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Container Freight News

26 Jun 2024

Global Freight Rises But Shows Signs of Weakness in US

© MAGNIFIER / Adobe Stock

Global manufacturing activity and freight are showing signs of a recovery, after a downturn took hold in the second half of 2022 and lasted for most of 2023, which could support petroleum consumption and prices later in 2024.But indicators from the United States have been more mixed and manufacturers there may struggle until the central bank starts to cut interest rates to stimulate consumption of expensive durable items.Global industrial output was up by 1.6% in the three months between February and April 2024 compared with the same period a year earlier…

26 Jun 2024

Singapore Port Congestion Shows Global Impact of Red Sea Attacks

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Congestion at Singapore's container port is at its worst since the COVID-19 pandemic, a sign of how prolonged vessel re-routing to avoid Red Sea attacks has disrupted global ocean shipping - with bottlenecks also appearing in other Asian and European ports.Retailers, manufacturers and other industries that rely on massive box ships are again battling surging rates, port backups and shortages of empty containers, even as many consumer-oriented firms look to build inventories heading into the peak year-end shopping season.Global port congestion has reached an 18-month high…

03 Jun 2024

Maersk Raises 2024 Guidance on Strong Demand

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Danish shipping group AP Moeller-Maersk on Monday raised its full-year profit guidance for the second time in a month on the back of strong container market demand and the crisis in the Red Sea.Maersk now expects its underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the range of $7 billion to $9 billion, up from its previous forecast of $4 billion to $6 billion.The company, viewed as a barometer of world trade, said it now sees signs of further port congestions…

06 May 2024

Red Sea Disruption Could Cut Asia-Europe Capacity, Maersk Says

© Trygve / Adobe Stock

Disruption to Red Sea container shipping is rising, Maersk said on Monday, forecasting this will cut the industry's capacity between Asia and Europe by up to 20% in the second quarter.Maersk and other shipping companies have diverted vessels around Africa's Cape of Good Hope since December to avoid attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi militants in the Red Sea, with the longer voyage times pushing freight rates higher."The risk zone has expanded, and attacks are reaching further offshore…

27 Mar 2024

Pilot Called for Tugboat Help Before Baltimore Bridge Disaster

Source: US Army Corps of Engineers

The pilot of the container ship that knocked down a highway bridge into Baltimore Harbor had radioed for tugboat help and reported a power loss minutes earlier, federal safety officials said on Wednesday, citing audio from the ship's "black box" data recorder.The head of the National Transportation Safety Board also said that Francis Scott Key Bridge, a traffic artery over the harbor built in 1976, lacked structural engineering redundancies common to newer spans, making it more…

07 Dec 2023

Market Watch: Container Freight Rates Fall, Costs Soar

"So far this year, container volumes have fallen nearly 2% year-on-year while average freight rates have declined, reaching 2019 levels in September. Since then, they have continued to fall. However, the cost to charter a ship remains 25% higher than in 2019,” says Niels Rasmussen, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO.Liner operators continue to struggle with a worsening supply/demand balance, affecting freight rates. On average, the fleet has year-to-date grown 5% and 19% compared with 2022 and 2019 respectively.

26 Oct 2023

Container Shipping Fleet gets 'Long in the Tooth'

Chart courtesy BIMCO

Global container ship fleet is showing its age, reaching highest average age on record of 14.2 years.“Container ships have reached their highest average age yet at 14.2 years, the highest average age of the three main shipping sectors. The dry bulk fleet has an average age of 11.9 years whereas tankers on average are 12.8 years old,” says Niels Rasmussen, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO.The average age of the container fleet has increased 4.3 years during the past 13 years with the average age hitting a recent low of 9.9 years in August 2010.

