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CONTAINER RATES FROM ASIA HEAD DOWNWARDS

Jul 25 2016
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Spot rates on the Asia-Europe trade continue to move downward this peak season, according to the World Container Index (WCI). The Shanghai-Rotterdam index declined by another 18%. The WCI said it expected no rise in rates before the next round of GRIs in August. A GRI at the end of June had lifted the index by close to 87% and a minor gain the following week led to  the Shanghai-Rotterdam spot rate reaching its highest weekly level of  the year to date and for at least one year.  

EC CONFIRMS PRICING TRANSPARENCY WITH SHIPPING LINES

Jul 11 2016
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The European Commission is shutting down its investigation into suspected illegal rate ‘coordination’ among 14 of the world’s largest container lines, due to commitments offered by the carriers to abandon General Rate Increase (GRI) announcements in favour of a new pricing model will make rates more transparent and increase competition. Following negotiations and market testing, the new pricing model is set to be introduced from 7 December 2016.

CONTAINER RATES SET TO RISE

Jul 07 2016
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Container freight rates are forecast to rise modestly over the next 18 months from the lows reached recently, but this will not necessarily rescue the container shipping industry from losses in 2016, according to a recent report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Liner shipping has had a torrid time so far in 2016 with spot freight rate volatility reaching unprecedented levels, while unit industry income had fallen to record lows. Reports highlight distinct parallels between what is happening now and the depths of the 2008/09 global financial crisis. Estimates note that container carriers collectively signed away $10 billion in revenue in this year’s contract rate negotiations on the two main East-West trades.

DUBAI AIRPORT FREIGHT VOLUMES UP

Jul 06 2016
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Dubai International Airport has seen freight volumes continue to grow steadily in May reaching 226,916 tonnes compared to 216,712 tonnes in May 2015, and increase of 4.7 per cent. During the first five months of 2016 cargo volumes handled at Dubai International reached 1,055,850 tonnes, up four per cent compared to the 1,015,482 tonnes handled during the same period last year. The hub has seen volumes rise in every month this year. In April, it saw cargo volumes increase 4.8 per cent, in March it was up 0.1 per cent, in February is grew by 2.5 per cent and in January freight rose by 8.2 per cent. Operator Dubai Airports chief executive officer, Paul Griffiths explains that the gateway is looking at solid growth for the first half of 2016 and is focused on maintaining and enhancing service levels.

BREXIT OF LITTLE EFFECT FOR CONTAINER SHIPPING

Jul 05 2016
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Despite the uncertainty over the UK’s position in the world after its exit from the EU, Brexit should have little direct impact on the container shipping, analysts at Alphaliner say.  “At only 1.4% of global container volumes however, the country's market share in terms of port throughput had been in steady decline for over a decade, down from 3% in 2000 to a low of only 1.2% in 2013,” Alpahliner said. “A small recovery saw the UK regain some of the lost share and the nation’s ports reached an estimated throughput of 9.7m teu in 2015. The UK’s share of European container throughput has also declined over the same period from 13.9% in 2000 to 8.9% to 2015.” Alphaliner pointed out the UK’s decline as a maritime centre for container shipping had started long ago. “UK-flagged containerships today account for only 3.7% of global vessel capacity, while UK-controlled containerships account for as little as 2.2% of the global fleet in ...

AIR FREIGHT STATIC

Jul 04 2016
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Worldwide air freight volumes were flat, year on year, in May, with a 4% decline in US air exports compensated for by a 4% increase in tonnages from the Middle East South Asia region.  Figures released today indicate that year-over-year (YoY) volume growth was limited to 0.5%, while average yields in US dollars dropped by 1.9% compared to April. But for the year-to-date figures Europe gained in kilogrammes what North America lost. Looking at the 20 largest markets it is noted that the combined market share of the world's Top 20 air freight forwarders differs greatly from one market to another. Strongly concentrated markets include Germany, Japan, USA Midwest, France and Singapore, with shares of the worldwide Top 20 ranging between 60 and 67%. On the other side of the spectrum come the “highly dispersed” markets of India, South East China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the world's Top 20 have a combined share of “much less than 30%”. These three ...

EXPANDED PANAMA CANAL OPENS

Jun 29 2016
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Shipping and global trade began a new chapter on 27th June with the inaugural transit via the expanded Panama Canal. The vessel COSCO Shipping Panama became the first ‘neopanamax’ vessel to transit of through the expanded canal early on Sunday morning via the new Atlantic-facing Agua Clara Locks. COSCO Shipping Panama set sail no 11 June from the Greek port of Piraeus carrying 9,472 TEUs and measuring 299.98 metres in length and 48.25 metres in beam. Originally named Andronikos, the vessel was renamed in honour of the country of Panama and the Canal.

LEAN MANUFACTURING TO DAMPEN CONTAINER TRADE

Jun 17 2016
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Container shipping will undergo a period of softer growth as manufacturing trends impact long-haul container trade demand and traditional transhipment strategies, according to Drewry Maritime Research (DMR). DMR forecasts global throughput growth of less than 4% per year for the next five years at container ports. “Structural changes such as near-shoring, 3D printing, miniaturisation, saturation of container penetration, and possible reduction in the use of transhipment are depressing the port growth forecast,” said the analyst. It said leading global container terminal operators were now recording revenue increases due to inorganic growth rather than organic - as reflected by flat yield growth - and this was dampening forward earnings forecasts. This would prompt more consolidation activity in the container terminal operator sector, with liner-owned terminals in the spotlight for potential sales given that freight rates were near historical low levels.

GOTTHARD TUNNEL TO VASTLY IMPROVE FREIGHT CONNECTIONS

Jun 13 2016
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The inauguration of the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel in Switzerland is set  to enhance rail freight transport through the Alps while also providing additional stimulus to the modal shift from truck to train for the shipment of goods. Hailed as a major link in a pan-European railway corridor stretching from the port of Rotterdam in the north, to Genoa, in the south, the 57.1 kilometre (35.5 mile)-long Gotthard Base Tunnel has taken 17 years to build and will open to commercial traffic at the end of  this year once final testing has been completed. Up to 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains are expected to traverse the two-tube tunnel on a daily basis. "The upcoming opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is a monumental event and will significantly improve the market opportunities on the Gotthard line in the long term," said Swiss combined transport operator, Hupac. "The preparations for the opening......in December 2016 are progress ...

SOLAS "GRACE PERIOD" ANNOUNCED

May 31 2016
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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has softened its stance on the enforcement of new safety regulations due to enter force on 1 July that make container weighing mandatory, instructing regulators to take a “pragmatic approach” in the first three months in order to minimise supply chain disruption.The policy change came as a new survey found that many shippers and forwarders are still not sure how they should comply with the new rules across their global networks. From 1 July, the mandatory amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) require shippers - and forwarders too when they are named as the shipper on the bill of lading - to verify and provide their container’s verified gross mass (VGM) to the ocean carrier and port terminal prior to it being loaded onto a ship. As reported in Lloyd’s Loading List, many lines, forwarders and shippers remain confused or are unprepared for the new rules, prompting fears of ocea ...

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