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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

Container shipping offers several junction points that are ripe for innovation, digitization, and data analytics — which will yield increased efficiency, among other benefits. And there’s no better one to start at than connecting terminals to the greater supply chain.

News & Analysis

An NYK Line ship.
15 Jun 2018
Having filled staff shortages at its US call centers and improved data integrity, the new Japanese liner company Ocean Network Express is providing beneficial cargo owners with the level of service they rightfully demand, but CEO Jeremy Nixon said carriers will struggle to implement meaningful peak-season surcharges this fall.
Two container ships at sea.
13 Jun 2018
Liner shipping’s current exemption from anti-trust rules ends in 2020 and as part of its assessment of whether to grant another five-year block exemption order, the European Commission has called for feedback from those in the container supply chain.
An SM Line ship.
13 Jun 2018
SM Line said growing volume in the second half of the year should return rates to a level that covers operation costs.
A container ship at sea.
13 Jun 2018
In a strongly worded letter, Nik Delmeire, secretary general of the European Shippers Council (ESC), said container lines announced almost simultaneously that they would be applying a surcharge, which the ESC viewed as “tantamount to price signaling..."
An APL ship.
13 Jun 2018
Known as Eagle GO Guaranteed, APL is extending the service to Asia-Europe and Asia-Mediterranean trades, following a successful implementation of the shipping option on the trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic, and Oceania routes.
An MSC ship.
11 Jun 2018
The increase in the price of bunker fuel, driven by crude oil’s 2017 to 2018 surge, is real. But beyond that ocean carriers face a tough sell with shippers regarding the inclusion of other surcharges, given spare capacity and a continued competitive market for shipper business.
Container ship at port.
10 Jun 2018
The tech enhancements could have potential benefits for importers in terms of better visibility of their cargo from the vessel discharge process to the out gate process, and for exporters in terms of better gauging the best time to deliver laden boxes to terminals.
Mediterranean Shipping Co.
07 Jun 2018
Shippers using the BoxTech database to track container weight and other information will get greater reach through the database, which now contains information on 40 percent of the world’s containers after Mediterranean Shipping Co. added its information.
Maersk Line logistics.
06 Jun 2018
The new digital product, which commenced global operations in early 2017, is designed to offer instant pricing/booking, cost transparency/cargo tracking, simplified/centralized documentation, and proactive/round-the-clock customer services.
CMA CGM.
05 Jun 2018
The ocean carrier’s Ze Box venture capital unit has signed a memorandum of understanding with PSA unboXed, the external innovation and corporate venture capital arm of Singapore’s PSA International.
A container ship at sea.
04 Jun 2018
Dozens of shippers have complained for months about the Asia-east coast of South America trade lane’s lack of space.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
04 Jun 2018
One group views the cabotage regulation change as an opportunity to lower domestic logistics cost and drive growth in India; the other, a domestic short-sea operators group, argues container line costs, port costs, inadequate infrastructure, and planning are hurting its transhipment business, not cabotage restricton.
Maersk Line.
03 Jun 2018
Maersk’s first-quarter earnings conference call was not only a report card on the ocean carrier, as important as that is. It was also a summary of the major trends and factors affecting container shipping.
The Port of Oakland.
01 Jun 2018
Ocean carriers’ fixed costs rose in the first quarter, and surcharges ensued. However, the hikes occur even as the surplus capacity issue lingers, prompting debate regarding whether carriers can maintain the surcharges.
Maersk Line.
01 Jun 2018
Maersk officials said the ocean carrier views Nepal as a long-term trade partner, and that establishment of a full-fledged office is essential to improving supply chain efficiency and expanding its footprint in the market.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
31 May 2018
Through 2018's first quarter, India's trade performance has substantially outpaced the global trade growth rate.
A Hapag Lloyd ship.
30 May 2018
Concerning the peak season fee, at the same time that Hapag-Lloyd added a $1 fuel surcharge, the ocean carrier surprised the market with a peak season surcharge of $55 per TEU that it said will be levied from June 1 on all trades out of China.
