• Europe-Asia capacity crunch a sign of shifting trade patterns, says Maersk - The Loadstar

    The eastbound capacity crunch hitting shippers to Asia is not temporary, but the beginning of a more permanent shift in trading patterns, Maersk Line told The Loadstar today.

    The current capacity crunch on the Europe-Asia backhaul leg was originally attributed to a severe cull of westbound sailings during the Chinese new year holiday, but there has also been a big spike in demand, according to Maersk.
    [Maersk Line’s trade manager for the route, Sushil Sriram] said there was a definite shift in the Chinese economy towards production for domestic consumption, evidenced by the recent rise in the import of raw materials, including iron ore.

    Beijing’s long-term strategy for GDP expansion is for consumer demand to replace exports as China’s main engine for economic growth, and Mr Sriram confirmed there was a big increase in demand, especially for western luxury goods – “everybody wants a BMW or a Mercedes”.

    Mr Sriram explained that the euro’s continued erosion of value against the US dollar in the past year, as well as further falls in the value of sterling since the UK’s referendum vote last June, have made European exports more attractive in Asia.

  • The shipping industry and tomorrow’s technology faces a serious threat from cyber crime - The Loadstar

    Cyber crime is likely to delay the introduction of autonomous ships for several years – and it could pose a significant threat to the shipping industry if it fails to act soon.

    There has been much progress on autonomous ships this year, notably from Rolls-Royce, and in October Norway opened the world’s first designated test area. But there is still a long way to go, believes SeaIntelligence CEO Lars Jensen.

    Autonomous ships are a long way in the future,” he told delegates at TOC Middle East in Dubai last week.
    One of the biggest problems facing the industry – and autonomous ships – is that it is not yet fully equipped to handle cyber crime, he added.

    “_The industry is in very poor shape when it comes to cyber security. It needs awareness among senior management – this is not an IT issue.
    Mr Jensen also warned ports and terminals that they were likely to be in the vanguard of cyber attacks.

    Noting several attacks in the past few weeks alone, that took out major sites such as Netflix and Twitter, as well as a telecoms company in Libya and another on domestic routers in Germany, he emphasised the vulnerability of ports, particularly via the Internet of Things.
    Companies should be looking to prevent crime at the design stage of technology – and simply encryption, understanding the risk and training would be critical.

    Companies need to work cyber defence into their business processes,” he advised.

    Don’t automate any deals worth more than $1m, for example. Improve staff awareness and technical know-how. It’s not expensive – companies already have most of the tools they need. It’s about training and configuring networks slightly differently.

  • Empty container repositioning costs the shipping industry up to $20bn a year - The Loadstar

    Repositioning empty containers costs the shipping industry $15-$20bn a year – up to 8% of a shipping line’s operating costs – according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

    At this week’s Intermodal Europe event in Rotterdam, Johannes Schlingmeier, a consultant at BCG, said the huge number of empty container movements across the globe accounted for 15% of all box movements in the US, 14% in Latin America, 29% in Europe, 16% in the Middle East and 25% in China.

    Speaking to The Loadstar, Mr Schlingmeier’s colleague, Christian Roeloffs, said the problem arose from a mixture of structural trade imbalances and liner and network inefficiency.

    Against structural imbalances – such as those seen in an economy that exports more, China’s, for instance – little can be done,” he said.

    Eh oui, c’est la bonne vieille question du #fret_de_retour.

    Bon, heureusement, quand c’est quelqu’un d’une boîte de conseil qui parle, la solution n’est jamais loin…

    However, our analysis shows that 33% of repositioning costs arise from company inefficiencies.

  • Shippers get the news: Hanjin finally reveals where its ships are - The Loadstar

    (localisation, mais sans carte…)

    Unloading operations have begun on some Hanjin vessels after the line finally began to update shippers and forwarders on where its vessels actually are.

    A fleet update issued by the carrier this morning shows the vast majority of its vessels still “waiting in open sea” for instructions from headquarters.

