Container Lines

Business intelligence, news and analysis on the container lines that transport most of the world's trade such as CMA CGM, MOL, Zim Integrated Shipping Services, and others. JOC.com's coverage of container lines ranges from new services to leadership changes and in-depth analysis of pricing and volume trends that directly impact shippers' bottom lines and supply chains. 

The container line landscape is constantly evolving as market dynamics present new challenges to the industry. See how the companies involved have changed as a result of mergers and acquisitions since 1977.

Commentary

Logistics shouldn’t be a zero-sum game. That’s why we need transparency, but that’s going to require the industry to embrace all tools, starting with a new generation of smart sensors and tracking equipment, and putting them to work on a blockchain.

News & Analysis

CMA CGM and Traxens Technology.
10 Dec 2018
CMA CGM (India) said the smart container was loaded onto the CMA CGM Tosca at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust on Nov. 30, destined for Marseilles, France.
An MSC ship.
10 Dec 2018
After four straight months of declining demand growth on the westbound Asia-Europe trade, container volume has started to increase.
A Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) meeting.
07 Dec 2018
The Federal Maritime Commission stopped short of any regulatory action on detention and demurrage; instead, a task force would meet to “refine commercially viable demurrage and detention approaches.” There were several findings, however, which validated cargo owner concerns and provide reasons to be optimistic that teams of stakeholders will be able to find resolutions.
A container ship at sea.
07 Dec 2018
The new tools provide peace of mind for a segment of shippers who want web-based booking tools, and also offer a path to value / service differentiation for ocean carriers. But what happens to the value proposition of NVOCCs and their decades-long relationships and nuanced, specialized services?
A container ship at sea.
07 Dec 2018
The European Commission said that several EU member states and EU shipbuilding associations have complained about carriers in Asia receiving state subsidies.
An HMM ship.
06 Dec 2018
HMM is trying to reverse a loss trend that most recently saw it post a $147 million net loss in the third quarter, which it blamed on high fuel prices.
Blockchain technology and container shipping.
06 Dec 2018
The challenge of taking blockchain pilots and proofs of concepts to wide-scale adoption is that the latter requires a broad adoption from a range of parties. But with a smart contract, that requirement is much smaller.
BACTSSA Terminal, Puerto Nuevo, Argentina
05 Dec 2018
After Argentina's implementation of market-friendly policies, trade officials hope that the nation has bottomed, concerning trade volumes, after a decade of stagnation.
A CMA CGM ship.
05 Dec 2018
CMA CGM is the first carrier to participate on the marketplace hosted by Freightos, a technology startup that until now only provided aggregated rates to forwarders.
Maersk Line.
05 Dec 2018
Container shipping is at a key point in its pursuit of carbon neutrality, and Maersk wants industry help in cleaning up the business.
Blockchain technology and container shipping.
04 Dec 2018
Tyler Smith, director of Viant, a blockchain-based supply chain modeling software company, said consortia have not proven their value, so far, but hopefully they will. He added that consortia are a way to get people involved.
Port of Montreal.
03 Dec 2018
Maersk Line will stop at the port of Montreal only, and no longer the port of Halifax, on its route linking Canada to Europe, to speed up transit times.
30 Nov 2018
The cuts come even amid reports of Brazilian coffee and cotton exporters scrambling for outbound capacity out of the ports of Santos and Vitoria.
ZIM San Francisco.
29 Nov 2018
The combined US import market share of the Top 5 US import carriers slipped 0.3 percentage points to 58.1 percent from January through September, while the Top 5’s US export share fell 0.8 percentage points to 58.4 percent, according to data from PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com.
A container ship receiving fuel
29 Nov 2018
Alphaliner offered telling data on ocean carrier third-quarter operating margins compared with a year ago, and despite higher shipping demand and revenue, the margins are a source of concern.
29 Nov 2018
Sponsored: Remote container management is a game changer for the reefer cargo, said Hamburg Süd's Smet in a 2018 JOC Container Trade Europe Conference panel.
Maersk Line at the Port of Oakland.
28 Nov 2018