07 Sep 2023

Global Container Freight Still Stalled

© moofushi / Adobe Stock

Global industrial production and containerised freight flows remained in the doldrums at the start of the third quarter, confounding predictions earlier in the year for a strong rebound.Manufacturers and distributors in North America and Europe were struggling to reduce excess inventories after the post-pandemic rotation from goods to services spending.Rising interest rates and a cost-of-living squeeze have also dampened expenditure on expensive long-lived durable items.Global industrial output was up by less than 1% in the second quarter of 2023 from the same period in 2022…

28 Jul 2023

CMA CGM Braced for Weaker Profit Before Demand Picks up in 2024

© VanderWolf Images / Adobe Stock

French shipping group CMA CGM expects container freight demand to improve from next year but the group's profits will continue to ease this year as a slump in freight rates from record highs and a weak economy weigh on results, it said on Friday.The company, privately controlled by the Saade family, reported a second-quarter net profit of $1.3 billion, down from $7.6 billion in the year-earlier period and from $2.0 billion in the first quarter. It expects the first quarter to…

26 Jun 2023

Global Container Freight Stuck in Doldrums

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Global trade remained in the doldrums during the second quarter as China’s post-lockdown rebound proved slower than expected and was offset by continued weakness in North America and Europe.Seasonally-adjusted trade volumes were no higher in the three months from February to April 2023 than they had been 17 months earlier in the three months from September to November 2021.Volumes were down in three of the first four months of 2023 compared with a year earlier, according to the Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis (“World trade monitor”…

01 Feb 2023

'Party is over': Hapag Lloyd CEO Says Freight Rates to Keep Declining

©travelview/AdobeStock

Container freight rates will keep declining in the current realignment of shipping demand and supply, said the chief executive of Germany's liner Hapag Lloyd, the world's number five by transport capacity."The party is over. We are back to a normal shipping business," CEO Rolf Habben Jansen told reporters at a briefing late on Tuesday on the state of the market, in which his company reported sky-high profits for three years running."Now we have to fight for every box again to get our ships full," he said.

25 Jan 2023

Hapag-Lloyd Buys Stake in India's J M Baxi Ports & Logistics

(Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd announced it has signed a binding agreement today under which it will acquire 35% of J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited (JMBPL) from a Bain Capital Private Equity affiliate.Additionally, Hapag-Lloyd AG signed a binding agreement with JMBPL and its promoters, the Kotak family, to subscribe to a capital increase by the company and raise Hapag-Lloyd’s shareholding to 40%. The contracting parties agreed to not disclose any financial details of the deal.J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited is a private terminal and inland transport service provider in India.

04 Jan 2023

Chinese Export Container Rates Plunge 27%

Source: BIMCO

The bad news for liner operators appears to have no end. In a normal year, the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year (CNY) bring an increase in volumes and freight rates. So far, however, the lead-up to CNY in 2023 has been the worst in 13 years. Spot rates for containers loading in Shanghai will normally be 12% higher just before CNY than 10 weeks earlier. Similarly, average rates for all containers loading in China will normally end 4% higher. This year, both spot and average rates, however, continue to fall.

17 Nov 2022

Backhaul Spot Rates Sink Below January 2020 Levels

© moofushi / Adobe Stock

The collapse in spot rates on fronthaul trades has caught the headlines, but shippers on certain backhaul trades have seen equally large drops, with some trades having seen spot rates fall for much longer than on the fronthaul and have fallen below rates in January 2020, Xeneta shows in its latest weekly container freight rate update.From North Europe to the Far East, the average rate for a standard FEU has fallen to $820 per FEU. This is down by more than $1,000 per FEU (-56%) from its peak in May 2021, having fallen pretty consistently since then.

16 Nov 2022

US Container Freight is Shrinking

© BKP / Adobe Stock

Container freight volumes at the largest U.S. ports were down 3.8% in September compared with the same month a year earlier, confirming the slackening of merchandise trade and downturn in the business cycle.The ports of New York-New Jersey, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Savannah, Houston, Norfolk, Charleston, Seattle and Oakland account for the overwhelming majority of container ocean freight into and out of the United States.The total volume of loaded containers handled by these nine ports amounted to 2.67 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in September 2022…

