Maritime News

Container lines, at least in the U.S., are starting to take forceful action to prepare for the Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, weight verification rule.

Dole’s deployment of the Dole Pacific on regular service between California and Latin America is the latest sign of how refrigerated ship operators are turning increasingly to container ships from traditional break bulk vessels.

The enforcement of the SOLAS container weight mandate for U.S. exports — if there is any — will be done by each port, and the U.S. Coast Guard will only get involved if it boards an incoming vessel and finds it doesn’t have verified gross mass for each box.

Nigeria’s navy has secured the release of the Safmarine Kuramo from pirates that hijacked the vessel Friday as it made its way from Pointe Noire, Congo to Onne, Nigeria.

Panama Canal locks expansion project
The Panama Canal Authority is shooting to open its third set of larger locks that can handle post-Panamax ships in May, but it doesn’t expect the larger locks to attract new services for several months.

Freight rates in the trans-Pacific edged lower this week as the final shipments left Asia before factories there shut down for two weeks for the Chinese New Year celebrations. Even larger declines in freight rates could take place in the coming weeks.

Japan’s government has drawn up the drafts of guidelines and revised ministry ordinances, which contain penalties and variation between the verified gross mass and actual weight of a container, for the smooth implementation of the International Maritime Organization's looming Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, container weight rules.

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping has introduced a new container service at Krishnapatnam Port, a fast-growing alternative, minor, cargo gateway on India’s southeastern coast.

The fleet of idled container ships declined in the past two weeks with 11 vessels securing work, but is set to increase later this month as carriers blank services on the Asia-north Europe trade, according to Alphaliner.

Steadily falling spot rates on the Asia to Europe and Mediterranean trades slowed to single digit declines this week with the majority of factories now closed for the Chinese New Year holiday period.