Maritime News

Spot rates on the Asia-Mediterranean trade fell to their lowest ever levels this week, hitting $244 per 20-foot container as China shut down during the country’s Golden Week national holidays.

This year’s peak shipping season has come and gone, and with it so has the notion of a traditional peak season, industry executives said at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference here Thursday.

An increase in the annual subsidy for operation of U.S.-flag ships under the Maritime Security Program has been inserted into a U.S. House bill to lift the United States’ 40-year-old ban on oil exports.

Zim Integrated Shipping Services refused to comment on reports it is planning an initial public offering in the U.S. next year.

The imminent suspension of several liner services between Asia and the U.S. East Coast and South America during the slack shipping season threatens to put as many as 50 Panamax container ships out of work by January, according to Alphaliner.

The container shipping industry is facing three more years of overcapacity and financial pain because of slowing global trade and a bloated order book of large vessels, forcing Drewry to slash its growth forecast for 2015 and revise down estimates for future years.

Container line APL has launched a weekly service connecting North Asia markets with the U.S. West Coast using U.S.-flagged vessels in a speedy transit that will be controlled by the carrier from end-to-end, including the rail link to inland destinations.

The labor dispute that clogged West Coast ports with containers for months is still shaping freight markets, speakers at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference say, months after a contract was signed and the freight logjam broke.

FedEx founder, CEO and Chairman Fred Smith expects some of the cargo diverted from congested West Coast ports to remain moving through other entry points as shippers diversify their supply chains.

Hyundai Merchant Marine said it will spin off its dry bulk division and its two U.S. West Coast container terminals as the Korean company seeks to bolster liquidity at its core container shipping business.