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Shipping portals are web-based communities which allow shippers, consignees and forwarders access to multiple carriers through a single site and concentrate on providing bookings, track and trace, documentation functions, as well as allowing users to communicate with their carriers. In many respects, a shipping portal is to the maritime industry what a global distribution system (GDS) is to the airline industry.


Shipping portals first emerged in 2001 when CargoSmart, GT Nexus and Inttra all launched their trial phases.

CargoSmart, comprised four member carriers, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), Nippon Yusen (NYK), COSCO and MISC Berhad (MISC), was introduced in October 2000 and has five dedicated information technology(IT) development centers located in San Josemarker, Shanghai, Zhuhaimarker, Manilamarker and Hong Kongmarker. CargoSmart is a global logistics software as a service (SaaS) solution provider, with advanced visibility and exception management.

GT Nexus provide trade and logistics software as a service, over the Web, on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Inttra is a carrier-owned and funded portal, with CMA CGM, Hamburg Süd, Hapag-Lloyd, A.marker P.marker Moller-Maersk Groupmarker (Maersk), Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC) and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) all represented on the board. Inttra claims its carrier members account for 60% of global shipping capacity. In 2005-2006 new carriers CP Ships, K Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and MISC all signed up to join. Inttra is a leading global provider of e-commerce solutions to ocean carriers and their customers. Their e-commerce platform offers a comprehensive range of e-commerce tools, including: tender, sailing schedules, booking, shipping instructions, bill of lading, tracking and tracing, and reports.

Portal members

Membership across the three main shipping portals comprises 30 carriers of varying sizes, but the majority are amongst the world's largest, so most of the industry's TEU capacity is represented.

Carrier TEU CargoSmart GT Nexus Inttra
Maerskmarker / Safmarine / MCC Transport Singapore 2,005,000
Mediterranean Shipping Company 1,521,000
CMA CGM / Australian National Lines 976,000
China Ocean Shipping Company 497,000
Hapag-Lloyd 488,000
American President Lines 470,000
China Shipping Container Lines 455,000
Nippon Yusen Kaisha 420,000
Hanjin / Senator Line 382,000
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines 380,000
Orient Overseas Container Line 356,000
Hamburg Süd / Aliança 318,000
K Line 316,000
Yang Ming Line 311,000
CSAV / Libra 299,000
Zim Line / Gold Star Line 277,000
Hyundai Merchant Marine 265,000
United Arab Shipping Company 150,000
Wan Hai Lines 123,000
MISC Berhad 98,000
Emirates Shipping Line 25,000
Crowley Maritime 19,000
Deutsche Afrika Linien 11,000

Shipping schedules

One of the main drawbacks of the portals is that none of them can access all shipping lines. With an estimated 250 container shipping lines world-wide, many carriers are left out. Though, since the process of shipping always begins by choosing a voyage and then selecting a carrier, some shipping schedule search engines have emerged to help shippers and forwarders find which carriers sail on which routes and when.

Most notably is Linescape which hosts the sailing schedules of more than 100 container lines. Based in Burlingame, Californiamarker, the independently owned Linescape uses advanced web technologies to bring real-time carrier schedules to users. Its route-search function allows users to input origin and destination countries and then quickly find all port-to-port permutations sorted by duration. With these results, users can quickly find the routes and schedules they are looking for and immediately click-through to any carrier's website to initiate the shipping process.

See also


  1. CargoSmart shipping portal
  2. GT Nexus shipping portal
  3. Inttra shipping portal
  4. AXS Marine Top 100 Container Lines
  5. Linescape - Shipping Schedules Search Engine
  6. Linescape Launches a Free and Independent Ocean Container Schedule Search Engine

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