A CMA CGM ship.
25 May 2018
Rodolphe Saadé, group CEO of CMA CGM, announced the surcharge along with first-quarter results, which saw revenue surge. Despite that increase in demand, fuel costs resulted in a $77-million net loss for the quarter.
An Evergreen ship.
25 May 2018
However, freight forwarders and shippers said they did not expect the disappearance of two carrier’s trans-Atlantic services to have much impact on capacity on the United States-Northern Europe route.
Maersk and MSC vessels pass each other outside the Port of Rotterdam.
25 May 2018
With such a sharp increase in bunker fuel prices that dragged carriers into a loss-making first quarter, it is no surprise that Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co. will levy an emergency bunker surcharge from June 1.
Port of Montreal.
23 May 2018
Canada's strong economic fundamentals, adequate transport infrastructure, large population close to key ports, and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement implementation, among other factors, point to a strong trade performance in the immediate years ahead.
Port of Hamburg.
21 May 2018
Reluctance to embrace new ways of doing business is holding back container shipping, executives said at a Hamburg shipping conference.
A Hapag-Lloyd ship.
18 May 2018
A sharp increase in fuel prices is placing carriers under pressure, and they've responded with rate increases planned for June 1.
A Maresk container ship.
17 May 2018
Amid what the company called challenging market conditions, Maersk’s CEO said the first-quarter performance was “unsatisfactory," but the report was not without its positives; the company underscored that it has implemented initiatives to improve profitability and reiterated its 2018 earnings guidance.
The Port of Oakland.
16 May 2018
The more that blockchain becomes understood, the more conceptually, at least, it fits hand in glove with international logistics. But actually transitioning logistics to the paradise of transactions being recorded instantly and efficiently is proving to be quite a formidable task.
A Hapag Lloyd ship.
15 May 2018
Higher costs have weighed on results, slightly offsetting the positive impact of stronger volumes. Still, a key CEO offered an encouraging evaluation regarding the second half of 2018.
Maersk Line.
10 May 2018
Absent a profit motive, subsidized ocean carriers have at times been less rigorous in knowing and managing their costs and innovating. However, for several reasons, the subsidized model is not likely to end anytime soon.
The Port of Oakland.
05 May 2018
Change, and technological change, is occurring in logistics, but the analysis that argues ocean carriers are trying to put logistics providers out of business is a stretch. The more likely scenario is more diverse — and one that will ultimately benefit the customer.
Port of Itaqui, Brazil.
02 May 2018
Port managers want to re-brand the locale in a new, distinct role, with an eye toward two key markets.
CMA CGM
30 Apr 2018
Is the decision by CMA CGM to take a 25 percent stake in CEVA the beginning of a wave in which ocean carriers seek to become one-stop shipper shops?
27 Apr 2018
Sponsored: CMA CGM's Mathieu Friedberg on rethinking services for customers and moving beyond price as the sole differentiator between ocean carriers. 
A ONE ship.
27 Apr 2018
All three carriers in Ocean Network Express highlighted the supply-demand balance as having an influence on container industry financials, with freight rates stronger than during the previous year but lower than expected.
A truck travels on a US road.
26 Apr 2018
Intel CEO Andrew Grove observed that the need for transformation could arise with the introduction of a different regulatory environment. Change is unavoidable, but strategic points of inflection are not always obvious in real-time. In the future, it’s likely that April 1, 2018 — the date electronic logging device enforcement “went live” — will be enshrined as a red-letter day for the industry.
Trucks at a US port.
24 Apr 2018
The federal agency declined to elaborate on the identity of the beneficial cargo owners that issued these complaints or which ocean carriers received letters sent out on April 20.
Two ships at sea.
23 Apr 2018
It is no exaggeration to say that literally every container ship is a catastrophe waiting to happen, given how little carriers know about cargo loaded onto their ships, among other risk factors. But there has been little momentum to address the menace of container ship fires despite the fires killing crew members and causing tens of millions of dollars of cargo losses and supply chain disruption annually. Something needs to change.