Maritime News

Expectations of a solid peak season from Asia to both Europe and North America could lead to higher ocean container freight rates in the third quarter, but the gains are likely to be only temporary.

Drewry’s benchmark spot rate from Hong Kong to Los Angeles remained at $1,800 per 40-foot container for a second week.
In a now familiar pattern, trans-Pacific spot prices held steady ahead of another general rate increase after dropping precipitously the week before.

An activist group announced plans to block cargo moving off Israel-based Zim ships at Oakland on Aug. 2 to protest the conflict in Gaza.

Finnlines, a leading Baltic short sea shipping line, today posted its biggest quarterly profit in eight years as it sold surplus ships, axed loss-making routes and disposed of non-core operations.

Plane in blue sky
Positive developments in China’s export space are raising expectations that the recent strong performance of air and ocean cargo volumes will extend into a solid peak season.

The price of low-sulfur fuel per metric ton in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, a global indicator of bunker prices, has dropped $46.21 in six weeks.
Spot prices for low-sulfur bunker fuel sank for the sixth straight week last week, a total drop of just over 7 percent.

China
If the negative portrayal by China’s state broadcaster of the proposed 2M tie-up between Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. this weekend has official backing, it could be an indication of internal political pressure to shield Cosco and China Shipping Container Lines from a stronger competitor.

A rise in traffic from Asia to Mediterranean ports has led to tight capacity and a substantial rise in spot prices.

The Suez Canal’s major deepening project is just over the horizon as crews will start widening and dredging a 34-kiliometer strip in order to improve wait times for vessels using the canal.

Ometepe Island volcanoes in Lake Nicaragua.
When the Nicaraguan government earlier this month approved plans by a Hong Kong-based company to build a canal linking the Pacific with the Caribbean and thus the Atlantic, observers in the maritime industry were largely left scratching their heads.