World Maritime News

WMNF 2020/11/12


September surge puts box volumes in growth territory

Global containerized trade was up 2.7% in the third quarter as volumes in September came in higher than last year for the second consecutive month. The gains closed the year-to-date volume deficit to just 3% through September-end, although carriers forecasted double digit declines at the outbreak of COVID-19 in March. Spot rates on major east-west trade lanes have shown increasing defiance. Just how long rates will hold out remains the ultimate question.

Read more: Lloyd’s List

Asia container shortage worsens

Container volumes on both Asia-Europe head-haul and back-haul routes as well as trans-Pacific trades rose sharply through September, exacerbating the container equipment imbalance that is frustrating forwarders on the busy trade lane. They say that container shortages at Asian ports are so severe that carriers are sometimes unable to guarantee customers’ equipment. The container shortages are so acute, particularly at the Chinese ports of Xiamen, Ningbo and Shanghai that some vessels are leaving Asia without full loads.

Read more: JOC1 | JOC2

China is key driver of trade in pandemic economy

China’s appetite for imported commodities has been one of the bright spots for shipping during the pandemic, when demand in other economies has waned due to lock down and travel restrictions. China’s V-shaped economic recovery and heavy infrastructure investment have helped fuel its demands for raw commodities. With new lockdown in Europe and uncertainty in the US, some analysts have warned that there is no guarantee the current level of demand will be maintained beyond the short term, should customer behavior change.

Read more: Lloyd’s List

Container sector follows as manufacturing shifts south

There has been a shift from South China manufacturing hubs to new production centers in Southeast Asia taking over the past couple of years, accelerated by recent events such as supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus backdrop and China-US tensions. Carriers have been quick to respond to the manufacturing shift, rolling out a host of new services to Vietnam, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian hubs. While many Southeast Asian ports need to invest in upgrades in order to handle the large vessels, this depend on strategic decisions around how long the manufacturing boom in Southeast Asia will last.

Read more: Lloyd’s List1 | Lloyd’s List2

MOL seals contract for three ships for Arctic LNG 2 project

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has ordered three ice-breaking LNG carriers on the back of a long-term charter contract with Arctic LNG 2, building on the success of ship-to-ship transfers of LNG from Arctic projects. The vessel will transport LNG from a loading terminal in the Russian Arctic to the floating LNG storage units to be installed at the trans-shipment terminal in Kamchatka (eastbound) and Murmansk (westbound) via the Northern Sea Route.

Read more: MOL | Lloyd’s List

European Parliament pushed to support scrubber prohibition

The European Union should ban scrubbers, their wash-water discharges and use of heavy fuel oil in its waters, according to a renewed push in the European Parliament adding pressure on the shipping industry. Several counties in the EU have prohibited the discharge of wash water from scrubbers at their ports, amid claims that they lead to water pollution. EU counties are among the more aggressive in the IMO seeking the ban of scrubbers.

Read more: Lloyd’s List

Southern California ports’ throughput slowed by surging imports

Increasing numbers of containerships, booming volumes of cargoes and a shortage of crane operators are all contributing to a backlog of vessels at the San Pedro Bay ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Jim McKenna, chief executive of the Pacific Maritime Association, which handles labor relations for leading shipping lines and terminal operators in ports along the Pacific Coast, said the slowdown and extended turn times were largely due to increasingly high volumes of containers.

Read more: Lloyd’s List

Marine insurance sector faces turbulence of claim hikes

West of England’s 7.5% surcharge on next year’s premiums is fair and reasonable in light of sharp recent real-terms plunges in P&I rates, and every club in the International Group will be seeking similar hikes, the maritime mutual’s chief executive has argued. Other factors leaving P&I insurers with no alternative but to jack up prices include the current record level of pool claims and taking investment returns as a result of Covid-19 pandemic. Claims due to typhoons, storms and hurricanes are now the biggest concerns for insurers. The Standard P&I Captain Yves Vandenborn noted that crew fatigue can also lead to an increase in incidents at sea.

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Lloyd’s List1 | Lloyd’s List2


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