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

Ocean carriers and shippers, although mutually dependent, continue to act in ways that are adversarial and self-destructive, and they're doing so while the industry is about to face major challenges, including slowing global demand growth, overcapacity, and the low-sulfur bunker fuel rule.  

News & Analysis

Port of Los Angeles.
05 Sep 2018
The move represents modest good news for US importers scrambling for slots, amid a peak season surge in volume.
Antwerp port.
05 Sep 2018
The capacity cutback is another data point that provides pause for thought regarding the argument that a second-half demand/capacity balance would support a recent upswing in container shipping rates.
The Port of Oakland.
04 Sep 2018
If ocean carriers are to succeed in migrating shippers to an online quoting environment in this increasingly crowded environment, they will have to prioritize investment in such tools. But, more than that, they’ll have to move away from a trait that has defined container shipping for decades, if not generations.
03 Sep 2018
The hub port of Felixstowe continues to face carrier fallout from delays experienced since Hutchison Port upgraded its terminal operating system in June.
 A container ship at sea.
03 Sep 2018
Improving market fundamentals come at a time of mounting uncertainty, clouding the container shipping outlook and standing in the way of carrier profitability.
Port of Itajai, Brazil.
31 Aug 2018
Decades of truck-oriented Brasilia administrations and a bias against rail created a vulnerable trade transport system. The spring truckers’ strike exposed it, and months later trade logistics has yet to recover.
A ZIM container ship.
29 Aug 2018
The reduction in capacity, less than anticipated, provides a slight amount of relief to shippers scrambling to find capacity this peak season.
Port of Oakland.
28 Aug 2018
Deviation from a schedule is information that ocean carriers possess but inexplicably have kept largely to themselves. That has to change, and when it does, both carriers and shippers will benefit.
Port of Los Angeles.
27 Aug 2018
The issue of public money for a private function was raised, but the port noted that Southern California ports have various subsidy programs in place for environmental reasons, such as to encourage carriers to plug into shoreside electrical power to reduce emissions at berth.
A container ship.
27 Aug 2018
For now, grade India’s liberalized cabotage program a modest success.
A Wallenius Wilhelmsen ship.
24 Aug 2018
Like much of global trade, pent-up demand and emerging market country development, among other economic fundamentals, bode well for the roll-on, roll-off sector’s growth prospects in the immediate years ahead, if the threat of tariffs subsides.
Two container ships at sea.
23 Aug 2018
CargoX said the cost to produce and transfer a bill of lading using its Smart B/L was 85 percent less expensive than traditional means. But is a public blockchain such as CargoX’s suitable for the shipping industry?
Port of Los Angeles.
23 Aug 2018
Higher-than-usual fuel prices and tit-for-tat tariffs have exacerbated the chaos on the eastbound trans-Pacific this peak season, but the problem started earlier this year, and there is one causal factor as the source of the problem.
A CMA CGM container ship.
22 Aug 2018
Sailing withdrawal announcements on trades between Asia, North Europe, and the Mediterranean are beginning to flow in for the slow season, as ocean carriers implement actions to rebound from first-half losses. Left unresolved, however, is whether carriers will cut capacity like they did on the trans-Pacific during the US ocean peak season.
A ZIM container ship.
22 Aug 2018
Zim Integrated Shipping Services’ report is another stark data point concerning container shipping’s more-subdued outlook at mid-2018. Volume and revenue are rising, but there is concern about the firmness of rates, as well an inability to pass along/recover rising costs.
Maersk Eureka.
20 Aug 2018
Both freight intermediaries and ocean carriers are under pressure to avoid sitting on obsolete rate data, pressure that’s been placed on them by the rise of transparent freight pricing models.
Port of Male, Maldives.
20 Aug 2018
Maersk officials now believe that, with the majority of imports into Maldives coming from China and India — two of Maersk’s already established key markets — resumed operations there can better serve customers in the region.
Rotterdam port.
17 Aug 2018
The Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center, which coordinates vessel traffic visiting terminals at the port of Hamburg, is launching collaborative projects to help determine if it is meaningful to continue bilateral information exchanges or to replace it with a central data hub to support improved terminal asset utilization and liner route and network planning.
