Marine Link
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Shippers News

Antwerp, Metz Rail Connection Doubles in Frequency

Multimodal Terminal Metz. Photo: Port of Antwerp

One year after the introduction of the rail shuttle between Antwerp and Metz, the intermodal logistics operator Multi-Modal Rail (MMR) has doubled the frequency. As of the middle of January the Dutch-French company provides a second weekly container shuttle. This increased frequency offers shippers the ideal connection to deepsea services in the port of Antwerp, for their import and export consignments in the Alsace-Lorraine region. The shuttle leaves on Monday and Wednesday from Antwerp Main Hub and arrives the following day at the MMS terminal in Metz.

Colonial Pipeline Revising Tariff After Shipper Complaints

Colonial Pipeline has crafted a revised tariff intended to soothe shipper concerns about access to the critical gasoline and diesel artery that links the U.S. Gulf Coast to the Northeast. Last March Colonial withdrew a previous revision after some shippers complained to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it would limit competition by squeezing entry to the largest refined product pipeline system in the United States. The disputed tariff, and the latest revision which Colonial aims to file with FERC next month, would change how space is allocated on the system, which has been full for more than three years. After a series of meetings with shippers, Colonial further tweaked the tariff, the company said on Tuesday. The central issue is shipper history.

CargoSmart Offers Free SOLAS VGM Solutions

CargoSmart Limited, a global shipment management software solutions provider that leverages big data for greater visibility and benchmarking, announced that it offers free solutions for shippers to provide the verified gross mass (VGM) of their cargo to their carriers to comply with the new requirements from the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. CargoSmart is working with more than 70 ocean container carriers and terminals to provide shippers with flexible and integrated solutions to manage the VGM submission process effectively and smoothly. Starting on July 1, 2016, global shippers are required to provide a verified gross mass of each container, including the cargo contents and the weight of the container, before it is loaded on a vessel.

Delivery of Cargo to Carrier Creates Quasi-Contract

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a quasi-contract is created when the shipper delivers cargo to the carrier for ocean transportation. In the instant case, the shipper contracted with (and paid) a freight forwarder for shipment of its cargoes from the United States to Syria. The bills of lading were not signed by the shipper. The shipper delivered the cargoes directly to the carrier’s vessels at the pier in Texas. The cargoes were transported and delivered in good order. The shipper paid the freight forwarder, which went out of business and failed to pay the carrier. The carrier then sued the shipper. The court held that…

Asian Shippers Weigh in Against Container Weighing

Image courtesy of Maersk Line

THE Asian Shippers' Council (ASC) renewed its attack on the UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) over compulsory container weight verification partly because it is hard on shippers in emerging markets. "There are millions of shippers across Asia, with different levels of maturity and different operational constraints. Cargoes have multiple modes of transport - trucks, ships and/or rail. Can you imagine trying to implement what is agreed at the IMO in such a challenging environment?" said ASC chairman John Lu.

Shippers Oppose Green Fuel Taxes

Shipper groups say the introduction of green fuel taxes will not reduce emissions. They claim that shipping lines will not switch to more environmentally-friendly fuels or more efficient ships, they will simply add yet another surcharge to the rates they charge their customers. Most of the talk from the shipping sector and governmental organizations involves the establishment of a levy or tax on fuel that is proportionate to the level of emissions from each ship. The way to reduce such charges would be to score well on the recently-approved Energy Efficiency Design Index for ships, as agreed by the International Maritime Organization. Shippers, including the Global Shippers Forum, the British Shippers’ Council and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) say this strategy will not work.

