Monday, 13 January 2014 00:00
China Shipowners concern of P3 mega alliance
The China Shipowners Association (CSA) has expressed concern that the massive scale of the P3 mega alliance, binding the world’s big three carrier into a coordinated global operation, will create unfair competition.
“Monopolising and manipulating rates in shipping markets is clearly forbidden and opposed in the global market economy,” CSA Vice Chairman Zhang Shouguo told Lloyd’s List. “We have expressed worries to the relevant Chinese authorities over the possible negative impact that P3 could bring.”
CSA, which includes Cosco and China Shipping said it would monitor P3 members Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM for changes in market share when operations begin in the second quarter of 2014 if allowed by regulators.
The US Federal Maritime commission has also voiced doubts about the P3 and plans to meet European and Chinese officials later this month to share its concerns.
Zhang said, “We will continue to gather opinions from our members. We will also pay strong attention to what foreign regulators and shippers think.”
Top container carriers control 87% of capacity
As reported in DynaLiners as at 01 January 2014, Top Container Operators (by parent or main company, including subsidiaries, affiliates and sister companies) control 87% of the existing world container capable fleet deployed in liner services, 1% more than they did one year ago. The share of their orderbook amounts to nearly 23% of their existing fleet and to 91% (up 1%) of the world orderbook. During the year, KMTC entered the list, replacing, T.S. Lines. Perhaps against the expectation of many, both HDS Lines of Iran and Nile Dutch of The Netherlands managed to keep their Top 25 ranking. Despite substantial growth of many a carrier’s fleet, the Top 10 was unchanged compared to one year ago. While MSC has continued challenging Maersk Line’s number one position, the Danes’ current fleet and orderbook combined is still larger than that of the Swiss, albeit by a meagre 55,000 TEU. A.P. Moller-Maersk recently took already a kind of an advance position on the perhaps inevitable by stating that being profitable has priority over before being the largest.
Compared to one year ago, world fleet size was up 5.7% to 17.8 million TEU, which was a slightly higher 6.3% for the Top 25. At 3.8 million TEU, the current orderbook is 11.1% larger than it was in January 2013. As a share of the existing fleet, it now stands at 21.4%.
More Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCS)
The Japanese Sumitomo Group will build seven 14,000 TEU ULCS at one of its yards in Japan for charter to Evergreen for a period of ten years at a rate of around USD 46,000 per day. The vessels are for delivery in 2016 and 2017.
The Evergreen/Sumitomo order takes the total ULCS fleet, operating and (confirmed) on order, to 323 ships of 13,500 TEU average with a total 4.4 million TEU. Of these, 192 units are being employed, with 131 yet to be built.
Indications are that 54 ULCS, 740,000 TEU will be delivered in 2014, to be followed by an ever more frightening 63 units/960,000 TEU by end 2015.
Terminal operators spread emerging market risk
While there are risks aplenty, container terminal operator investors are eyeing the future of containership volumes to gear themselves for an eventual boom should the US and Europe recovery keep apace and operators share risks of rising emerging markets.
Citing forecasts for 2017, the current global throughput of 620 million to 630 million TEU will increase by a further 200 million TEU. The Massachusetts based American Journal of Transportation says such a growth is likely to extend to 2020.
Emerging markets are bullish, having outpaced GDP growth of developed nations for more than a decade. Many of these nations lack container terminals to manage growth, such as Africa, the Middle East, South America and the Indian subcontinent said the AJOT report.
Even China, although expected to grow more slowly, is forecast to increase annual output by eight to 10%. North America is also thought to see container volumes grow because of the strength of the emerging energy markets.
Manila’s International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) has long invested in emerging markets beyond Asia. Only APM Terminals comes close to sharing ICTSI’s third world vision.
By contrast, half of Hong Kong’s Hutchinson Port Holdings (HPH) operations are in mainland China and Hongkong. 72% of Cosco Pacific holdings are in the Far East. Less than half of Dubai’s DP World throughput is beyond the Mideast at 46% and 60% of Singapore’s box volume happens in Southeast Asia.
Will Hapag team-up with CSAV and Hamburg Sud?
Chairman, Hapag-Lloyd has urged Hamburg Sud to join its pending co-operation/merger talks with CSAV. Negotiations between the German companies stalled earlier this year, as they failed to reach agreement on the new entity’s control. The three together would certainly form a strong East/West-North/South force, combined deploying 311 ships, 1,458,000 TEU, thereby settling firmly of the 4th spot of Alphaliner’s Top 100, only some 30,000 slots behind number three CMA CGM. Hamburg-CSAV-Lloyd’s joint orderbook would comprise 27 ships, 252,000 TEU, an altogether manageable 17% of the existing fleet. Why would they not proceed?
Shippers warned of advanced manifest
Japan’s version of the 24 hour advanced manifest rule for containerised cargo shipments will come into effect on 8 March 2014, requiring advance submission of shipping details for security screening prior to loading of cargo on board the vessel at origin.
Shipments that do not contain the necessary information in shipping instructions will be rejected for loading by customs authorities. By applying the new regulation, Japan is following in the footsteps of the US, Canada and Europe.
“This move is well underway around the world and we can expect that this will be the norm for all trading nations within the next few years,” Trade Tech president Bryn Heimbeck, was quoted as saying in a report by the Journal of Commerce.
The European Union’s 24 hour advanced manifest rule came into effect on 31 December 2010, while the US was the first to introduce the regulation in late 2002 as an anti-terrorism measure following 9/11.
Evergreen to join CKYH Alliance
As reported in the Journal of Commerce, Hanjin Shipping is planning to invite Evergreen Line to join the CKYH Alliance to improve the network’s competitive posture.
The announcement comes as the South Korean carrier, the eighth largest in the world by fleet size according to Alphaliner, has outlined a plan to shed underperforming assets and non-core businesses to bolster its bottom line.
An expansion of the CKYH Alliance – whose members are COSCO, ‘K’ Line, Yang Ming, and Hanjin – to include Evergreen had been suggested as one potential response to the competitive threat posed by the new P3 Network among CMA CGM, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., and the subsequently announced expansion of the G6 Alliance on the east-west trades.
Adding Evergreen would boost capacity for the CKYH Alliance, which is lagging both the P3 and G6 in the new mega-ship arms race, according to SeaIntel. Evergreen is the fourth-largest container line by fleet size, according to Alphaliner, and it has already taken delivery of the first of 10 13,000-TEU ships. The carrier, which already cooperates closely with the CKYH Alliance but is currently unaffiliated, has not yet commented regarding the invitation.
82% of accidental claims in South Asia ports avoidable
Cargo handling accidents at South Asia ports could be avoided because 82% of insurance claims result from operational shortcomings or poor equipment maintenance, says TT Club’s Asia Pacific Director, Phillip Emmanuel.
Analysis of insurance claims received by the transport underwriter TT Club over the past seven years show an overwhelming frequency of avoidable accidents resulting in bodily injury, damage to property, equipment and cargo.
Speaking at the 8th Southern Asia Ports, Logistics and Shipping conference in Mumbai, prevention advice formed a pivotal part of the presentation given by Emmanuel.
He strongly urged operators to carry out continuous safety training for their employees; to upgrade traffic management systems to help avoid in-yard vehicle collisions; and to invest in safety technology.
The writer a Maritime Economist is a Chartered Fellow (Logistics Transport), Chartered Shipbroker (UK), Chartered Marketer (UK) and a University of Oxford Business Alumni. He is also a Fellow of NORAD/JICA and Harvard Business School (EEP).