PostHeaderIcon Hong Kong port faces shrinking box volumes for 12th month

HONG KONG's port has experienced falling container volumes for the 12th month in a row after throughput declined to 1.7 million TEU in June, down from 1.9 million TEU handled the same month a year earlier.

The world's top two box ports are now Shanghai and long-term rival Singapore.

In April Hong Kong year-on-year throughput plunged by 11.7 per cent owing to a shrinking trucking segment, and higher transshipment volumes and barge traffic at the port, according to IHS Maritime 360.

Terminals operated by Hutchison Port Holdings at Kwai Tsing suffered the biggest dive, with a drop in volume of 14 per cent registered, reported UK's Port Technology International.

In contrast, the port of Shanghai's throughput was up 4.4 per cent in the first half, after handling a total of 35 million TEU in 2014.

Despite this considerable drop in container volumes at the port of Hong Kong, China's mega-ports are anticipated to see throughput grow by six per cent annually between now and 2020. This will, presumably, take place against the backdrop of super container hubs envisioned for Qingdao, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

More than 95 per cent of China's coastal ports are expected to consolidate their resources with other ports through strategic co-operations and capital injection, the report added.


PostHeaderIcon Far East trades propel shippers' to US east coast ports

Far East trades propel shippers' to US east coast ports

CHINA is the leading the way for the swift from congested US west coast ports to their rivals on the east coast as a hefty chunk of business has shifted from the Pacific to Atlantic, reports the American Journal of Transportation.

According to data from Minneapolis trade research provider Zepol, total imports along the east coast have risen by 15 per cent, while import traffic on the US west coast down four per cent.

Imports from China along the west coast fell by three per cent, but Chinese imports on the east coast continue to gain ground. Atlantic ports attracted 20 per cent more containers from mainland China this year, and Gulf ports 43 per cent more.

"Shipments are setting sail for eastern ports even before the Panama Canal expansion is complete," said Zepol CEO Paul Rasmussen.

"Shippers may be tired of west coast backups, and with carriers adding more lines from Asia to the east coast, it's hard to blame them."

The ports of Newark/New York, Savannah and Houston recorded the highest increase in imports during the first half, year on year. The port of Newark/New York bumped up imports by 12 per cent, Savannah by 32 per cent, and Houston 26 per cent, which saw a spike in containers from China. The port brought in 53 per cent more Chinese containers than last year.

"Looking at these numbers, the port of Newark/New York's imports are becoming competitive with Long Beach," said Mr Rasmussen. "Upgrades to the Suez Canal and the focus on larger vessel infrastructure at eastern ports certainly help pull traffic away from the Pacific."


PostHeaderIcon MSC's No 1, Maersk's No 2, Evergreen No 3, CMA CGM No 4 in TEU rankings

THERE has been a fundamental shift in global shipping company standings from 2014 to 2015, which radically re-arranged the top 10, according to Datamyne statistics published by the American Journal of Transportation.

The Italian-Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) now takes the top spot from Denmark's Maersk Line, the long-standing No 1 global industry rankings.

MSC, since the first quarter of 2014 to the first three months of this year, has gained 13.61 per cent in container volume to 507,935 TEU, just as Maersk lost 9.15 per cent with its current holding of 430,158 TEU.

The new No 3 is Taiwan's Evergreen, displacing France's CMA CGM, which slipped into No 4 spot.

Evergreen over the same period gained 14.75 per cent to 362,505 TEU. Curiously, CMA CGM actually gained 17.97 per cent in volume to 336,821 TEU, but not enough to deny Evergreen the No 3 spot.

Germany's Hapag-Lloyd, despite its tumultuous merger with Chile's CSAV, remains at No 5 with a 1.25 increase in box holdings of 277,427 TEU.

The new No 6 is Korea's Hanjin Shipping, which gained 3.16 per cent in volume to 275,833 TEU, displacing Cosco to No 7 spot with its 20.25 per cent volume gain to 252,277 TEU.

Singapore's APL is the new No 8, up from 10th place, with a volume gain of 21.84 per cent to 234,750 TEU.

"K" Line is the new No 9, displacing MOL, which has been banished from the top 10. "K" Line is up 16.93 per cent in volume to 202,636 TEU.

The new No 10 is Taiwan's Yang Ming, up from 14th place, with a 18.41 gain in volume to 183,421 TEU


PostHeaderIcon FMC commissioner demands congestion information from carrier alliances

THE four major container shipping alliances are being urged to provide new information on the measures each is taking to reduce congestion at US ports by the Federal maritime commissioner Michael Khouri, who says shippers have seen a deterioration in service and significant increases in costs. Mr Khouri is also calling on the FMC to support his request, which is currently being discussed by FMC staff and commissioners. "We have received private reports and seen numerous press accounts that the operations of the four alliances - G6, CKYHE, Ocean 3, and 2M - may be a contributing factor in the chronic congestion at the west coast ports, and perhaps at other port facilities," Mr Khouri said. "In terms of overall costs and service levels in the liner supply chain as experienced by US exporters and importers, there has been a deterioration in service and significant increase in costs," he said, reported American Shipper. Mr Khouri said there have been reports that because of the way containers are loaded on alliance vessels at Asian ports, there is now a need for additional handling in US west coast ports. Other factors also playing significant roles in port congestion include issues surrounding the tentative longshore labour contract, chassis and drayage drivers. The Global Shippers Forum (GSF) is also demanding performance data from shipping alliances, claiming lack of reliability and predictability of the joint operations of shipping alliances is adversely affecting shippers' maritime and logistics supply chains. GSF secretary general Chris Welsh called on alliances to "take responsibility for monitoring, measuring and benchmarking their performance on key trade routes to demonstrate enhanced alliance performance." Furthermore, Mr Welsh is demanding that the shipping alliances "make that information transparent to regulators and their customers as evidence of their commitment to showing the pro-competition benefits of improved alliance services." The GSF called for "a manageable but rigorous set of monitoring KPIs [key performance indicators] that can provide the required level of confidence to customers that ocean shipping alliances can deliver tangible benefits in terms of reduced costs, competitive ocean rates and improved services for shippers".


PostHeaderIcon West coast congestion shrinks global idle fleet to record low

West coast congestion shrinks global idle fleet to record low

THE global idle box fleet has fallen to a 40-month low because the US west coast congestion crisis has reduced idle tonnage to 200,000 TEU, the lowest since 2011.

Forty ships ranging in size from 4,000 to 10,000 TEU have been drafted into service that would have otherwise been idle, reports Alphaliner.

As of January 26, only 16 ships of above 3,000 TEU were idle, and most of them will be deployed in the next two weeks.

All ships of above 4,000 TEU are expected to be trading by mid- February, marking the first time since 2011 that such vessels are to be fully employed

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