World Maritime News

WMNF 22/02/2023


Topics regarding the end of 2M Alliance

The decision by Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Maersk to end their 2M Alliance will not lead to a breakup of the two other vessel-sharing agreements or spark a round of musical chairs with carriers searching for new partners, according to Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc. Clerc said a way to look at the breakup of 2M was that instead of three major networks on the east-west trades come 2025, and there would now be four — Ocean Alliance, THE Alliance, Maersk, and MSC.

Maresk’s integration strategy and the decision to split from 2M may force other lines to weigh their options, according to AlixPartners managing director Lian Hoon Lim. Matching the fleet size of the top dog, Mediterranean Shipping Co, appears to be a tall order, while resolutely going down Maersk’s path can be risky, according to the industry expert.

Read more: JOCLloyd’s List


Shipping lines’ upgrading/halting services from Asia to the US

Cosco Shipping has added capacity to one of its Asia-US Gulf Coast services by replacing Panamax ships with post-Panamax vessels that once served the US West Coast. The redeployments come as Gulf Coast ports press ahead with projects to handle larger-capacity vessels.

In the meantime, Maersk is halting a trans-Pacific service from Indonesia to the US East Coast (TP20) introduced less than two years ago, part of the continued dismantling of vessel services that arose from the pandemic-era surge in container shipping demand.

Read more: JOC1JOC2


Shipping lines face a tough situation due to a decrease in container volume.

Full-year numbers for container liftings in 2022 make for bleak reading for global box carriers, with the sheer extent of the demand collapse laid bare. The latest figures published by Container Trades Statistics show volumes fell back to 173m teu last year, down shy of 4% on the 180m teu moved by liner operators on the trunk trades in 2021.

Container carriers are playing a game of dare with capacity after failing to apply the lessons learned at the onset of the pandemic and risk a price war that could severely damage earnings. An analysis of capacity deployment by Sea-Intelligence shows that container lines, which were quick to pull capacity in early 2020 as the pandemic’s early impact led to a volume collapse, have been slow to do the same since demand began falling last September.

After the chaos of the past two years drove rates ever upwards, the shoe is now on the other foot. As a result, box-line customers will be pushing for far lower contract rates this year. After the unique situation of the pandemic years, this year’s negotiations will be very different. Demand is down, capacity is up, and freight rates have fallen sharply over the past two quarters.

Read more: Lloyd’s List1Lloyd’s List2Lloyd’s List3


Turkey’s Iskenderun port to restart in three months

Turkey’s directorate of maritime affairs said that, according to Limak, the Turkish ports operator, there was no structural damage to its facilities at Iskenderun port following the deadly earthquakes. A large fire at the port was extinguished, and around 1,000 containers were separated. A statement on social media said, “Rehabilitation works will be swiftly underway,” and added that a vessel carrying critical aid supplies had reached Iskenderun, suggesting the port is partially functioning.

Limak said it would take around three months to restart full operations at Iskenderun port. Most other ports on the country’s Mediterranean coast are operating normally, as the ports of Ceyhan and Mersin resumed after temporarily stopping operations after the earthquake. Some companies have been diverting traffic to the Mersin International port, the biggest alternative containership terminal in the area.

Read more: Lloyd’s List1Lloyd’s List2


Benefits of terminal automation challenged

The arguments for port automation center on cost and efficiency. But there is little evidence that productivity increases, while other costs may be passed on to the port. A new study commissioned by the International Dockworkers Council and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) warns that the automation of terminals brings neither productivity gains for the terminal operator nor any benefits for the ports in which they are located.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


High China container throughput volume said to be inflated

Container full-year throughput at ports in China climbed over 4% in 2022 despite the pandemic-led disruptions, although the better-than-expected growth rate is thought to have been inflated. “The high Chinese port volumes contain some element of throughput inflation as the growth in China was not matched by volumes reported at ports in the rest of the world,” a Linerlytica report said. It attributed part of the increase to the double counting of domestic port volumes.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Sourcing shift from China pulls US import share to more than a decade low

Efforts by US importers to reduce their reliance on China to mitigate the risks of pandemic-driven disruption and rising geopolitical tensions are finally showing up in containerized trade flow, reaccelerating a decades-long bleed of production out of the so-called world’s factory.

Read more: JOC


Transport groups ask for carbon-neutral fuel to meet EU truck emissions targets

Europe’s road transport, shippers, and energy suppliers called on the European Union to recognize carbon-neutral fuels as a long-term decarbonization solution alongside electrification and hydrogen cells. In a joint letter to EU Executive Vice President Frans Timmerman, the International Road Union (IRU), the European Shippers’ Council, and FuelsEurope said to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the EU’s proposed heavy-duty vehicle carbon dioxide (CO2) regulations must include carbon-neutral liquid fuels for combustion engines.

Read more: JOC


Leading box lines agree to digitalize bills of lading by 2030

Nine of the top 10 carriers in the world (MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM, and Zim) signed up to move all bills of lading to electronic format by 2030, the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has announced. The DCSA estimates that moving from paper to digital bills of lading could save as much as $6.5bn in direct costs and enable $30bn-$40bn in annual global trade growth.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


ONE commits to sensor-equipped dry container fleet

Ocean Network Express (ONE) on 20 February said it is partnering with Sony Network Communications Europe to equip the carrier’s global fleet of dry containers with sensors. ONE is the second major carrier after Hapag-Lloyd to make such a commitment in the past year. “The data will enable better visibility of the containers, faster and proactive decision making and more, allowing more efficient container movement,” it said.

Read more: JOC


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