Worldwide container trades – Zero growth
As reported by DynaLiners the full Teu volume among 07 worldwide trade regions for the first nine months of 2012 increased by a only 0.8% to 70,840,000 Teu as against 70,309,000 Teu in 2011. It was only in Australasia and Europe including Mediterranean trades where exports increased by 8.3% to 1.7 million Teu and 6.3% to 12.6 million Teu respectively. In the Middle East/Indian Sub Continent, exports contracted by 0.2%.
Imports into Middle East - Indian Sub Continent grew by only 1.6% to 9.2 million Teu whilst to Europe the contraction was 3.3% to 15.9 million Teu, during the first nine months of 2012 as against the corresponding period in 2011.
Asia-Europe/Asia-US freight rates plunge
Notwithstanding the continuous capacity reduction efforts placed through service suspensions and increased slow steaming, the pleasure of higher Asia-North Europe rates to carriers was short-lived. Asia-Europe spot rates fell by 11.4% to US$ 1225 per Teu with rates of Asia - Mediterranean also falling by 10.4% to US$ 856 per Teu based on Shanghai Container Freight index.
Lars Jensen, CEO of SeaIntel Maritime Analysis stated that “nothing now remained in the November GRI on the Asia North Europe route. The rate has dropped to almost the same level as before the GRI”. Industry experts argue that December price increase will suffer the same fate as the earlier one unless the carriers make a collective effort to discipline on pricing with additional capacity being removed. The freight rates from Asia to US also witnessed a decline with West Coast rates slipping 3.7% to US$ 2,224 per Feu and East Coast rates down by 2.2% to US$ 3246 per
Feu. Around all trades covered by the Shanghai Container Freight index rates dropped by 4.9% to 1134.98 points.
Asian container exports to US decline by 5%
Imports from Asian countries to US fell by 5% to 1.4 million Teu in October compared over the same month in 2011. The Chinese unitised imports which account for more than 60% of Asian exports to the US fell by 2.4% from October 2011 to just over one million Teu. However, containers from Japan increased by 14.2% compared to September volumes and by 1.7% in October. The latest figures are in the backdrop of Port of Los Angeles, the largest US container gateway recording a growth of just 0.8% in October 2012 as against the corresponding month in 2011. Research House Zepol found that Maersk Line import volumes had fallen by 13.5% and Mediterranean Shipping Company by 9.6% to USA in October. However, APL has witnessed a significant rise in imports by 12%. Though import volumes have been down in the month of October, the total US imports for the year are up by 2.6% compared with January through October of 2011.
TSA carriers delay rate hike
The rate increase of US$ 400 per Feu to the US West Coast and US$ 600 per Feu to all other US destinations effective from December first announced by Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement (TSA) has now been postponed to 15 December.
Global container liner performance at record high
The schedule reliability of container shipping lines as reported by SeaIntel Maritime has advanced to a record high of 84%. The Global Liner performance report measures more than 10,000 vessel arrivals monthly across 32 trade lanes within 200 ports. Maersk Line continues to be the top performer worldwide followed by Hamburg Sud and Hanjin Shipping. MSC the second largest container carrier made a 10% improvement in schedule reliability on the Asia to Europe trade lane.
Maersk leads jobless vessels
A spokesman from Maersk Line, having the most number of container ships laid up, said: “We are continuously managing our capacity to meet market demands specially Asia-Europe.”
Explaining the 14 units of 94,000 slots currently not active, he also said, “Primary reason for the latest surge in idling ships is the removal of A9 services from Far East to Europe currently on hold.
The CEO of the Group Nils Andersen says: “If you can’t fill your vessels of course it is better to reduce your capacity. At least you save the cost.” In addition to laid up tonnage the Maersk line has re-delivered around 71 chartered container ships to their owners in the past few months.
Indian Cabotage Law – Still hiccups
The Indian Cabotage law which now permits DP World International Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam, Cochin to handle foreign flagged feeder vessels is yet to be ratified by the Ministry of Defence which has reservations due to security reasons. Defence Ministry has been insisting on scanning each and every single feeder container passing through the terminal.
Bureaucratic bottlenecks have delayed the growth of port capacity in India.
G6 feeder service – Is it a threat to feeder operators?
Will the decision by G6 Alliance to commence a new feeder service between the ports of Gothenburg, Hamburg and Bremerhaven as part of a cost reduction and capacity re-adjustment strategy under Gothenburg Express Service result in the extension of such services to other trades? Though the strategy is to cover the temporary winter break, it is however seen as an important development. The replacement feeder line is expected to operate profitably at full capacity during the winter break on a revised schedule from Gothenburg, Hamburg and Bremerhaven. The G6 decision to opt for this temporary arrangement was driven by weak trade flows between Asia and Europe.
European Commission to continue antitrust investigation
The head of the European Commission’s (EC) competition directorate antitrust and transport has warned that the investigations in relation to the 12 liner carriers whose European Head Office was raided by the EC on 17 May 2011 will continue. Due to inordinate silence some carriers assumed or hoped that the investigations had concluded and there was no further action. According to an insider as reported in Dynaliner, the case would centre around alleged joint capacity management rather than collusion on rates. Email [email protected]