China is the main battleground for the world’s four mega shipping alliances, that collectively depart from 10 mainland ports every week to North Europe in 74 weekly voyages, according to Drewry Maritime Research.
As the service contracting season in the eastbound trans-Pacific gears up, internal tensions within many large shipper organizations between a procurement and a logistics mentality will once again play out as contracts totaling billions of dollars are negotiated and signed between now and May 1. But procurement is slowly losing out.
Congestion and delays at U.S. West Coast ports meant UPS had to scramble to get containerized goods into its inland delivery network and to customers. Higher purchased transportation costs were a factor in lower fourth-quarter earnings.
The new carrier mega-alliances are set to shake up market share on the key Asia-North Europe liner trade while shippers will benefit from a greater choice of services, and probably lower freight rates, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants.
China’s largest shipping company, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., sailed back to profit in 2014 after three loss-making years, according to mainland media.
A European Commission proposal calling for carriers and forwarders to identify the buyers and sellers of imported goods in their customs filings has been slammed by the World Shipping Council (WSC).
After five years of strength in the southbound leg, the weakening value of the real is generating strong demand for Brazilian exports.
Maersk’s chief executive warned global trade will never return to the heady growth rates experienced before the global financial crisis of 2008, partly due to moves by western firms to repatriate manufacturing closer to home.
Spot rates on the Asia-North Europe trade surged to $1,256 per 20-foot container as carriers levied January general rates increases and volumes grew in the build up to Chinese New Year, according to the latest reading of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI).
The global container ship fleet this year is set to increase 7.8 percent in terms of capacity, outpacing last year’s 6.3 percent growth, according to Alphaliner.