Containers at a port.
17 Aug 2018
Maersk’s container terminals posted higher traffic and revenue in the second quarter, thanks to new business from German carrier Hamburg Süd, which was acquired by Maersk Line, its major customer.
Maersk Line.
17 Aug 2018
“We are not pleased with our level of earnings,” Skou said in a conference call, but also noted that the ocean and logistics units are posting strong growth. “We have to do better in the second half than the first half to reach our [full year] guidance.”
Port of Los Angeles.
16 Aug 2018
The concept of a single electronic platform for port users is gaining momentum with truckers, beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), and other port users, with GE Transportation’s Port Optimizer at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach achieving breakthroughs as a pacesetter.
A DFDS ship.
16 Aug 2018
DFDS underscored its confidence, moving forward by placing an order today for a sixth ro-ro vessel that is designed to carry about 450 trucking trailers just two months after the order for a fifth sister ship at China’s Jingling shipyard.
Maersk Line.
16 Aug 2018
The world’s largest ocean carrier has reopened shipping connectivity to the Maldives with a direct, weekly feeder link between Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Male, which it believes will prove to be a boon for trade to/from South Asia.
The Port of Oakland.
15 Aug 2018
Looks can be deceptive. Terminal operators, a very visible component of container shipping, are often the first to be criticized by BCOs and truckers when there are delays in delivering cargo. However, they have no control over the various transport modes that bring cargo to them.
An Evergreen ship.
15 Aug 2018
The new vessels, accounting for almost 44 percent of its current fleet, will boost the Taiwan carrier’s order book to 74 ships.
HMM/
14 Aug 2018
Hyundai Merchant Marine, which recently announced its withdrawal from the Trans-Atlantic trade, said it expects higher freight rates and load factors through the third-quarter peak season but cautioned cargo volume is likely to fluctuate due to “changes in [the] international situation.”
13 Aug 2018
Sponsored: Craig Mygatt, Sealand CEO, speaks to Mexico-US trade as well as the impact of polyethylene pl
A container ship at sea.
13 Aug 2018
A LinkedIn discussion served as a microcosm for how shippers and the broader logistics industry are wrestling with a few key questions regarding blockchain. Are blockchain’s proponents inordinately and/or prematurely boosting the new technology — including its appropriateness and efficiency-enhancing capabilities?
Container ships at the Port of Oakland.
10 Aug 2018
Unless ocean carriers radically change the paradigm on how they go to market, the Jan. 1, 2020 sulfur cap on bunker fuel will represent another cost that carriers fail to pass on to customers. How many other industries operate this way?
A Yang Ming ship.
10 Aug 2018
“While we are seeing others in the container ship industry face similar struggles, Yang Ming anticipates a healthier second half, driven by an improving supply and demand ratio,” the ocean carrier said.
Hapag-Lloyd.
10 Aug 2018
“For the remainder of the year, we see a slow but steadily improving market environment, but we recognize that there are still significant geopolitical uncertainties that could influence the market,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of the world’s fifth-largest ocean carrier.
Maersk IBM blockchain project TradeLens.
09 Aug 2018
Maersk and IBM have fleshed out their designs for an industrywide blockchain solution – an open-source platform called TradeLens. There are a host of other blockchain initiatives in development, but as one stakeholder noted, they joined the Maresk-IBM venture based on Maersk’s history of innovation and IBM’s technological prowess, which gives the platform a “high probability of success.”
Maersk Line.
07 Aug 2018
Maersk said it continues to encounter very high bunker prices, which have not been fully compensated for in freight rates.
A freight train in Mexico.
06 Aug 2018
Like other emerging markets, it is a “bad news, good news,” circumstance for Mexico. The bad: surface transportation and logistics operations are straining to meet shipper demands. The good: Mexico appears to have arrived on the global trade stage, with all key metrics advancing.
A barge travels on the Rhine River.
06 Aug 2018
The water level of the Upper Rhine is getting close to a critical point and barge operators are being forced to suspend their operations or only use one-third of their capacity, according to Hapag-Lloyd.