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PostHeaderIcon OOCL to raise Asia-Europe freight rates from November 1

HONG KONG's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has announced a rate restoration programme that will affect its services operating the Asia-Europe trades.

With effect from November 1, freight rates for westbound shipments transported from the Far East (excluding Japan) to North Europe, the Mediterranean and Black Sea will be increased by US$400 per TEU, as rated by the "on-board date."

The company said in a statement that it is introducing the rate hike "in order to continue providing quality and sustainable services."

 

PostHeaderIcon Maersk-MSC cuts ports on Asia-Europe route by deploying mega ships

THE Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) and Maersk Line will reduce the number of direct port calls across their Asia-North Europe network.

According to the 2M Alliance shipping lines, a key enabler for lowering the number of direct calls was the more efficient deployment of mega ships across their five Asia-North Europe services, reported IHS Media.

"We are utilising our scale to deliver a better product," said Maersk commercial chief Vincent Clerc, was quoted as saying. "With the largest network and the deployment of an increasingly uniform fleet of ultra-large container vessels, we maintain our extensive direct coverage while focusing each service towards best in class transit times to specific markets on the trade."

The carriers are focusing on bolstering their services into Germany and the Netherlands, with westbound transit times from Asia to Rotterdam and Bremerhaven taking five days less.

Eastbound transit time between Rotterdam and Shanghai would be five days faster.

Mr Clerc said Maersk Line THE Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) and Maersk Line will reduce the number of direct port calls across their Asia-North Europe network.

According to the 2M Alliance shipping lines, a key enabler for lowering the number of direct calls was the more efficient deployment of mega ships across their five Asia-North Europe services, reported IHS Media.

"We are utilising our scale to deliver a better product," said Maersk commercial chief Vincent Clerc, was quoted as saying. "With the largest network and the deployment of an increasingly uniform fleet of ultra-large container vessels, we maintain our extensive direct coverage while focusing each service towards best in class transit times to specific markets on the trade."

The carriers are focusing on bolstering their services into Germany and the Netherlands, with westbound transit times from Asia to Rotterdam and Bremerhaven taking five days less.

Eastbound transit time between Rotterdam and Shanghai would be five days faster.

Mr Clerc said Maersk Line had drawn on experience from the first year of operations of the 2M alliance when adjusting the network.

"Our improved network is the result of a stable, maturing alliance seeking to address current customer-felt pain points. It strengthens our commercial offering and offers shippers a stable choice in times where other alliance networks await reshuffling," said Mr Clerc.

Alphaliner said Maersk's ability to grow volume at a faster pace than the 12 other carriers that reported first-quarter earnings while delivering better operating margins was a sign of how Maersk was pulling away from the rest of the container shipping industry.

"Maersk's decision to pursue market share contributed to the decline in freight rates," said Alphaliner, adding that in the first quarter "when most competitors were trying to curb capacity growth, Maersk deployed off-schedule extra loaders on both the Asia-Europe and transpacific routes."had drawn on experience from the first year of operations of the 2M alliance when adjusting the network.

"Our improved network is the result of a stable, maturing alliance seeking to address current customer-felt pain points. It strengthens our commercial offering and offers shippers a stable choice in times where other alliance networks await reshuffling," said Mr Clerc.

Alphaliner said Maersk's ability to grow volume at a faster pace than the 12 other carriers that reported first-quarter earnings while delivering better operating margins was a sign of how Maersk was pulling away from the rest of the container shipping industry.

"Maersk's decision to pursue market share contributed to the decline in freight rates," said Alphaliner, adding that in the first quarter "when most competitors were trying to curb capacity growth, Maersk deployed off-schedule extra loaders on both the Asia-Europe and transpacific routes."

 

PostHeaderIcon Hanjin crisis spreads to inland warehouses struggling to secure their boxes

ALARMED US importers of Asian cargo hit by the Hanjin bankruptcy crisis are braced for trouble as they struggle to get their goods free of the insolvent ocean carrier.

"Customers are pushing for every Hanjin box to be transloaded as soon as possible, for fear that Hanjin will soon put holds on all of their freight," said Andrew Lynch, president of Zipline Logistics, of Columbus, Ohio.

"The largest impact will be at warehouses that now have to process a week's worth of orders in just a day or two," said Mr Lynch, whose company specialises in multimodal retail transport and supply chain management.

