Japan’s third-largest shipping line, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, announced Monday it would be beefing up its LNG and bulker vessels over the next four years, while downsizing its container shipping fleet.
Spot rates on the Asia to the Middle East and South Asia are being undermined as carriers on the trades struggle to maintain load factors to support freight rate increases, according to Drewry Container Insight.
MOL on Monday confirmed orders and charters for six 20,150-TEU vessels that catapults the Japanese carrier into the ranks of the operators of the world’s largest container ships.
SeaLand, the hallowed container shipping brand relaunched by Maersk Line in January, sees an opportunity to gain market share in the Latin American lanes resulting from two mergers — between two German container lines and two Chilean carriers.
A premium shipping market awaits container lines who would be willing to offer premium service at a higher price than commoditized service offered by most carriers today, Kuehne+Nagel Chairman Karl Gernandt told TPM 2015.
Rickmers Group, the leading German ship owner and manager, said it has successfully concluded negotiations with its bankers to restructure 1.28 billion euros (US$1.43 billion) of loans.
Maersk Line CEO Soren Skou said ships with capacities of 25,000 20-foot-equivalent units are possible but not practical today, and that he expects 18,000- to 19,000-TEU container ships to remain the largest afloat for years to come.
Growth in the global reefer market this year will likely outpace the lukewarm performance of the past few years, according to industry analysts.
Cargo interests undoubtedly are relieved that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association reached a tentative contract deal on Feb. 20 after more than nine months of unexpectedly difficult negotiations, but now it’s time for importers and exporters to reassess their commitment to West Coast ports.
The economic fundamentals of the trans-Pacific trade are strengthening, setting the stage for what would normally generate rapid growth in container volumes, especially in the eastbound trade. But this isn’t a normal year.