Tag Archives: container

SHIPPING: Ship brokers join fight for container weight verification

July 12 – FONASBA, the international ship brokers and ship agents federation, has given its full backing to international government and industry efforts aimed at ensuring that shipping containers for export are accurately weighed, writes Adam Flensborg Safikhany.

Readers will recall our article on June 25, which advised of an initiative being led by the World Shipping Council in concert with container shipping lines, and labour organisations in Denmark, Holland and the USA, which will be launched at the 17th session of International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC 17) in September.

The problem of under-declared and unverified containers is a serious one for ports and ships says FONASBA. A paper to be put forward at the IMO meeting revealed that in recent containership accidents, some boxes had been up to ten tonnes heavier than the manifest weight.

FONASBA general manager, Jonathan Williams FICS said: “Ship agents see the problems which inaccurately weighed containers cause ports and ships every day. It is extremely worrying that there is currently no obligation for containers to be accurately weighed anywhere along the transport chain.

One of the formal proposals to the IMO asks that body to rule in favour of a requirement to accurately weigh loaded containers. Citing safety concerns the IMO proposal is asking that the port facility and the ship have a weight verification certificate obtained by officially weighing the container.

But the European Shippers Council (ESC) disagreed, and responded to the proposal by saying that it was a “false remedy for an ill-defined disease.”

The ESC said that the “misdeclared” container weights are a small risk factor compared to more important safety concerns such as the dearth of procedures for lashing, ship maintenance and stowing. 
“We admit that misdeclaration of weights needs our attention, but oppose the idea that it’s the biggest threat to the safety of workers in the supply chain. If the sector is truly looking for a safer supply chain, all parties should take their responsibility,” said the ESC statement.

World Shipping Council president and ceo, Chris Koch welcomed FONASBA’s support for the initiative and said the Council and the other partners were looking forward to the Federation’s input to the discussions in IMO and elsewhere.

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SHIPPING: Container freight rates further down

David Badger | 29 Nov 2011

Freight rates continued their downward spiral on benchmark containership routes last week, as lines failed to react to growing overcapacity and competition for cargo.

The Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) reported declines on services from Asia to Europe and the US west coast, as well as on other trade lanes.

The SCFI reported a US$25 drop over the week for China-US west coast freight rates to $1,435 per feu, below analyst Drewry’s Hong Kong-Los Angeles benchmark price of $1,457 per feu this week.

Asia-Europe trades were down to $511 per teu on the SCFI.

In its monthly Container Intelligence report, London-based Clarkson Research Services said: “Recent withdrawals of capacity from the suffering transpacific and Far East-Europe trades have been undermined by seasonally weak volumes and further economic deterioration in Europe and the US.

“Although volumes on the main trades may well pick up seasonally in the spring, in the medium-term, redeployment of capacity is likely to maintain its impact on the markets.”

The research team also said that it had revised down its container trade projections from the previous monthly report, on account of worsening economic conditions in Europe and the US, which could hit imports into these economies.

Overall, Clarksons estimated that global container trade would increase 8.1% this year and another 8.2% in 2012. However, the containership fleet was also projected to grow by 8.3% this year.

Source: http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/article.htm?artid=20017922023\

Some questions crossed my mind after reading this:


  1. Will the laid-up tonnage exceed that of 2009? 
  2. Will this crisis finally lead to a consolidation of the container shipping industry?
  3. What will be the outcome for shippers and ports?
  4. What will be the impact on training and safety?
I do not have the answers yet. Does anybody want to give a try?






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SHIPPING: Maersk prepared for “a long stretch of tough competition”

AP Møller-Maersk, owner of the world’s largest container line, has revealed it is ready to outlast its rivals, as the industry faces a possible four years of overcapacity.

Throughout this year, containership owners have seen billions of dollars wiped off the value of their fleets.

Massive overcapacity has squeezed not only freight rates, but also the worth of steel on the water.

The world’s largest boxship owner, AP Møller-Maersk (APMM), has seen the value of its containership fleet fall 24% in the past 12 months. Its 222 vessels currently in service are now worth US$9.1 billion, compared with $12 billion at the start of November last year.

Similarly, major owner and operator MSC’s fleet of 202 containerships in service are worth $6.9 billion, compared with $8.4 billion 12 months ago.

In a revealing interview yesterday, APMM CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen said: “We are actually quite well positioned for a longer stretch of tough competition,”

He added: “It would be natural if the smaller players in this business, or their banks, start questioning whether it’s a good idea to keep competing.”