The problem affects boxes too. Said CH Robinson Worldwide ocean service chief Sri Laxmana: "The biggest problem is that once drivers deliver the container there's no one to take back the empty."

Those stranded empties, he said, may lead to a container shortage in Asia.

"The big, big problem is you have a ton of containers either on the water or stuck at ports and inland container yards, and that's going to create a massive lack of containers in Asia," he said.

Mr Lynch worried about timing of containers on Hanjin vessels that haven't arrived. "If an order scheduled for next week that involved Hanjin doesn't come through, do our customers have inventory in other locations that can economically fill orders?" he wondered.

"We don't want to risk late deliveries or exorbitant incurred fees," he said. "There could be a need in coming days for expedited services. Once containers are finally released from the ports, they may need rushed delivery to final locations. We haven't seen this yet, but we're ready."

Warehouse operators trying to schedule truckload and less-than-truckload shipments to inland distribution centres are likely to face surges in freight traffic that could challenge their ability to balance freight flow and capacity demand, leading to delays and the detention of drivers.

"There will certainly be a short-term inundation of freight at warehouses," Mr Lynch said.

He expects the focus to shift inland shortly. "The largest impact will be at warehouses that now have to process a week's worth of orders in just a day or two," he said.

But Mr Lynch cautioned about exaggerating the significance of the crisis. "Hanjin's bankruptcy won't have nearly as large an impact as the west coast labour disputes" in 2015, he said.

"We anticipate issue for truck transport to be resolved pretty quickly," he said.

Matt Williams, president of Pro Star Logistics, agreed. "I imagine this will be like when Consolidated Freightways shut down" over Labour Day Weekend in 2002."

Mr Williams recalled that breakdown left freight stranded across North America. "Some stuff will get delivered right away, some will be delayed. At least with CF it was all domestic."

 

PostHeaderIcon ANL, Coscon and OOCL under A3 alliance to launch Asia-Oz loops

OOCL has unveiled the joint services it will operate in conjunction with partners ANL and Coscon under the newly formed Asia Australia Consortium (A3) that will focus on the trade between North East Asia and Australia.

The A3 will launch three dedicated services, namely the Northern Express, Central Express and Southern Express, connecting 10 major North East Asia ports with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Subject to regulatory approval, the A3 plans to launch the new services starting from September or October.

The port rotation for the weekly Northern Express is Yokohama, Osaka, Busan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Kaohsiung, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and back to Yokohama.

The Central Express is also a weekly service, with the following port rotation: Shanghai, Ningbo, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and back to Shanghai.

The port rotation for the weekly Southern Express is Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Shenzhen-Shekou, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and back to Kaohsiung.

 

PostHeaderIcon G6 partners boost Asia-Mediterranean trade weekly capacity by 21pc

THE G6 partners have upgraded and increased weekly capacity on their Asia-Med EUM loop by 21 per cent, or about 2,200 TEU, by early September with the introduction of 13,000 TEU-class ships TEU-class ships on the service.

The G6 Alliance comprising APL, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, MOL, NYK and OOCL ?is in the process of replacing seven ships in the size range from 8,750 to 10,700 TEU by units of 13,100 to 13,200 TEU, running alongside three 10,700 TEU vessels.

Some of the ships leaving the service are MOL's 10,010 TEU vessels earmarked for the new Asia-US East Coast NYX service via Panama, reported Alphaliner Weekly.

The larger replacement tonnage for the EUM has become available, as the members of the G6 Alliance decided last month to suspend their Asia-North Europe Loop 6 until further notice.

HMM will contribute six of its ten 13,000 TEU ships to the EUM some of which has recently been idled. OOCL for its part, will shift the 13,208 TEU OOCL Brussels to the loop in early September.

Currently trading on the Asia - North Europe Loop 4 the vessel will be replaced by the 14,026 TEU newbuilding NYK Eagle, currently under fitting out at Japan Marine United Shipyard in Kure. APL will continue to provide three 10,700 TEU ships for the EUM in the foreseeable future, until more 13,000 TEU ships are displaced from other services.

The EUM service turns in ten weeks and calls at Port Said East, Genoa, Fos, Barcelona, Valencia, Port Said East, Jeddah, Singapore, Hong Kong, Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jeddah, Port Said East. All these ports already see calls from VLCS of the 13,000 TEU-class, and some also handle ULCS of 14,000 TEU and larger on a regular basis.
 
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