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

Stakeholders in the shipping industry cannot sit still; they have the technologies in their hands that can disrupt the digital platforms that are the biggest outside threat to their existence.

News & Analysis

Panama Canal.
11 Jul 2018
The new Panama Canal’s larger locks appear to have hit the shipping industry at the right time, given at least one, and possibly two, global trends in international trade.
A CMA CGM ship near Japan.
10 Jul 2018
The service, if added, would complement existing feeder services by other ocean carriers. A CMA CGM official said the company has held talks about the possible service.
Blockchain and the world.
09 Jul 2018
Many experts argue that blockchain technology is tailor-made for container shipping’s international logistics work. But blockchain faces numerous hurdles — the biggest of which may be cultural.
A container ship at sea.
09 Jul 2018
Ocean carriers want to avoid being caught up in secondary sanctions that will be imposed by the United States on companies dealing with Iran.
Tokyo, Japan.
05 Jul 2018
Global trade-oriented blockchain solutions are moving from pilot to purported commercial viability in Asia and Europe, as shippers evaluate whether blockchain is something in which they should invest in the short term and which project to back.
Maersk Line.
05 Jul 2018
The Europe-based ocean carrier has created another specialized, end-to-end cold chain logistics operation, as it works vigorously to establish a stronger foothold in the emerging market economy.
A container ship at sea.
04 Jul 2018
A series of negative factors are lining up to deny ocean carriers a good year.
APM Terminals Pipavav.
02 Jul 2018
Two other Pipavav changes are likely to help speed cargo, terminal officials said.
A Hapag-Lloyd ship.
01 Jul 2018
Like the US airline industry earlier, the global container shipping industry has reached a point where cost cutting and mergers will yield little if any additional value. This is the view of a longtime carrier executive, a Maritime Hall of Fame inductee who argues creating value for customers will characterize the current era, with customer service the first visible change area.
Maersk Line.
29 Jun 2018
Maersk's annoucement that it has used the start-up software provider to build its new e-commerce interface makes two points that all stakeholders in container shipping should note.
Two container ships at sea.
29 Jun 2018
Technology, and in particular visibility and cargo track/trace tech, offers a multitude of benefits, including improved efficiency. But along with a monetary cost/benefit analysis, potential users should ask if they are willing to accept any operational adjustments that will be required to use it.
Port of Oakland.
27 Jun 2018
Shippers have long pushed back against index-linked contracts, due to low rates from chronic overcapacity, but the methodology at the core of Xeneta’s new index might satisfy shippers — as well as solve several business operation problems.
A Maresk Line container ship.
27 Jun 2018
The world’s largest container carrier this week handled a factory-stuffed, export consignment of refrigerated and dry cargo via India’s eastern port of Haldia to various destinations.
CMA CGM.
25 Jun 2018
Ocean carriers have begun investing directly in start-ups, and in some cases deploying these solutions more broadly. Furthermore, as the tech sector worked through initial roadblocks, the market for sensor technology to track international freight has been steadily warming the last two years, as shippers seek more-accurate and real-time information.
24 Jun 2018
Jacques R. Saade took a regional carrier to a Top 3 global operator over the course of his life.
An MSC ship.
22 Jun 2018
Several factors, including mega-ships deployed, North Asia congestion, rising bunker fuel prices, and the impact of Trump administration tariffs, are compromising schedule integrity in the trans-Pacific.
A CMA CGM ship.
20 Jun 2018
CMA CGM believes expanding into land routes with supply chain services is the key to maintaining growth following the consolidation of the container shipping market.
APM Terminals Pune inland container depot.
20 Jun 2018
Maersk's APM Terminals unit believes the authorized economic operator designation will substantially enhance its freight-handling efficiency and decrease operating costs, among other benefits.
19 Jun 2018
Ocean carriers have announced a wide range of surcharges in recent months, and while the market is dubious, the carriers show no sign of retreat.
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.