22 Sep 2022

Collapsing Spot Rates, Falling Capacity define Far East to U.S. Container Trade

Capacity And Blank Sailing: Far East to the US West Coast. Chart courtesy Xeneta

In its latest Container Freight Rate Update note, Xeneta covers the average capacity and blank sailings on the Far East to the US West Coast while we head into the not-so-traditional peak season.The average capacity offered from the Far East to the US West Coast has fallen to its lowest since February in the past four weeks. Over this period, an average of 275,000 TEU has left the Far East heading for the US West Coast, about 50,000 TEU less than the peak in early August.Compared to the same four weeks in 2021…

09 Jun 2022

Sandock Austral Shipyards Offering Container Feeder Barge Concept

(Image: Sandock Austral Shipyards)

A new port container barge concept being offered by Durban's Sandock Austral Shipyards aims to improve the way containers are handled in South Africa’s ports, ultimately leading to less road congestion and faster turnaround times for imports and exports.The internationally patented, German-designed self-propelled and self-sustained Port Feeder Barge can be deployed at a moment’s notice to wherever it is needed and can operate easily in low water depth or high berth. The barge…

26 Apr 2022

Maersk Raises Full-year Guidance, But Says Shipping Boom Will Stabilize in H2

A Maersk container shipo - Credit - lazyllama/AdobeStock

Shipping group Maersk, often seen as a barometer for global trade, on Tuesday cautioned the container market may normalize in the second half of the year, even as it raised full-year guidance driven by high container freight rates.The shipping industry has seen record profits in recent quarters as a surge in consumer demand, pandemic-related bottlenecks in U.S. and Chinese ports and more recently an airspace closure following Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompted a spike in freight rates.But the forecast from Maersk…

15 Mar 2022

GateHouse Maritime Debuts OceanIO Data Platform

© AUUSanAKUL / Adobe Stock

GateHouse Maritime, a provider of ocean supply chain visibility and predictability services, has announced the introduction of its new data platform, OceanIO. The new feed is scalable to support the rapidly increasing number of data points anticipated from the growing use of IOT technologies fitted to shipped and shipping assets.Martin Dommerby Kristiansen, CEO at GateHouse Maritime, said, “The digital transformation of the logistics sector is creating a tsunami of data. At GateHouse…

08 Feb 2022

Hapag-Lloyd Sees Freight Pressure Easing from Q2

© olrat / Adobe Stock

German shipping company Hapag Lloyd expects delivery bottlenecks and high prices for container freight to start easing in the second quarter, its chief executive said.Assuming the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic is over, the loading and unloading of ships should function more smoothly, helping to reduce the lines of vessels waiting off the west coast of the United States, he said.“As soon as we have the current Omicron wave behind us, most people should be able to go to work again…

14 Jan 2022

Maersk Q4 Earnings Beat Expectations

Credit:  lazyllama
/AdobeStock

Shipping group Maersk on Friday posted better than expected fourth-quarter revenue and earnings, fuelled by record freight rates for container shipping.A fall in ocean-going container volumes by 4% in the last three months of the year was more than offset by freight rates improving 80% compared with a year earlier."The strong result in the quarter reflects the continuation of the exceptional market situation within (the) Ocean (division) caused by global disruptions to supply chains…

22 Dec 2021

Port of Rotterdam Expects Container Traffic to Remain High in 2022

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Container traffic at the Port of Rotterdam has reached a record level this year and is expected to be high again in 2022, Europe's largest sea port said on Wednesday.The port said that it had received 15 million containers this year up until Wednesday, marking the first time a European port had reached that level.Container freight, measured in the equivalent of twenty-foot long containers (TEU), has increased at least 5% in 2021 from last year, when transport was heavily disrupted…

22 Dec 2021

Maersk to Buy LF Logistics for $3.6B

Credit: Björn Wylezich/AdobeStock

Container shipping giant Maersk on Wednesday agreed to buy Hong Kong-based LF Logistics for $3.6 billion in an all-cash deal, as it seeks to expand beyond its core ocean freight business.The deal is one of the group's largest takeovers to date and follows a series of acquisitions including e-commerce firms, a freight forwarder specializing in air freight and its smaller rival Hamburg Sud."The acquisition will further strengthen Maersk's capabilities as an integrated container logistics company…