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Friday, January 19, 2018

Overseas Freight News

Antwerp Port Gets off to the Strongest Start Ever

Photo by Port of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp handled 54,324,303 tonnes of freight during the first three months of this year, 1.5% more than in the same period last year. The further growth is mainly due to container freight, which was up by 2% in terms of tonnage. In fact this has been the best first quarter ever, both for total overseas freight and for containers. And on top of all that the previous month was the best for containers that has ever been recorded in the port of Antwerp. All this means that after the record year of 2016 the port of Antwerp is off to a good start.

Baltic Exchange to Develop LNG Freight Index

(File photo: Teekay Corporation)

The Baltic Exchange is looking into launching a freight index for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is working with leading ship brokers to explore potential shipping routes that might be used as the LNG market grows, the company said on Thursday. Founded in 1744 as a forum for chartering vessels, the Baltic Exchange now produces benchmark indexes for global shipping rates, including ones used by the multi-billion dollar freight derivatives market. Singapore Exchange acquired the exchange in 2016 and since then the Baltic has been looking for new markets to develop.

Increase in Seaport Security Funding is Proposed

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the organization representing public ports throughout the Western Hemisphere, lauded Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Patty Murray (D-WA) for introducing a bill in the U.S. Senate that includes revisions and clarifications to the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant program. “AAPA praises the senatorial leadership of Susan Collins, who chairs the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Washington State’s Patty Murray, who today have introduced the ‘GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act,’” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO. Nagle added that while there are DHS programs that address cargo and port security…

Triton Offers New South American Service

Triton Overseas Transport, a NVOCC and provider of international freight services, said it has recently launched services to and from South America. Less than a month underway, the new South America services connect to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santos, Brazil; Valparaiso, Chile; and Callao, Peru via the Port of Houston. On-carriage transportation throughout each South American country is available. Triton’s new services to and from South America via the Port of Houston strengthen the company’s mission to offer fast transit times, enhanced service and competitive rates to its international customer base. Servicing the expansive North American region from the Mississippi River to the west coast…

Softlink Bundles WIN Connectivity in Cloud ERP Logi-Sys

Softlink’s Cloud ERP platform Logi-Sys for freight industry now includes WIN connectivity, enabling users to communicate with other WIN-connected forwarders. Amit Maheshwari, CEO-Softlink, said, “WIN’s unique value proposition is connecting forwarding agents to their agent partners who use completely different systems. Softlink completed this integration and deployed it to a major customer, (TKPL - Tulsidas Khimji Pvt Ltd), with record speed becoming the First Freight Forwarding Solution on the market to be fully integrated with WIN. Cloud ERP platform Logi-Sys integrates air freight, sea freight, transport, containers, warehouse, PO and several other operations with specially designed financial system. Logi-Sys also provides online visibility to customers and agents.

Irish Ferries Orders New Ship for Dublin-Holyhead Route

Irish Continental Group plc (ICG) said it has ordered a new cruise ferry set to be the world’s largest in terms of vehicle capacity, due for delivery in 2020. The new €165.2 million ($199.4 million) cruise ferry is being built by German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co.KG (FSG), specifically for Irish Ferries’ Dublin - Holyhead services. It is expected to replace the schedule of the MV Ulysses, which in turn will replace the chartered-in vessel MV Epsilon. This will allow for the deployment of the W.B. Yeats (arriving mid 2018) full-time on the direct Ireland - France route alongside the MV Oscar Wilde. ICG said the new 67,300 gross ton cruise ferry will increase Irish Ferries’ freight and tourism carrying capacity on the fast-growing Dublin - Holyhead route.

Fifth Consecutive Record Year for Antwerp

Photo: Port of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp has achieved a record freight volume for the fifth straight year in a row. In 2017 the port handled 223,606,610 tonnes of freight, an increase of 4.4% compared with the previous year. Practically all sectors turned in an excellent performance: the container volume expanded in tonnage by 4.3% (123 million tonnes), liquid bulk such as oil derivatives by 5.7% (73.1 million tonnes), and conventional breakbulk such as steel by 4.8% (10.3 million tonnes), while ro/ro completed the growth list with 10.5% (5.1 million tonnes).

