Maritime News

With spot rates on imports from Asia approaching $900 per 40-foot container to the U.S. West Coast and $1,700 to the East Coast, cargo interests that played the spot market rather than shipping most of their imports under service contracts this year are big winners.

Spot freight rates in container trades should stage a marked recovery next year, but short lived successes with general rate increases should not be regarded as evidence of a fundamental improvement between supply and demand, a senior shipping analyst said.

A container-on-barge and rail shuttle service in the Pacific Northwest is preserving the ability of exporters of agricultural and paper products in the region to serve their customers in Asia since the Port of Portland lost well over 90 percent of its container volume earlier this year due to a prolonged labor dispute.

Hapag-Lloyd is buying back $125 million of a costly U.S. dollar bond two years before it is due to mature in a bid to improve its capital structure and reduce interest payments.

Drone cargo ships, known colloquially as ‘ghost’ ships, are unlikely to start operations within the coming decade and an intermediate step of partially automated ships with much reduced crew levels should be expected beforehand.

Talks between state-owned giants Cosco and China Shipping will continue into the new year, the groups said in exchange filings, six months after trading in shares of their listed subsidiaries was suspended.

The shipping industry is bracing for a carbon levy on marine bunker fuels to emerge from the global climate change conference that started in Paris Monday.

Singamas Container Holdings has issued a profit warning for the year that it blames on the market downturn and predicts it will hurt the company’s profitability into the first half of 2016.

Headhaul Asia-North Europe volumes will have shrunk by an incredible 400,000 TEUs by the end of December compared to last year if the rate of decline continues, according to Drewry.

Shipper groups have raised serious doubts about the benefits offered by mega alliances and the growing size of container ships, complaining of reduced choices and deteriorating service levels.