    So far six vessels are confirmed to have been arrested – the Hanjin Baltimore at Panama, with the Panama Canal “impassable” to the line; Hanjin Vienna in Vancouver; Hanjin California in Sydney; Hanjin Rome, as widely reported, in Singapore; and Hanjin Rotterdam in Yantian; and Hanjin Sooho in Shanghai; while the Hanjin Montevideo has been arrested by its bunker supplier in Long Beach, California.

    Another seven vessels are at port under embargo and three more – Sky Pride, Sky Love and Pacita – have been returned to their owners.

    Ten vessels are waiting off the coast of China and two off Japan; a further 12 are waiting off South Korea, two of which – Hanjin Chongqing and Asian Trader – have now run out of fuel and are waiting for bunker supplies. Another nine vessels are underway to Pusan, where they won’t run the risk of arrest.

    The Hanjin Europe is under embargo in Hamburg, with Hanjin Harmony waiting in the North Sea, while five vessels wait in the Mediterranean. Two of the latter were refused entry to the Suez Canal and now face circumventing the Cape of Good Hope on their journey to Asia.

    There are nine vessels waiting in the waters of South-east Asia, the Indian Ocean and around Australia, and a further three in the Arabian Gulf.

    In the US, Hanjin Greece began unloading at a Long Beach terminal, while five vessels wait off the coast, with reports that one, the Hanjin Gdynia, will dock this week.

  • Relief for Samsung is air cargo’s loss, as US judge rules Hanjin ships can unload - The Loadstar

    The air freight industry appears to have missed a boost to business from the collapse of container line Hanjin, after a US court ruled that the line’s ships could dock under provisional bankruptcy protection.
    The hi-tech company has 304 containers of parts and finished goods for its visual display business, valued at $24.3m, on the two ships, while a further 312 containers held finished goods from its home appliances division, valued at approximately $13.4m.

    Samsung explained that if the ships were not allowed to dock, it would need to charter at least 16 air freighters, at a cost of $8.8m, to move 1,469 tons of alternative goods.

    C’est l’opérateur du terminal de containers (également filiale de Hanjin…) qui n’est pas vraiment réjoui qui voit se profiler le spectre de navires ventouses.

    The court motion for provisional relief was contested by TTI, a joint-venture owned by Hanjin Shipping Co and Terminal Investment, which operates two marine terminals in the US (Long Beach and Seattle) and provides services to Hanjin and other lines.

    TTI filed its own motion alleging that the “lack of a short-term plan for these vessels will lead to mayhem. The vessels will have no means to berth (as the tugs and tug operators will not service them) and no ability to unload (as the unions and port operators will not serve them). And even if these tasks are somehow accomplished, Hanjin must provide fuel and supplies for its ships, but they do not appear to be able to pay these bills”.

  • Les opérateurs de porte-conteneurs veulent développer le hors gabarit.

    Becalmed container lines eye project cargo as an alternative revenue stream - The Loadstar

    Project logistics and out-of-gauge cargo are the latest specialist shipping targets of container lines looking for alternative revenue streams.

    With standard dry container volumes showing flat growth, and low freight rates an increasingly perennial feature of the industry, box carriers are looking to expanding into the more profitable area of out-of-gauge and heavylift cargo.

    The move would be similar to their attack on the perishables sector, which began two decades ago and has led to an huge decline in the conventional reefer shipping fleet.
    Out-of-gauge cargo is one of five niche sectors – reefers, dangerous goods, US flag services and cabotage services, the other four – that Hapag-Lloyd is keen to develop. The corporate target is that together they should make-up 15% of the group’s global volumes.

    So how realistic is it that container lines will be able to penetrate a sector that has traditionally been the preserve of specialist vessels mainly operating on a tramp basis?

    Et pour visualiser ce que « hors gabarit » veut dire, j’aime bien l’illustration choisie par gCaptain