Logistics Firms Answer Cruise Industry’s SOS Call
With most travel on hold, the cruise industry continues to find itself adrift with stores of (for now) unneeded provisions and fleets of tourist-free ships. The 3PL industry has stepped into the breach to help support cruise and hospitality logistics.
Houston-based Crane Worldwide Logistics launched a new division to serve the cruise industry, explaining earlier this year that it was offering a “unique, turnkey approach to potential vessel hospital conversions in support of the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic [and] providing a customized solution.”
In an article in Air Cargo World, Maxine Krajniak, vice president of cruise, marine and hospitality, explained that Crane had planned the new division prior to the pandemic. “Nobody predicted this and there was already a lot of things in the supply chain, and a lot of supplies were arriving in the U.S. from various markets,” she said. “They had nowhere to put it because the ships weren’t coming into port, so we reached out and offered our warehouses for storage.”
Also dipping a toe further into the salty water was Sobel Network Shipping, which launched a new division to serve the cruise market, supported by a new office in Miami. “By establishing a physical presence in the central hub of the cruise line and hospitality industry, we are positioned to directly serve these companies from their base of operations,” Sobel President Brian Wills announced in June. “Our new location gives us a unique advantage to provide better service for our cruise line and hospitality customers.”
Air Cargo World said estimates for when the cruise industry might begin to return to normal range from later this year to as far off as 2023. Whichever projection turns out to be correct, it’s clear the cruise sector is booked for a long journey to recovery.