Globe Express Opens Saudi Terminal Yard

Ziad Korban: Photo credit Globe Express

Globe Express Services (Overseas Group) opens terminal yard in Dammam to complete logistics facilities in Jeddah & Riyadh. The company's Dammam Terminal Yard, is a 23,000 sqm facility that includes an open storage area, warehouses, and office buildings that will house the Dammam Branch management and the Transportation Division. While GES (Overseas Group) has had an office in Dammam since 1995, the new terminal yard, which is strategically located at the Dammam Sea Port Zone on the Arabian Gulf…

Moody's Rates Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Stable

Moody's Investors Service changed to stable from negative the outlook of its Ba1 senior unsecured debt rating and (P)Ba1 Japanese shelf registration rating of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Ba1 debt ratings of Euromol B.V. and Mitsui O.S.K. Finance plc. The latter two companies are MOL's overseas finance subsidiaries supported by keepwell agreements with MOL. This rating outlook change is based on Moody's belief that MOL's improving performance will continue to contribute to its earnings and the company's financial fundamentals will be strengthened in the near to medium term. Although MOL's debt level increased marginally after its April 1999 merger with Navix Line…

Hanjin Signs $150M Commercial Paper In U.S.

South Korea's shipping container operator Hanjin Shipping reportedly signed a deal with ABN AMRO Bank to issue $150 million in asset-backed commercial paper in the United States. ABN AMRO lead managed the issues backed by outstanding freight fares overseas owed to Hanjin at a 1.05 percent rate above LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate). The bonds will carry a three-year maturity and the funds, to be deposited in early December, would be used to pay off debt, the company said in a statement.

MarAd Approves Sale of Vessel

The Maritime Administration has approved the sale and transfer of a vessel under section 9 of the Shipping Act, of 1916, as amended. MarAd has approved an application to sale Eastern Overseas, Inc., of Davenport, Florida for the sale of the ARGONAUT, Official No. 601377. The freight ship was sold to Maritime Delivery Inc., a British Virgin Island corporation, for scrapping in China.

OOIL's Profit Up

Image: Orient Overseas (International) (OOIL)

Orient Overseas (International) (OOIL), the parent company of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), said its profit had risen 32 percent year on year (y/y) to $238.6 million in the first six months of 2015, due cheaper fuel costs helped it tide over a slump in freight rates. However, revenue declined 6 percent to US$3 billion during the same period as overcapacity and weak demand continued to plague the container shipping industry, a stock filing of OOIL said on 10 August. “The volatility of freight rates indicates how competitive the industry is.

Orient Overseas Mulls Route Expansion

According to a report on Bloomberg.com, Hong Kong containershipping goliath Orient Overseas (International) Ltd., may add services on routes within Asia as the region's economy, and freight rates, continue to recover. According to the report on bloomberg.com, volumes on Asian and Australasian routes jumped 21% in the 3Q, outpacing growth for the U.S. and Europe and prompting Orient Overseas to consider adding more vessels. A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, the world’s largest container line, is also set to increase investments in China and India in anticipation of emerging market traffic growth outpacing demand on U.S. and European routes. Container volumes in emerging markets will grow 7 percent annually until 2015…

Hanjin Talks on Long Beach Sale

Photo: Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd

Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd is in talks to sell its stake in the Long Beach Terminal in California to Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.(MSC), reports Reuters. The court overseeing Hanjin's receivership says the company is negotiating with MSC, it's partner in the terminal and which has first right of refusal. Hanjin Shipping owns a 54 percent stake in Total Terminals International LLC, which operates Long Beach Terminal in the U.S. MSC owns the remaining 46 percent. It has appointed an advisor, an overseas firm specializing in shipping industry talks, to help with the negotiations.

China COSCO to Post Profits for Q1

MV. COSCO LONGBEACH Photo:  China COSCO Holdings Company Limted

Boosted by an improving market and cost savings from a recent merger, China’s COSCO Shipping Holdings expected to report a profit in the first-quarter, says a report by Reuters. In a stock market statement the  world's fourth-largest container shipping line said that it expects to post a net profit of 260 million yuan ($37.7 million) for the three months to end-March 2017. Although year-on-year comparisons are difficult as COSCO became a new company last year through the merger of two major domestic shipping firms…

