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


PostHeaderIcon MOL increases rate US$200/TEU from Asia to southern Africa January 14

JAPANESE shipping giant MOL has announced a US$200 per TEU rate increase on all cargo from Asia to southern Africa including Madagascar, Mozambique and Namibia from January 14.

The shipping company said the rate restoration was "essential to sustain our service level" and applied it to all cargo from Asia, which includes the Indian subcontinent and Middle East to southern Africa, including South Africa, Lesotho and Zimbabwe


PostHeaderIcon Hapag-Lloyd, CSAV agree to merge, creating 4th biggest box carrier

CHILE's Compania Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) and Germany's Hapag-Lloyd have signed a binding agreement to merge and become the world's fourth-largest container shipping line.

Relevant corporate bodies of both companies have approved though the closing of the transaction is subject to approval of competition authorities.

The company will remain in Hamburg, where it will manage 200 ships totalling one million TEU, with an annual transport volume of 7.5 million TEU and a combined revenue of EUR9 billion (US$12.4 billion).

CSAV will initially hold a 30 per cent. The parties agreed on a capital increase of EUR370 million once the deal is done, to which CSAV will contribute EUR259 million, said the Hapag-Lloyd statement.

"This will then increase CSAV's share of Hapag-Lloyd to 34 per cent. A second capital increase of EUR370 million will be linked to Hapag-Lloyd's planned stock exchange listing," said the statement.

Said Hapag-Lloyd chairman Michael Behrendt: "The transaction increases the value of the company and therefore also the value of our shareholders' shares."

Said CSAV chief executive Oscar Hasbun: "By joining forces, we are creating a stronger, larger company with significant economies of scale and a considerably improved competitive position."

The two companies' order books are complementary. "While, at the end of April, Hapag-Lloyd will put into service the last of ten 13,200 TEU vessels ordered for the Far East trade, CSAV still has seven vessels, each of 9,300 TEU, scheduled for delivery in 2014 and 2015," said the press release.

Separately, Reuters reported that South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries said it was proceeding with a CSAV order worth KRW642.9 billion (US$617.67 million) to build seven containerships.

These containerships are designed for the South American trade. "This means that we will have a young and cost-efficient fleet. The use of optimum tonnage in the trades is one of the key prerequisites for successful operations in the face of international competition," said Mr Hasbun.

Said Mr Behrendt: "I am delighted that we have succeeded in concluding this partnership through which our two companies are playing an active part in consolidating the liner shipping industry."


PostHeaderIcon FMC okays G6 expansion amendment, sees no violation of US Shipping Act

THE US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has told the expanded G6 Alliance that its proposed amendment to enlarge its size and scope has passed muster and there for it is entitled to ply trades between the Far East and Europe to American ports.Tuesday, 08.Apr.2014, 05:30 (GMT+2)

FMC okays G6 expansion amendment, sees no violation of US Shipping Act

THE US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has told the expanded G6 Alliance that its proposed amendment to enlarge its size and scope has passed muster and there for it is entitled to ply trades between the Far East and Europe to American ports.

Unlike the vote on the giant P3, banding the Big Three - Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM into a mega alliance, the vote was unanimous for the G6, made up of OOCL, APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai, MOL and NYK.

The FMC said the G6 operational alliance was not likely "at this time" to cause as reduction in competition or service, under the US Shipping Act, reported Lloyd's List.

Said OOCL trades chief Stephen Ng: "We are glad about the unanimous decision from FMC to allow the expansion of the G6 scope to take effect and we will work on implementation of the new agreement which will provide better services in terms of coverage and frequency as well as improved cost efficiency and enhanced environmental benefits."

FMC chairman Mario Cordero said the G6 would "increase available capacity in the expanded geographic scope, and has the potential to generate operational efficiencies and positive environmental benefits".

The G6's capacity increase will provide for an additional 17 services and allow members to co-ordinate the operation and space sharing on 180 to 220 ships with 14,000 TEU between them.

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