GSF and BIMCO Publish Standard Box Freight Document

Pic: BIMCO Headquarters

The Global Shippers Forum (GSF) has joined forces with the Baltic International Maritime Council Organisation (BIMCO) to launch the BIMCO/GSF SERVICECON container shipping contract. GSF is a NGO inaugurated in the UK four years ago but which represents international shipping organisations around the globe, and BIMCO is also an NGO which includes thousands of shipowners and operators worldwide in its membership. The contract details were announced at the 2015 Containerisation International…

BIMCO, Global Shipping Forum launch “SERVICECON”

Port of Hamburg

BIMCO and the Global Shipping Forum have now launched a new standard contract – named “SERVICECON” – which simplifies and harmonises terms and conditions for container volume contracts between shippers and carriers. The new agreement is designed to meet the contractual needs of small to medium sized shippers, which, despite the large number and global value of the shipments they transport, often lack the legal resources to develop their own agreements with carriers. Following a two year period of discussions between carrier and shipper representatives…

Quality of Ocean Carriers “Poor to Average”

Image: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

The service provided by container shipping lines is rated as poor to average and has deteriorated in the past year, according to a survey of exporters, importers and freight forwarders conducted jointly by Drewry and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC). The ESC and Drewry contacted several hundred shippers and forwarders from all over the world in March 2017 and asked them how satisfied they were with 16 price and non-price related attributes of the services provided by ocean carriers. The survey also looked into areas most in need of improvement and how quality varies by type of carrier.

Shippers Call For Container Cartel Reform

Cargo shippers from Europe, Asia and the U.S. called for the repeal of international maritime legislation protecting container shipping price fixing groups from normal anti-trust rules. A meeting of shippers' organizations from the three continents has backed proposals to reform the 125 year old liner shipping conference system, the European Shippers' Council (ESC) said. European shipowners are moving toward supporting some liberalization but on a sector-by-sector basis, the U.K. Chamber of Shipping said. But containershipping lines would be unlikely to support full deregulation of their sector, shipping analysts said.

Bulkers to Benefit as China Iron Ore Appetite Grows

Photo: © martinfredy/Adobe Stock

It has been quite awhile since the global bulk carrier market has had much to cheer about, but U.S. dry bulk shippers are set to post strong revenue growth in the next two years thanks to soaring Chinese demand for high-grade iron ore from Brazil and Australia. To combat severe winter smog, China has slashed iron ore output, pushing steel mills in the world's second biggest economy to import more high-grade ore. China also wants to make pollution control a priority for the next three years.

CMA CGM Communication on VGM of Packed Containers

Photo: CMA CGM

As of July 1st, 2016, the enforcement of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) requirements regarding the verification of the gross mass of packed containers will be applicable. A packed container will not be allowed to be loaded on board vessels to which the SOLAS Convention applies unless the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of the container has been provided to the ship’s master or his representative and to the terminal or its representative sufficiently in advance to allow for the preparation of the ship stowage plan.

Peak Season to be Muted Says Drewry Shipper Survey

Carriers hoping for a respite from difficult market conditions with the traditionally buoyant peak season may be disappointed as a recent survey has revealed that shippers expect this year’s peak season to be subdued. Shippers tell Drewry survey they don’t expect much of a volume uplift in the third-quarter peak season. Nearly half of the 51 shippers who responded to the survey by Drewry Supply Chain Advisers said they expect volumes for the third-quarter peak season to be the same as they were last year, while another 35% anticipate lower volumes. Only 18% predicted higher volumes for container shipping’s busy period. The results of the survey confirm that international trade remains sluggish.

NPRM Issued on Items Requiring Shipper's Export Declaration

The U.S. Census Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would, if adopted, require shippers who export items identified on the Commerce Department Commerce Control List (CCL) or the State Department United States Munitions List (USML) to file the Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) electronically via the Automated Export System (AES)/AESDirect. Comments on this proposal must be submitted by December 9, 2002.

Shippers Form Working Group On Jones Act Conflict

The Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF) and the National Industrial Transportation (NIT) League have reached agreement on the establishment of a joint working group which will address Jones Act service issues between U.S.-flag carriers and American shippers. The offer of creating such a group was made by the MCTF in a meeting hosted by the NIT League last week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. At its core, the MCTF offer was an effort to engage the shipper community in a dialogue which goes beyond merely debating the merits of the Jones Act. The objective is to explore common areas of interest between shippers and carriers and to develop operational solutions to logistics problems.

