Maritime News

On the eve of a host of planned general rate increases, Asia-North Europe spot rates tumbled 8.2 percent this week, shedding most of the sharp gains made since mid-January, according to the latest reading of the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI).

Hanjin Shipping cut its losses by 37.8 percent in 2014 on the back of a vastly improved operating result that has been in the red since 2011, but still ended the year with a loss of $42.3 million.

China Cosco Holdings ended 2014 in profitable territory, growing its net earnings by 50 percent to $56 million on the back of cost cuts, improved revenue and lower bunker fuel prices.

Evergreen Marine Corp. on Wednesday finalized plans to charter an 11-strong fleet of 18,000 TEU ships, becoming the latest carrier to deploy ultra-large container vessels but raising questions about how appropriate such ships designed for an era of slow steaming are after the recent plunge in oil prices.

Leading container shipping groups are under fire from a safe shipbreaking campaign group for continuing to send vessels to "sub-standard" beach demolition yards on the Indian sub-continent.

United Arab Shipping Co. has ordered 2,000 reefer containers as it prepares to expand into the South American liner trades.

Congestion on the West Coast, which has led to delays of one to three weeks on nearly all trans-Pacific services, has led carriers to inject significant additional tonnage into the trans-Pacific to maintain a semblance of schedule reliability, Alphaliner said.

China is the main battleground for the world’s four mega shipping alliances, that collectively depart from 10 mainland ports every week to North Europe in 74 weekly voyages, according to Drewry Maritime Research.

As the service contracting season in the eastbound trans-Pacific gears up, internal tensions within many large shipper organizations between a procurement and a logistics mentality will once again play out as contracts totaling billions of dollars are negotiated and signed between now and May 1. But procurement is slowly losing out.

Congestion and delays at U.S. West Coast ports meant UPS had to scramble to get containerized goods into its inland delivery network and to customers. Higher purchased transportation costs were a factor in lower fourth-quarter earnings.