Hapag-Lloyd's Loss Widens

Company says freight rates remain under pressure; blames tough competition, weak U.S. dollar. Pins hopes on G6 alliance, container merger with CSAV. German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd's first-quarter loss widened as its revenue declined, hit by tough competition which depressed freight rates and a weak dollar. Shipping groups have been struggling through the worst slump on record, as they grapple with low freight rates caused by overcapacity and a weak global economy. Hapag-Lloyd's…

Senate OKs Security Improvement Act of 2006

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) applauded the unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate to pass the Port Security Improvement Act of 2006 (H.R. 4954), welcoming the legislation as a comprehensive plan to improve maritime cargo and facility security and maintain an efficient flow of commerce through America’s ports. “Representatives of several Senate committees took components of the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act (S. 2459) and the Public Transportation Terrorism Prevention Act of 2006 (S. 2791) to develop an important new bill that promises to enhance port and cargo security at home, strengthen the federal Port Security Grant program to help U.S.

Shipping Lines Estimate Costs to Rise

Bloomberg reported that Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. and 11 of the largest shipping companies plying the Pacific Ocean said costs of moving cargo to the U.S. in 2006 will rise 7 percent on higher fuel prices, which may spur them to raise freight rates. The cost of transporting containers by trucks and railways will increase as much as 25 percent, the 12-line Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, whose members ship about 70 percent of trans-Pacific trade, said in a statement today. Neptune Orient, Evergreen Marine Corp. and other Asian shipping companies are struggling with rising costs from higher fuel prices and port fees, amid increased demand for freight to the U.S. and Europe. Concern of a surplus of vessels may limit shipping lines in raising freight rates in 2006 for the fifth year.

Triton Appoints New Sales Representative

Triton Overseas Transport, an industry-leading Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier and provider of international freight services, announced the appointment of Lindsey Avery to the position of Sales Representative. Committed to offering competitive rates and unparalleled customer service, Avery will act on behalf of Triton’s unwavering mission to generate new business leads in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston regions, as well as expand the international shipping company’s reach throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. As a sales representative, Avery will utilize Triton’s strategic position near the Gulf of Mexico to offer competitive rate advantages, fast transit and enhanced service to the company’s international customer base.

As Exports Rise, Maritime Moves America

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of transportation

Today, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of industry professionals at the Finished Vehicle Logistics Conference, where the theme of the discussion was the import and export of new cars. I’m sure you’re wondering what vehicle logistics has to do with the Maritime Administration. And that’s a very good question. My role at this conference highlighted the critical —yet often overlooked— fact that maritime moves America. Last year, nearly 9.8 million metric tons of vehicles were imported and exported through the 40 U.S. ports that handle vehicles.

Freight Rate Hikes Benefit South Korean Shipping Firms

South Korea’s major shipping companies benefited in 1999 from freight rate hikes and lower foreign debt service costs resulting from the won’s surge against the dollar, analysts said. However, they said, expectations of rising shipping capacity following more deliveries of new ships would weigh down the growth of revenues for shipping firms this year. Container shipping rates rose about six percent on average last year, which is in line with the country’s recovering exports, one analyst said. The won’s rise against the dollar helped cut costs of dollar-denominated debts of the country’s shipping companies, about 90 percent of whose debts are from overseas. The won/dollar rate fell to an average of 1,190 won in 1999 from about 1,400 in 1998.

Stricken Iranian Oil Tanker Keeps Exploding

(Photo: China's Ministry of Transport)

The stricken Iranian oil tanker Sanchi keeps exploding, hampering efforts to extinguish the fire and rescue survivors, state media Xinhua said on Friday, citing the Ministry of Transport, as the blaze raged and worries grew the ship may break up and sink. The week-long rescue effort following the tanker's collision with a freight ship on Saturday night has been roiled by poor weather, including 3-metre (10 feet) high waves and strong winds, and toxic fumes from the burning oil. Dozens of the rescue boats were forced to retreat from dousing the tanker with foam on Wednesday due to an explosion.

COSCO Shipping Reports $1.4 bln Loss for 2016

Photo: COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd

China's COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd made a loss last year of 9.9 billion yuan ($1.44 billion), the company reported on Thursday, due to both persistently weak freight rates and restructuring costs. Freight shipping firms have been hit hard by a prolonged downturn in rates caused by overcapacity and a slowdown in global trade. COSCO, the world's fourth-largest container shipping line, became a new company last year, born out of the merger of two major domestic shipping firms, making year-on-year comparisons difficult.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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