container port

August was an all time high for container ports

August’s Drewry global container port throughput index reached an all-time high of 126.8 points.

The August figure, the highest since inception of the index in January 2012, was nearly 7 points up on August 2016 (120.0 points) and more than 11 points up on the August 2015 level of around 116 points.

The global index climbed 0.5% from July’s figure of 126.2.

The month-on-month index figures for China and Europe dropped 0.5% in August – totalling 136.1 (down from 136.8) and 114.2 (down from 114.7) respectively, but show more than 5% annual increase.

All regions showed at least 5% annual growth in August 2017. However, 2016 was a weak comparison in many cases, said Drewry.

It added that Africa – with 117.4 points in August, up from 102.7 in August 2016 (107.2 in July 2017) – is showing double digit annual growth. It pointed out, however, that the sample size is small.

North America showed the highest annual change of 7.0%, with 137.7 points, up from 128.7 in August 2016.

Its monthly change of 2.8% is equal to Latin America, which jumped from 110.4 points in July 2017 to 113.5 in August.

Latin America saw the third highest annual change of 6.1%, with 107.0 points in August 2016.

The Drewry Container Port Throughput Indices are a series of volume growth/decline indices based on monthly throughput data for a sample of over 220 ports worldwide, representing over 75% of global volumes.

The Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the ISL – Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics showed a further substantial increase in September 2017 from 128.5 to 129.7 (revised figures). Compared to the beginning of 2017 it gained almost six points. A similarly strong plus was last achieved in 2010.

The index is based on data continuously collected from world container ports by ISL as part of its market monitoring. Because large parts of international merchandise trade are transported by ship, the development of port handling is a good indicator for world trade.

As many ports release information about their activities only two weeks after the end of the respective month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator for the development of international merchandise trade and hence for the activity of the global economy. Together, the 82 ports covered in the index account for about six out of ten containers handled worldwide. The flash estimate for September is based on data reported by 45 ports, accounting for close to 80% of the total index volume.

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index for October 2017 will be released on 21 November 2017.

•Source ISL / Port Strategy

 

sea freight

Sea Freight – Why use us?

 

We handle all types of cargo including:

  • Full Container Load (FCL)
  • Less Container Load (LCL)
  • NVOCC Groupage Systems
  • Out of gauge
  • Abnormal Loads
  • Hazardous Cargos

We have long standing relationships with a global network of agents at all origin ports which means that we can offer you the best possible service.  We have over 30 years experience in the shipping industry, and we can arrange all the necessary documentation to make sure that your goods are transported as seamlessly as possible.

What are the advantages of sending your goods by sea?

It is typically the cheaper option – larger volumes mean cheaper rates.

It is good if you don’t need quick shipments and have long lead times

It’s more environmentally aware –  and reduces ecological footprint

The capacity is much higher in container ships which means much higher load volumes

There are not many limits on what can be brought in via container – all types of goods can be shipped including dangerous/hazardous/restricted goods.

It is an ideal way of transporting heavy or bulky goods, or large amounts at once

 

 

golden week

ALERT: Golden week and the implications for shippers

As part of celebrations for golden week, also called National Day, a major holiday is coming up in China from Saturday 1st October for a week, officially ending on the 7th but with effects lasting until the 10th.

It has been celebrated in mainland China and Hong Kong since 2000. The holiday was implemented by the Government to encourage domestic tourism and allow families to make long distance trips. This means that businesses come to a standstill.

All businesses will be closed, cargo flights are cancelled and ports operate on basic crews. Shipping quotes will be hard to obtain as nothing moves in or out.  Vessels are usually under capacity at this time so don’t sail.

Our advice is plan ahead! Contact us as soon as possible for rates and availability to secure your shipment in time. Please also be advised that there will be a back log of orders and freight after golden week which will mean that space will be at a premium.  If a shipment is time critical it is important to be organised before next week.

You can submit an enquiry through our website, send us an email or call us on 02380 337778.

We look forward to hearing from you.

future of shipping

The future of UK Shipping

At the end of London International shipping week, the transport secretary Chris Grayling set out his thoughts on the future of UK shipping. 

His speech focused on the changes in transport, and how the maritime industry is not only contributing to that change, but are increasingly leading it.

His first point concerned new technology and the advances in maritime autonomy.  Today, 90% of accidents at sea are caused by human error, and so there could be a huge safety benefit to keeping away from the risky routes.  Drones that are being increasingly deployed in other areas could also be used over our seas, inspecting ships and further improving safety.

