage and this presents an opportunity for smaller TEU vessels.

These container ships were once the leaders in the market but after the opening of the Panama Canal locks they no longer hold significant benefits and many believe they are on the verge of extinction.

However, with big liner services and the larger ships mostly serving big hub ports, niche traders may embrace the smaller and more flexible TEU fleet.

Potential advantages include cost savings, as the smaller TEU vessels can sometimes deliver cargo to an alternative port and time savings; for niche commodities using smaller vessels allows for delivery of an entire cargo to a nominated port instead of waiting for a scheduled liner service.

This opportunity should be grasped early by the smaller TEU fleet to ensure their value in the supply chain is restored.