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CONTAINER SPACE TIGHTENS

Apr 06 2017
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European shippers held an emergency meeting last week over the current ocean freight capacity crisis in which delays of up to eight weeks for eastbound cargo from Europe to Asia are costing exporters existing and future sales. The European Shippers’ Council said it was asked by representatives of national shippers’ councils, as well as by individual export companies, to organize an emergency meeting, adding: “This meeting took place last week and focused on the current situation in the maritime sector: goods to be exported have been waiting for up to eight weeks to be loaded on ships. The present capacity is insufficient to take all shipments.” ESC said carriers were also providing no guarantee that all of the goods within a shipment would be loaded, noting: “Frequently some goods from a shipment remain in the port. At the same time spot market freight tariffs are increasing.”  The cargo-owner represe ...

CONTAINER RATES SOAR FOR EASTBOUND FREIGHT

Mar 28 2017
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Container freight spot-rates from North Europe to China rose 45% last week to a four-year high due to unexpectedly strong eastbound volumes, especially to China, plus service cuts post-Chinese New Year. European exporters needing to ship export containers from Europe to Asia and the Middle East have been facing unusually tight capacity for the time of year for several weeks leading to rising rates, booking restrictions, and backlogs.It is highly unusual for the ‘backhaul’ route from Europe to Asia – where vessels normally have load factors of less than 70% – to see such spikes in rate levels and capacity shortages. 

EASTBOUND BOOST FOR AIR FREIGHT

Mar 27 2017
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Eastbound air freight tonnages on Europe-Asia services now exceed westbound volumes on certain key markets, air cargo carriers have reported, confirming that there has been a long-term ‘re-balancing’ of the previous strong directional imbalance on key Far East-Europe markets.Carriers have also recorded a long-term trend in favour of eastbound volumes, confirming the findings of analysts. Research by data specialist WorldACD has revealed that while there was hardly any growth westbound from Asia Pacific to Europe over the past six years, in the opposite direction volumes increased by an average of almost 40%. As a result, volumes from Europe to Asia Pacific have now overtaken those transported westbound on certain lanes, reflecting the increasing purchasing power of Asia. The data specialist identified the markets of the major western European countries to east and northeast China, Korea, and Japan, as the main drivers for the general trend observed. ...

HEATHROW GROWS

Feb 10 2017
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Heathrow Airport is continuing to grow strongly in 2017 with cargo volumes rising 4.4 per cent to 124,101 tonnes.Between February 2016 and January 2017, cargo volumes were up 3.1 per cent to 1.54 million tonnes, while a record 5.74 million passengers passed through the airport in January, year-on-year growth of 4.2 per cent. Heathrow Airport chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says: “With record passenger numbers and cargo growth in January, Heathrow continues to serve the UK.  We are getting on with our expansion programme, so that we can create the new routes that will deliver the Prime Minister’s vision of a global Britain, as quickly as possible.” Heathrow has also passed the first milestone to get a third runway with the publication of the government’s draft National Policy Statement. Holland-Kaye says: “The launch of the Government’s National Policy Statement consultation is a key milestone and we look forward to working with our lo ...

AMAZON LOGISTICS EXPANSION

Feb 06 2017
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The scale of Amazon’s investment in a new US air freight hub highlights the extent of its logistics ambitions andspeculation about whether it will become a significant disruptive rival to traditional third-party logistics players. Although the US internet giant has given few details about its plans to create a new “long-term” centralised US air cargo hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG), state officials said Amazon plans to invest $1.49 billion in the hub and has agreed to a 50-year lease with the airport with provisions to provide up to 900 acres (360 hectares) of land. Kentucky state’s Cabinet for Economic Development noted that with agreements approved by the Kenton County Airport Board and the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, Amazon will build a state-of-the-art sorting, loading and unloading facility on the airport property. Airport board members approved a 50-year lease expandable to 900 acres of property. Additi ...

POSITIVE FIGURES FOR AIR FREIGHT

Jan 27 2017
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Strong global air freight growth in recent months looks set to continue into 2017, as reported by IATA. The latest data for global air freight markets showed that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose 6.8% in November 2016 compared to the year-earlier period. This was a slight slowdown from the 8.4% annual growth recorded in October 2016 - which was a 20-month high - but was still more than 2.5 times the average annual monthly growth rate of 2.6% over the past decade. IATA noted that the increase in freight growth coincides with an increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air, and an apparent turnaround in new export orders. A modal shift to air cargo following the collapse of the Hanjin Shipping Company in August may have also contributed, the association added. On a regional level, airlines in all regions except Latin America reported an increase in year-on-year demand in November.

CONTAINER RATE RECOVERY

Jan 26 2017
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Freight rate gains in the second half of 2016 meant two thirds of container trade lanes finished the year higher than in 2015, but container lines still earned on average $42 per TEU less in 2016 taken as a whole.This has primarily been due to the devastating low rates in the first half of 2016. Based on analysis of Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) spot market trade routes, it was found that the majority of trades finishing the year at higher rates than a year earlier. Freight rates managed to gain momentum through the second half of 2016, due to measures taken from the shipping lines in terms of network optimisation, scrapping and more careful deployment around the peak season. European trade was a standout performer in 2016, but intra-Asia and some Transpacific trades fared less well. Container shipping lines operating from Shanghai to Europe earned US$66 more per TEU transported in 2016 compared to 2015. By contrast, lines operating US East Coast- ...

CONTAINER RATES RISE

Jan 16 2017
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Freight rates on the major east-west trades have continued to rise into 2017, taking two key container price indices to 20-month highs and fuelling optimism among carriers over the year ahead after a dismal 2016 for lines. After the previous week’s Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) provided an indication that carriers had managed to push through general rate increases on both the transpacific and Asia-Europe trades, Drewry’s World Container Index composite index last week rose above $1,700 this week for the first time since the 2015-2016 ‘price war’, to $1,770 per 40 ft container. The biggest jump was reported on the transpacific trade, where Drewry’s Hong Kong-Los Angeles spot rate jumped 42% to a two-year high of $2,361 per feu, while the Shanghai-Rotterdam index was up 13% ($257) to $2,210 per feu.

SWISS TUNNEL OPENS

Dec 13 2016
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The world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, has now entered commercial service for both freight and passenger traffic.

THE HANJIN STORY ENDS

Dec 09 2016
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Three months after Hanjin Shipping filed for court receivership the last of the containers stranded on board its stricken box vessels have been discharged with the final load being discharged from the 5,744 teu Hanjiin Viennaover last weekend in Vancouver, where the ship has been under arrest since September 1 due to outstanding fees at the Canadian port. Export containers bound for Asia were loaded onto Hanjin Seattle before it heads to North Asia to deliver its final load, now only 10 ships remain under the company's control. Two are destined for the scrapyard, namely the 4,024 teu Hanjin Los Angeles and the 5,302 teu Hanjin Paris, which are expected to be delivered to breakers on the Indian subcontinent in the coming weeks. Hanjin Rome is also expected to be sent for scrapping upon release, while Hanjin Vienna will be returned to its owner. Two Hanjin ships remain active. Returning from Asia to the US we ...

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