This increase in efficiency could make maritime even more competitive against road freight, which in turn offers big environmental benefits.  Grayling also points out that this would obviously lead to concern over the effect of automation on jobs, and that these concerns quite rightly should be taken seriously.  However, he continues by saying that there is also evidence that rather than destroying jobs, automation creates wealth, and that wealth creates opportunity, and opportunity means new jobs. So, the seafarer of today might be the unmanned vessel operator of tomorrow – supervising several ships from a control station on-shore. He or she might help design intelligent software, or contribute to new naval architecture.

These type of new roles require different skills, and that is why it makes sense to invest in training. This week maritime industries have been called on to double to amount of people taken on as apprentices, and this will improve the capability of the work force. The government has also written to heads of maritime businesses and training colleges asking what more can be done to increase the number of women working in the industry. In the UK, too, of our 14,000 certified officers, only 3% are women. Only 4% of our technical officers are women. Of our engine officers, only 1% are women. The industry is missing out on 50% of the talent, and the potential progress that could be made.

Brexit and the EU was also a pertinent point.  Grayling believes that both the EU and the UK will work better as friendly neighbours than as part of a strained union. For instance, in less than 2 years, for the first time in more than 4 decades, the UK will begin to enjoy an independent trade policy.  Our departure from the EU will allow us to build those closer trading ties with countries around the world.  Trading with our neighbours in the EU is important, but trading with other countries such as the USA, Australia, China, India, Mexico, South Korea, India and Brazil will enable us to expand our trade, receiving the worlds goods, and exporting our own. That is why the government announced that it wants to draw up plans for the maritime industry stretching up until 2050.

To read the full report please go here

hurricane irma

Cargo delay in Florida following hurricane Irma

Unsurprisingly, cargo in Florida, Georgia and the Caribbean is expected to suffer delays following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma at the weekend.  

Ports and airports have been closed, rail services are restricted and ships are rearranging port calls after many containerships fled.  Cargo ships have powered away from the storm and were seeking shelter on the west side of the islands of the Caribbean. Specialised forecasters were working with shippers to map out the best route.

Maersk sent an advisory to customers showing the location of its ships and changes to the services. More than 50 of its vessels appear to have been impacted. Changes to operations include missed port calls and delays as ships wait for ports to reopen.

Ports in eight port sectors in the Caribbean, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina are either closed or open with restrictions. Everglades, Palm Beach, Savannah, Panama City,  Jacksonville, Canaveral, Tampa, Port Manatee and all ports in Key West have all been closed and are reopening over the coming days.  The port of Miami reopened on Wednesday.  Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reopened on Tuesday morning after being closed for more than three days.

The port of Charleston has also reopened with no damage, and the CMA CGM shipping line has resumed its scheduled visit of the Theordore Rooselvelt container ship into Charleston.  The Roosevelt is the largest container ship to visit East Coast ports, capable of hauling up to 14,855 cargo boxes. Its Charleston visit has been delayed three times because of weather

One issue that has become more apparent is that Florida’s reliance on its ports to bring in 90 percent of its gasoline has created a shortage, potentially leaving people who evacuated for Hurricane Irma stranded as they drive back home.   Florida’s fuel resources will remain tight until the state’s five ports that accept fuel can be cleared to accept more tankers.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the hurricane, and especially to those families who lost loved ones.  Many people are without homes and electricity, and it will take a long time for calm to be restored. The relief effort has already begun, and will continue for some time to come.

2016 port freight statistics are encouraging

According to the Department for Transports recently published 2016 final figures, total freight tonnage handled by UK ports declined by 3% in 2016. This decline is attributable to a large reduction in demand for coal imports. Despite this, steady growth has been experienced in unitised traffic, which saw its fourth consecutive year of growth in 2016.

* total tonnage decreased by 3% to 484.0 million tonnes
* coal handled showed the biggest decline of any cargo category more than halving to 12.0 million tonnes
* liquid bulk goods, which account for 40% of total tonnage, decreased by 2%
* crude oil handled has halved since 2000, to 87.1 million tonnes
* unitised traffic rose by 2% to 24.1 million units
* container units reached a record high of 5.9 million units
* overall roll-on roll-off traffic rose 1.4% to 18.2 million units
* the volume of import and export motor vehicles increased 1% to 4.5 million units
* 18.2 million Ro-Ro units passed through UK major ports via roll-on roll-off services, up 1.4% compared to 2015.
* 10.2 million TEUs of LoLo container traffic passed through UK major ports in 2016, up 4% from 2015. Felixstowe had a 0.3% increase to 24.8 tonnes.
* Maritime freight with the European Union grew 2% to 206.8 million tonnes in 2016, and accounted for 44% of all tonnage through UK major ports.

