Maritime News

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.

Containerized U.S. imports rose 6.9 percent year-over-year in June.
U.S. containerized imports in June showed substantial year-over-year growth, as labor negotiations on the West Coast seem to have induced an early ocean container shipping peak season.

Images for weekly wrap-up
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association met for three days this past week without concluding negotiations; at the weekend, the parties announced a week-long recess in the talks. German carrier Hamburg Süd announced plans to acquire the container operations of Chile’s CCNI, in a move resembling the deal between larger competitor Hapag-Lloyd and Chile’s CSAV, and Crowley is reported to be in talks to acquire Horizon Lines’ Puerto Rico assets. Earnings reports by U.S. truckload carriers are pointing to a stronger freight recovery in the United States, though rail service continues to be held back. And on Friday, Anne S. Ferro announced her departure from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after five years leading the agency.

Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust) reported a 16 percent rise in first-half net profit on the back of improved U.S. and European cargo and greater transshipment volume.

OOCL Qingdao
Evidence of volume growth in east-west container shipping markets was revealed in Orient Overseas Container Line’s most recent results.

The Shanghai-northern Europe spot rate slipped 2.2 percent to $1,203.
Price drops continued to be reflected in the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index this week, as every major lane on the index saw spot rates fall.

Container volume at the Port of Philadelphia jumped 29 percent during the first half of the year, aided by two new services and a continuing shift of breakbulk to containers for shipments of imported fruit.

Hamburg Sued ships
Hamburg Süd has signed a preliminary agreement to acquire the container operations of the Valparaiso, Chile-based Compañía Chilena de Navegación Interoceánica, or CCNI, by Dec. 31, 2014.

Ocean carrier rate revision roundup for July 25
Several container lines have planned general rate increases in multiple trade lanes in August, although any gains achieved could be temporary as overcapacity and sluggish global demand continue.