Carriers, Shippers Create Working Group on Jones Act Conflict

The Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF) and the National Industrial Transportation (NIT) League have reached agreement on the establishment of a joint working group which will address Jones Act service issues between U.S.-flag carriers and American shippers. The offer of creating such a group was made by the MCTF in a meeting hosted by the NIT League in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. At its core, the MCTF offer was an effort to engage the shipper community in a dialogue which goes beyond merely debating the merits of the Jones Act. The objective is to explore common areas of interest between shippers and carriers and to develop operational solutions to logistics problems.

JAXPORT Logistics & Intermodal Conference

Conference banner credit JAXPORT

Organizers of Jacksonville Port Authority's (JAXPORT) biennial 'Logistics & Intermodal Conference' have released the list of panel topics for discussion at the upcoming 2015 conference. The overall theme for 2015 is "Challenges Facing Shippers in South Atlantic Ports,” and the conference will feature five panel discussions sharing insights, solutions and successes. Panelists will be announced soon and will include senior executives from major ocean carriers, railroads, shippers and service providers.

Judge For U.S. Regulator Strikes Committed Rates On Seaway Pipeline

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge annulled committed shipper rates on the Cushing-to-Texas Seaway pipeline on Friday, despite objections from energy companies who say it could jeopardize billions in infrastructure investment. The case arose from motions filed by oil companies against uncommitted shipper rates on the 400,000 barrels-per-day pipeline, which gives U.S. Gulf Coast refiners access to Canadian heavy crude and American oil. The federal regulator had struck the judge's initial decision in March and remanded it to her review, saying her arguments misconstrued long-held commission policy. The commission honors so-called committed shipper rates, which midstream companies enter with long-term shippers in order to finance their costly projects.

Container Shipping Reliability Report Published

INTTRA, an active worldwide network for ocean shipping, and SeaIntel, container shipping market analysts, announce the availability of the initial publication of the industry’s only shipping reliability report that combines on-time performance with schedule reliability measures. “For the first time shippers can now analyze actual container delivery time versus vessel arrival time on a country-by-country level,” said Lars Jensen, CEO of SeaIntel Maritime. “This is a game changer in how shippers can evaluate carrier performance and make more informed decisions on how their freight is moved. “For the first time shippers can now analyze actual container delivery time versus vessel arrival time on a country-by-country level,” said Lars Jensen, CEO of SeaIntel Maritime.

CargoSmart Partners with Ningbo E-port for SOLAS VGM

Image: CargoSmart Limited

The Port of Ningbo has integrated CargoSmart’s software for shippers and forwarders to meet new container weight requirements with its electronic platform for exchanging data between logistics providers, as well as between logistics providers and government agencies, the port said. CargoSmart Limited also announced that Ningbo E-port has extended its cooperation with CargoSmart to meet the new container weight requirements for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. Shippers…

Weight for Delays

Photo: International Institute of Marine Surveying

Drewry survey finds that confusion reigns over new container weighing rule with most stakeholders expecting some delays after its implementation in July. There is just over a month to go before new safety regulation comes into effect that will mandate container weighing from 1 July, but at the eleventh hour there is still much confusion over how shippers and forwarders will be able to comply. Overweight containers have been cited as a contributing factor or cause of a number of maritime accidents…

Taiwan Offers to Lend Shippers $1.9 bln

File Image (CREDIT: Hanjin)

Taiwan's government said on Wednesday it will offer to lend struggling local shippers NT$60 billion ($1.9 billion) at below-market interest rates, to help them cope with the industry's worst downturn. "The global shipping industry is going through a tough time. These loans are part of the government's efforts to help local shippers," said Yeh Hsieh-lung, a deputy director general of Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC). Shippers with accumulated losses in the past four quarters will be qualified to apply for the loans, Yeh said.

FMC's Doyle OKs Boxship Pact

Photo: HMM

Commissioner William P. Doyle of the Federal Maritime Commission issued the following statement today, Agreement to go into effect March 30, 2017. I voted today to allow the agreement styled the “Maersk/MSC/HMM Strategic Cooperation Agreement” to go forward. The parties to the agreement are Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM). However, I take this opportunity to convey to the parties concerns related the shipping public, American businesses and consumers.

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