In 2016, major port tonnage fell whilst minor port tonnage increased . There are 51 major ports in the UK. UK major port tonnage fell by 3% in 2016 to 472.8 million tonnes. The major port share of UK port tonnage has remained stable at 98% since 2005. Minor port tonnage increased to 11.3 million tonnes, an increase of 3% on the previous year.

Overall domestic major port traffic – coastwise and one-port – fell to 98.6 million tonnes in 2016, a drop of 5% from 2015. However, one- port traffic, rose 13% to 20.0 million tonnes in 2016.

The proportion of domestic traffic c carried by UK registered ships increased 3% in 2016, to 23.5 million tonnes. This makes up 24% of all UK domestic traffic.

Imports made up 56% of all tonnage handled between the UK and EU countries. UK major ports received 116.6 million tonnes from countries in the EU in 2016, an increase of 4% compared to 2015. Among EU countries, the highest amount of imports was from the Netherlands, 31.5 million tonnes, 10% higher than 2015. Freight received from ports in the Netherlands now makes up over a quarter of all inward tonnage from the EU.

In contrast, exports from the UK to the EU fell 1.6% between 2015 and 2016, down to 90.1 million tonnes. This is due, in part, to a fall of 11% in exports to both France and Germany, primarily driven by falling liquid bulk imports. In contrast, exports to Italy nearly doubled to 1.8 million tonnes, with an increase in crude oil imports from 0.4 million tonnes in 2015 to 1.3 million tonnes in 2016.

Container traffic with the European Union rose 8% in 2016 to 2.0 million units. In terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), container traffic rose 9% to 3.6 million TEUs.

Container traffic between the UK and International deep sea destinations rose to 5.3 million TEUs, up 3% from 2015.
China is our largest partner for container traffic in 2016, resulting in 2.5 million TEUs, up 3% from 2015. This makes up 47% of all deep sea LoLo handled by UK ports. Second place is taken by the USA which contributes 0.4 million TEUs to our container traffic; this is 8% of all deep sea LoLo trade.

The full report can be found here

 

cyber attack

Recent cyber attack has cost Maersk

The shipping company has revealed that the cyber attack has cost $300 million in lost revenue.  

Maersk CEO Soren Skou said “In the last week of the 2nd quarter we were hit by a cyber-attack, which mainly impacted Maersk Line, APM Terminals and Damco. Business volumes were negatively affected for a couple of weeks in July and as a consequence, our Q3 results will be impacted. We expect that the cyber-attack will impact results negatively by USD 200-300m.”

The announcement that Maersk had been hit by an attack, named NotPatya, came towards the end of June.  The attack meant that workers were not able to access any systems unless they paid 300 million in bitcoin, and took two weeks to fix, in which time affected terminals could not move any cargo.

According to their interim report, as soon as A.P. Moller – Maersk became aware that systems had been affected, action to respond was initiated including closing down infected networks. The malware was contained to only impact the container related businesses of A.P. Moller – Maersk, and therefore six out of nine businesses, including all Energy businesses, could uphold normal operations. A.P. Moller – Maersk also remained in full control of all vessels throughout the situation, and all employees were safe. For Maersk Line, APM Terminals and Damco, systems had to be shut down for a period for precautionary measures, as they have global interfaces across businesses and partners.

These system shutdowns resulted in significant business interruption during the shutdown period, with limited financial impact in Q2, while the impact in Q3 is larger, due to temporary lost revenue in July. While the businesses were significantly affected by this cyber-attack, no data breach or data loss to third-parties has occurred.

The attack was contained on Wednesday 28 June and so began the technical recovery plan with key IT partners and global cyber security agencies. On Thursday 29 June, Maersk Line was able to accept bookings from customers with existing accounts and gradually progressed to more normalised operations for Maersk Line, Damco and APM Terminals during the week of 3 July to 9 July.

The report continued saying that this cyber-attack was a previously unseen type of malware, and updates and patches applied to both the Windows systems and antivirus were not an effective protection in this case. In response to this new type of malware,  different and further protective measures have been put in place.

However, the attack doesn’t seem to have had a negative affect on overall profit predictions. According to Skou  “Maersk Line is again profitable delivering in line with guidance, with revenue growing by USD 1bn year-on-year in the second quarter. The profit was USD 490m higher than the same quarter last year, based on higher rates,”

container port Southampton

Southampton on the list of top container growth in 2016

During 2016 126 ports handled more than 1 million teu containers.

