Maritime News

Holiday shoppers in Asia will have to deal with a little less Christmas cheer this year, as trans-Pacific shipments of Christmas trees from the U.S. Pacific Northwest are the latest casualty of West Coast port congestion.

Strong growth in the Southeast Asia container trades will be a key focus for Maersk Line’s new Asia-Pacific chief executive Lars Mikael Jensen, who was appointed regional head in September.

Manila’s efforts to clear the backlog of containers congesting the port are being threatened by the Christmas and New Year holidays that the Philippine Ports Authority fears could bring the yard utilisation back to congestion levels.

Spot rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific responded to carrier rate increase attempts by jumping about 40 percent this week, Drewry Maritime Research said.

Another set of historic rate increases are on tap for the trans-Pacific, as the 15 members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement announced hikes totaling $1,000 per FEU.

World Shipping Council President and CEO Chris Koch in late July will hand over the reins of the trade group representing major container lines.

The launch of the 2M and 03 alliances in the New Year will boost capacity on the Far East-Mediterranean route by about 19 percent, triggering a battle for market share that could result in fresh rate reductions, according to Alphaliner.

Rising volumes propelled FedEx profit up 23 percent year-over-year to $616 million in its second quarter ended Nov. 30, the second-largest U.S. transport operator reported today.

Maersk Line is merging its MECL1 and MECL2 services connecting the Middle East, India and the U.S. East Coast into a single weekly loop, beginning in mid-January 2015.

Hapag-Lloyd became the latest carrier to announce a large general rate increase on trans-Pacific eastbound cargo for January, following Maersk Line and MOL.