How prudent is the move by selected container lines to redefine and reposition themselves as end-to-end logistics providers? Does it represent a necessary competitive adjustment, in order to be compensated in kind and defend against disruption by new industry actors? Or does it risk losing sight of the underlying container shipping business?
Logistics providers and global trade.
28 Nov 2018
If the top players in the industry coagulate, and if ocean carriers continue to take a broader role in forwarding and logistics activities than they have in the recent past, that will have an undeniable impact on shippers.
An Federal Maritime Commission meeting.
28 Nov 2018
To some shippers, the World Shipping Council’s (WSC) petition, filed Sept. 11 to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), looks like a recipe for uncompetitive behavior. For the industry, represented by the WSC, it is an attempt to move away from bureaucratic practices, cut costs, and become more dynamic.
Maersk SeaLand.
27 Nov 2018
Resurrected by Maersk three years ago as a regional operator, SeaLand has gone global, and the result is SeaLand Americas, SeaLand Asia, and SeaLand Europe and Med. However, the rebrand does not change the three’s operational strategies.
Kingston Freeport Terminal.
26 Nov 2018
The merits of Caribbean ports’ terminal overbuild depends on one’s stake. It's good news for container lines considering hub options in the Caribbean Basin but bad news for terminal operators seeking to entice them.
23 Nov 2018
Log-In operates six container vessels — between 1,700 TEU and 2,800 TEU, of which four are owned — along the Brazilian, Uruguayan, and Argentine coastlines.
Hapag-Lloyd.
21 Nov 2018
The ocean carrier expects its Strategy 2023 plan will result in substantial cost savings through a focus on improving quality for customers, selective global growth, and a targeting of customers prepared to pay more for better service.
A freight train in China.
20 Nov 2018
The network has evolved from a series of single shipper-driven services to more than 50, and a unique rail advantage, along with growing national economies, is at the core of the uptrend.
Port of Long Beach.
19 Nov 2018
The sale could be one of the largest terminal deals ever, dwarfing the $2.4 billion sale of OOIL's terminals on the US East Eoast and in Vancouver, Canada, in 2006.
Rotterdam port at sunrise.
16 Nov 2018
Those who want to end the legal framework exempting liner shipping consortia from European Union antitrust rules say it would increase competition and therefore shipper choice. But this is an instance where the solution may ultimately lead to an outcome that’s worse than the current condition.
Activists block JNPT 16 Nov. 2018.
16 Nov 2018
Activists ended their JNPT shutdown action in the late afternoon Friday, after port and other stakeholders held talks with demonstrators.
A modern/new-design container ship.
15 Nov 2018
Rather than developing a platform, the ocean carriers involved are taking another approach to try to achieve the goal of common information technology standards.
Heavy lift ship.
14 Nov 2018
Many project shippers have reported a lack of clarity regarding contracts extending into or beyond 2020; these clauses will help set the stage for the IMO 2020 transition.
The Port of Oakland.
14 Nov 2018
Rising operating costs that are siphoning off profitability will see carriers having a much greater hold on capacity going into what is looking like a volatile 2019.
Maersk Line.
14 Nov 2018
The third-quarter earnings of Maersk and HMM, released Wednesday, send a warning to the container shipping industry of the challenge in recouping higher bunker fuel costs — a challenge that will only increase further when the global low-sulfur fuel rule takes effect.
A container ship.
13 Nov 2018
In addition to survey responses, the Jones Walker study offered several cyber-defense recommendations.
SM Line.
13 Nov 2018
“There is no will or reason to merge the two companies. SM Line will continue to build its own business models and we will do our part to survive in the market independently,” said SM Line CEO Kim during a meeting at the company’s headquarters in Seoul.
Nhava Sheva India Gateway Terminal (NSIGT).
13 Nov 2018
Mediterranean Shipping Co. will lead a revamped, upsized weekly route connecting India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, under a vessel-sharing agreement with CMA CGM and Cosco Shipping Lines.
Container at the Port of Los Angeles.
13 Nov 2018
Research earlier this year by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors found that large shippers face ocean freight invoicing inaccuracy rates of 2 to 5 percent, while smaller shippers face rates as high as 30 percent.