Maritime News

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 on April 1 will release draft guidelines for penalties and variation between the verified gross mass and actual weight of a container for meeting the International Maritime Organization’s looming Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, container weight rules, which take effect July 1.

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.

SOLAS VGM IMO container weight
Saying it will be impossible to implement the SOLAS container weight rule by July 1 without severely disrupting trade, U.S. exporters are calling on the Coast Guard to delay the rule until it can be amended and determined that they won’t face a competitive disadvantage against foreign exporters.

China Shipping Container Lines’ mega-ship Indian Ocean has run aground in the Elbe river roughly 19 miles from the Port of Hamburg, according to the German newspaper Die Welt.

Two of Japan’s big three shipping lines sailed into the crosshairs of Moody’s ratings agency, with the outlook of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines being reviewed to negative and K Line heading for a downgrade as weaker than expected profitability clouded their 2016 prospects.

Shippers using C.H. Robinson Worldwide to move truckload freight saw pricing drop 3 percent on average in the fourth quarter. The logistics operator's volume, net revenue and profit, on the other hand, all rose.

The SOLAS requirement that all packed containers must have a verified gross mass (VGM) before being loaded from July 1 sounds reasonable and straight forward, but parties within the export supply chain of a container are finding that compliance will depend on a sharp revamp of their internal processes.