Lidl has taken shipping in its own hands and has chartered three panamax containerships and has also set up its own shipping line Tailwind Shipping to operate the vessels.
The discount retailer has also bought another containership recently to launch a standalone Asia-Europe service this year.
Liner shipping company Alphaliner explained that, “big brands such as Amazon, Costco, Home Depot, IKEA and Walmart have organised shipments on their own, but typically used the services of third-party vessel operators, such as BBC Chartering, G2 Ocean, Pasha Hawaii or Saga Welco.”
READ MORE: Lidl renews partnership with Tough Mudder
Lidl’s Tailwind on the other hand has already secured 4,957 teu sister ships Wiking and Jadrana and a 3,868 teu Merkur Ocean which is believed to have a 24 month charter deal.
Alphaliner also estimated that considering the ships current charters will end in spring or summer, “a delivery to Tailwind around this time of year would make sense.”
“Lidl’s move into ship operations comes at a time that sees a number of high street and online retailers move to take back control of their shipments,” Alphaliner said.
“Cargo owners have repeatedly accused the established shipping lines of profiteering from supply chain problems through astronomical freight rates. At the same time, shippers complain about persistent space shortage and poor service quality.”
the liner company added: “Tailwind has not yet disclosed where it intends to deploy its tonnage, but, given Lidl’s retail footprint, the Far East-Europe corridor appears the most likely.”