According to DynaLiners report entitled millionaires roundup, 82 ports had experienced growth in the year with 5 ports showing growth of 25% or more.

These ports were Chittagong, Bangladesh (26%), London (26%), Salalah, Oman (29%), Tangshan, China (27%) and Southampton (26%).

14 ports reached over 10m teu. These included Antwerp, Belgium; Busan, South Korea; Dubai, UAE; Hong Kong; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Port Kelang, Malaysia; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Singapore and Tianjin, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao and Shanghai, China.

New entrants to the table included Itajai with 1,104,100 teu and growth of 12%, Izmit with 1,143,000 teu and growth of 16%, Port Qasim with 1,124,000 teu and growth of 16% and Qinzhou with 1,138,000 teu and growth of 24%.

No ports dropped out of the table but 43 saw negative growth on 2015, of which Freeport (Bahamas) recorded the largest decline of -14%. Lagos and Port Said each had a 12% decline, Santos had a 10% decline, Tanjung Pelepas had a 9% decline, Hai Phong had an 8% decline, Lianyungang had a 7% decline, Long Beach had a 6% decline and Kingston had a 5% decline.

The total teu handled by the ports was 589,350,800, with other ports not on the list accounting for 117,649,200.

China topped the list of teu growth by country in 2016, maintaining its position from 2015.

The Far East, North Europe and North America retained position one, two and three respectively from 2015, with the Far East seeing a 2% YoY growth, 3% for North Europe and 1% for North America.

Of the terminal operators included in the data, PSA remained in first place with 56,300,000 teu, growing 6%, Hutchinson Ports also maintained second place but with a 3% dip in growth, followed by APM Terminals also staying at number three with a 3% growth. DP World was fourth, keeping its rank but with zero growth, Cosco Shipping Ports also stayed at number five with a 4% growth.

The report took into account full and empty, loaded and discharged, including transhipment containers. It noted that “Chinese port statistics often include (large) unknown quantities of containerised river cargo. Without these, some of them might even not qualify for millionaire status.”

• Source: Port Strategy

cosco oocl

Cosco’s acquisition of OOCL may face further hurdles

Although they resumed trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) this week, Cosco’s take over of OOCL could still hit a stumbling block.

Cosco’s shares were suspended two months ago and the SSE issued a letter of enquiry on July 18th seeking clarification on two points of the proposed deal. The first is whether it would clear anti trust and monopoly regulators around the world, and secondly, how Cosco intend to keep OOIL listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as previously agreed.

Being allowed to resume trading must mean that the assurances given were satisfactory, however, the take over does still seem to be subject to regulatory review within other countries.

According to OOIL, the offer is ‘dependent upon the satisfaction of pre-conditions, which include the necessary regulatory approvals as well as approval from Cosco Shipping Holdings shareholders. The controlling shareholder, who currently holds 68.7% of OOIL, has irrevocably undertaken to accept the offer’.

Cosco have agreed to maintain OOIL’s listing on the stock exchange, and will make sure that the public shareholding ratio of OOIL meets the requirements of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).

Regulatory and shareholder approval are paramount to the deal going ahead, and it presumably isn’t going to be quick. In reality it may be more difficult to adhere to the terms agreed.

For more information on the take over, please take a look at this video

yara

The world’s first autonomous electric cargo ship

Built by Norwegian firms Kongsberg and Yara, the Yara Birkeland will be the world’s first fully electric autonomous container ship. It will use GPS, radar, cameras and sensors to navigate itself. With a cost of around £25 million, which is 3 times the cost of a standard container ship, she will hopefully pay for herself as without the need for fuel or crew the annual operating costs could be slashed by up to 90%. Its size will be small compared to modern standards, with capacity for 100-150 shipping containers.

Until 2019 it will be operated as a manual vessel before moving to remote operation and then fully autonomous from 2020. It should begin to ship products from Yara’s production plant to the Norwegian ports of Brevik and Larvik in the later part of 2018.

Svein Tore Holsether, Yara’s president, said: “Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are needed to transport products from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant to ports in Brevik and Larvik where we ship products to customers around the world. With this vessel we move transport from road to sea and thereby reduce noise and dust emissions, improve the safety of local roads, and reduce emissions.”

Yara Birkeland will be over 70 metres (230 ft) long, with a beam of 15 metres (49 ft) and a depth of 12 metres (39 ft). She will have a draught of 5 metres (16 ft).

Uncrewed shipping remains unchartered territory. Much of the processes and communications are still in development, and a move to fully autonomous depends on the technology being able to catch up with the design. It could be quite a while before there is no need for any crew!

You can watch the video here