Maersk Line, with almost 16% of the global container market, is betting it can outlast such publicly traded competitors as Japan’s MOL and NYK, both of which have cut capacity to cope with falling freight rates.

Success may help reverse a Maersk share decline this year of 28%, compared with a fall of 17% in the OMX Copenhagen 20 Index.

At the beginning of this month APMM revealed that Maersk Line, which is often regarded as a barometer of global trade, posted a third-quarter net loss of Dkr1.58 billion (US$293 million) compared with a profit of Dkr5.9 billion a year earlier

Source: http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/index/maersk-says-it-is-prepared-to-outlast-rivals/20017919343.htm

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Fatal Explosion Risk Concerns For Shipping Containers At Sea

Contaminated refrigerant gas in cooling systems of reefer containers caused at least three accidents recently. As refrigerated cargo is increasingly containerized, this may become a growing threat.

Read more at http://www.handyshippingguide.com/shipping-news/fatal-explosion-risk-concerns-for-shipping-containers-at-sea_3230#.Tr24jkSGYPo.twitter

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SHIPPING | Container carriers may struggle to break even this year

From Tradewinds | 2011.04.13

A combination of lower rates, poor capacity management and spiraling costs are likely to reverse the huge gains seen last year, consultants Drewry warned in its quarterly Container Forecaster report.

The industry racked up a $17bn profit in 2010, a figure that Drewry predicted in December would fall to $8bn in 2011.

But now it says a number of lines could fall into the red this year unless measures are taken to control supply.

Demand remains strong with Drewry predicting worldwide growth of 8.3% in 2011.

An excess of supply and the re-emergence of a “chasing market share” strategy is to blame for a 40-50% drop in spot rates in the transpacific and Asia-Europe trades since August, Drewry says.

And the analyst said East-west freight rates excluding fuel will fall by 13.2% in 2011.

Matters have not been helped by fuel price rises made worse by political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

The report said: “With carriers launching new Asia-Europe and transpacific strings in April and May, it is clear that they are not focused on capacity management and have no intention of laying up tonnage. The market is clearly out of kilter and a correction is required.”

Neil Dekker, editor of the Container Forecaster said: “A large dose of common sense is needed by the container industry and the direction it takes in the second quarter is in the hands of the carriers.”

If the container industry does swing back to deficit it would represent a remarkably short business cycle in the market.

The business will have swung from a $19bn deficit in 2009 to a $17 billion gain in 2010 and back again.

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CONTAINER | Lay-up rise looming

Originally published in Tradewinds, 2010/10/05

Laid-up containership capacity will build to 5% as the global recovery slows down, says Lazard Capital markets.

Post-panamax vessels are expected to see the largest increase in idle numbers, according to analyst Urs Dur.

In a note to clients he said: “Given that much of the Christmas inventory has shipped and recent US trucking numbers have slowed somewhat, we expect news from the container sector to show that its recovery is slowing in the coming weeks and months.”

Presently around 2% of global boxship capacity is laid-up, against more than 10% at the start of this year.

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MARITIME | Maersk says slow steaming is a ‘win-win-win situation’

Line sets out case for reduced ship speeds as container trades are recovering

SLOW steaming is here to stay,Maersk Line has told its customers,writes Janet Porter [for LLOYD’S LIST].

In a message on its website, the Danish carrier has set out the case for reduced ship speeds at a time when the container trades are recovering but prospects for the global economy remain murky.

As far as Maersk is concerned, slow steaming “remains a win-win-win situation”, says chief executive Eivind Kolding.

“It is better for our customers, better for the environment and better for our business.”

A ship that reduces speed by 20% will use 40% less fuel, thereby reducing CO2 emissions correspondingly. To maintain the same service frequency and compensate for a lower average speed, one to two extra vessels are added per string.

“Despite the extra vessels, slow steaming has over the last one and a half years reduced Maersk Line’s CO2 emissions by about 7% per container moved,” the line said.

Furthermore, schedule reliability has improved since vessels are able to continuously adjust speed in order to deliver the cargo on time.

“We believe we serve our customers best by steadily improving schedule reliability, by keeping fuel costs down and by continuing to improve on our carbon footprint,” said Mr Kolding. “The cost savings will enable us to further invest in innovation and improved service, for example with more efficiency at terminals.”

Although some customers have complained about longer inventory time — in essence with Maersk Line ships as floating warehouses — analysis shows that slow steaming also helps prevent bottlenecks at terminals.

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