PostHeaderIcon Maersk Line introduces new Asia-Europe and Transpacific services

The new services will enable Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Maersk Line to accommodate the incoming volumes from the recently announced slot purchase agreements with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Hamburg Sud. The two carriers will move cargo, but not operate vessels in the 2M network, according to a Maersk Line statement.

"With these exciting product improvements we confirm our commitment to provide extensive direct coverage and best in class transit times to our customers in the Asia-Europe and Transpacific trades," says Silvia Ding, head of trade in Maersk Line.

"Our new slot agreements require that we increase our capacity. With these service improvements we are adding the necessary capacity to match the increase in volumes. Our aim is and continues to be to manage our capacity efficiently and maintain the stability and continuity of our network."

The AE7 will significantly improve Maersk Line's product from East China into Rotterdam in The Netherlands and Hamburg in Germany. For example, the transit time from Shanghai to Rotterdam and Hamburg will improve by three days respectively.

In the Transpacific, the TP16 will provide new opportunities in the Asia - US South Atlantic trade. The transit time from South China to the US South Atlantic will improve by eight days, which will be the fastest in the market.

In addition, Maersk Line will merge the TP8 and TP3 services between Asia and the US West Coast into one service, the TP8.


PostHeaderIcon South Korea takes steps to restructure shipping and shipbuilding

Mr Yoo added the government would improve the regulation of relationships between ship and cargo owners by October and boost incentives to attract more transshipment cargo.
Regarding the shipping industry, which saw the collapse of Hanjin Shipping last year, South Korea sees market conditions improving after two to three years of corrections, although demand will not be favourable for the time being, the statement said.
To beat these headwinds, the shipbuilders will continue with plans to sell off non-core assets. For example, Daewoo Shipbuilding will sell all assets not related to ship production to shore up liquidity, as well as scale back plans for offshore projects. Hyundai Heavy and Samsung Heavy would do the same with assets that were not key to their shipbuilding business, the statement said.
The statement said shipbuilders would continue to struggle in 2017 because of their reliance on offshore orders, which have been slowing down owing to a broad cooldown in the global economy.
A joint statement regarding the plans said it was uncertain whether the country's three biggest shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries would meet their earnings goals for this year.
If last year we put together the rules and framework for corporate restructuring despite hardships, this year we will engage in restructuring in earnest and make sure the efforts are carried out smoothly," said Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho.


PostHeaderIcon Competition at US ports to heat up to attract mega alliance calls

Challenges to port efficiency are listed as Hanjin Shipping's sudden collapse, the pending merger of MOL, NYK and 'K' Line, and Maersk Group's acquisition of German carrier Hamburg Sud, raising fears of fewer port visits, while ports of choice will attract greater volumes at their rivals' expense.

The planned launch of The Ocean Alliance and The Alliance are expected to dominate the container shipping market and result in the unloading of more cargo at fewer ports that will rely heavily on trucks, railroads, or smaller ships taking shipments to their final destinations. Ports offering the greatest efficiency, cost, speed of service, and ease of access will emerge the winners.

'It's not enough to have the biggest equipment. It's not enough to have the most favourable geography,' Long Beach chief commercial officer Noel Hacegaba told the American Association of Port Authorities in December.

The June 2016 opening of the Panama Canal's third lock hailed as a boon to east coast ports, however, has seen less than one-third of the 12 daily slots through the canal being taken up in the wake of its expansion.

Trade through US east coast ports rose 0.7 per cent year on year in the first nine months of 2016, and that through west coast ports increased 3.2 per cent and volume through ports on the Gulf Coast edging up 0.3 per cent, PIERS figures show, reported IHS Media.

Much of the west coast's growth came from a 5.2 per cent increase in exports, compared with a decline of two per cent in exports on the east coast and one per cent on the Gulf coast. Imports rose by 2.5 per cent at east and west coasts ports and one per cent on the Gulf coast.

On the west coast, operators are to decide how to reshape southern California's PierPass system, which - after 11 years in operation ?is facing calls for reform from BCOs and truckers who claim the system at 13 port of Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals is inequitable. Reforms may include changes to the congestion pricing system to encourage evening pick-ups.

Elsewhere, the port of Houston is preparing to extend its terminal gate hours, probably in mid-2017. In Oakland, terminals began an extended gates programme in 2016, and the port's largest terminal, Oakland International Container Terminal, in September made it permanent.


PostHeaderIcon MSC, Maersk add Wilmington port call to Asia-USEC service (TP10)

This announcement follows the recent return of intermodal rail service to the North Carolina ports, and the completion of the turning basin project at Wilmington port, which included the removal of an existing bulk pier and dredging along the port's side of the Cape Fear River to expand the turning basin from 1,200 feet to 1,400 feet to accommodate vessels of up to 10,000 TEU.
"Our customers were clamouring for a stable Asia service in this location," said the port authority's chief commercial officer Greg Fennell. 
The TP10/Amberjack's rotation includes port calls in Qingdao, Xingang, Ningbo, Shanghai, and Busan in Asia. This transpacific service transits the Panama Canal on its way to US east coast ports. It has the fastest coverage from Asia to Wilmington and is the only service offering direct linkage to the US east coast into and out of Xingang.
"Our inclusion in this rotation not only improves our visibility in international trade but also ensures the businesses that rely on us will have that much needed connection to Asia." 
"North Carolina has a ripe market that continues to drive the decisions of the world's biggest container companies," executive director Paul Cozza of the North Carolina State Ports Authority was quoted as saying in a report by Global Trade Magazine. 
MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Company (MSC) and Maersk Line have added the port of Wilmington in North Carolina to their TP10/Amberjack all-water Asia-US east coast container shipping service that is operated by ten ships, ranging in size from 4,300 to 5,100 TEU.


PostHeaderIcon Hanjin to sell Asia-US network to pay creditors

HANJIN Shipping is selling major businesses, including its Asia to US route network, and will receive letters of intent by October 28, the company said recently.

The firm had total debt of KRW6.03 trillion (US$5.41 billion) as of the end of June, according to its bankruptcy court filing.

A list of 3,000 Hanjin creditors has been released with the top five creditors overall being Seaspan Corporation, Danos Corporation, Peter Doehle, World Fuel Services and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Hanjin Shipping received court approval to seek buyers for assets in order to pay back creditors now in the process of making claims until October 25, reported the Maritime Executive of Fort Lauderdale.

A spokesman for the Seoul Central District Court overseeing Hanjin Shipping's receivership said assets currently set to be put up for sale include the entire operations of Hanjin Shipping's US to Asia routes such as manpower systems, five container ships, and 10 overseas businesses.

The port of Long Beach revealed that container volumes in September fell 16.6 per cent compared to the same month a year ago, as the effects of Hanjin's bankruptcy reached US west coast ports.

Hanjin Shipping accounted for approximately 12.3 per cent of the port's total containerised volume, it said.

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