international shipping centre

Shanghai plan to become an International Shipping Centre by 2020

Shanghai are working towards becoming an International Shipping Centre by 2020. To achieve the target and raise the city’s core competitiveness, the local government has drafted a three-year plan.

One goal of the three-year plan is to further consolidate Shanghai’s status as an international shipping hub. In the Chinese mainland, the Port of Shanghai boasts the largest number of container shipping routes, the highest frequency of route operations and the widest network coverage. In 2017, cargo throughput rose 6.9 percent from 2016 to 751 million tons at the Port of Shanghai, while container throughput increased 8.3 percent year-on-year to 40.23 million TEUs, ranking first in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

At the same time, leveraging on the golden waterway along the Yangtze River, the Port of Shanghai is developing its waterway-waterway transport business and proceeding with its renovation project on high-grade inland waterways at a steady pace. Container lines connecting all ports along the Yangtze River are operated on a regular basis and breakthroughs have been made in the two-way navigation for large vessels along the deep-water passage at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

In 2017, waterway-waterway transport accounted for 46.7 percent of total container transfer. Among all, 10.58 million TEUs were handled along the Yangtze River, accounting for 56.4 percent of the total waterway-waterway transport and 26.3 percent of total throughput at the Port of Shanghai.

Another goal of the plan is to generally establish Shanghai’s status as an Asian gateway aviation hub. Shanghai has successfully built a “one city, two airports” system, the first of its kind in the country, whose scale and layout are compatible with their international counterparts.

The city’s two international airports, namely Pudong and Hongqiao, have a total of four terminals, six runways, 1.47 million square meters’ cargo area and an airport bonded zone, with a total designed capacity for 100 million passengers and 5.2 million tons of cargoes. Over 100 airlines have launched services to the city’s airports, which are now connected to 297 cities worldwide.

Transit centers of the three largest logistics companies are all under operation in the international cargo mail and courier service zones at the Pudong airport. In 2017, passenger throughput at Shanghai airports reached 112 million, ranking fourth around the globe. Cargo mail throughput at Pudong airport maintained its No.3 global ranking for the 10th consecutive year. Throughput of international passengers and cargo mail at Pudong airport accounted for one-third and half of the country’s total, respectively, making it the No.1 gateway in the Chinese mainland.

The third aim is to continuously improve Shanghai’s function of modern shipping services. A cluster of shipping service areas such as Waigaoqiao, Yangshan-Lingang, North Bund, Wusongkou, Hongqiao, and Pudong Airport, among which the shipping industry in Hongkou district ranks first in terms of its contribution to the district’s overall financial income, accounting for 19 percent of Hongkou’s public financial income.

A group of international and national shipping functional organizations have gathered in Shanghai. The world’s top 20 liner companies, the top four cruise companies, nine global shipping classification societies, and major State-owned and privately owned shipping companies have all set up headquarters or branches in Shanghai.

Shanghai Shipping Exchange has become the national container liner freight registration center and the China Ship Information Center. The container freight index has become a benchmark for the global container shipping market. The capability of maritime legal services has been continuously improved. The number of maritime arbitration cases in Shanghai accounts for 90 percent of the country’s total number of cases. Shanghai Maritime Court is striving to build an international maritime judicial center.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News / Global Times

Heathrow expansion

Heathrow expansion plans approved

The UK government has backed plans for the development of a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

The UK Cabinet’s economic sub-committee approved plans for a third runway at the London airport before the proposals were backed by the full cabinet.

The UK secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling said: “A successful, thriving aviation sector is critical to our ability as a nation to succeed, which is why we are developing a strategy to help it grow in a sustainable way.”

MPs of all parties will be asked to vote on the plans in the coming weeks.

The news was cautiously welcomed by freight forwarders.

Robert Keen, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said: “Hopefully, this news is the beginning of the end of years of procrastination over the expansion of UK aviation capacity.

“If that is the case, it is long overdue good news for our 1,500 member companies who have been dismayed over the ongoing delay on such a huge issue.

“However, we understand that MPs will now be asked to vote on the issue in the coming weeks and, given the track record of parliament on this issue over the last 20 years, uncertainties remain.

“Whilst the UK Transport Secretary has previously hinted at an expedited planning procedure, with no reopening of high level arguments, the inevitable legal challenges and the convoluted planning processes that are also likely, lead me to wonder whether any expansion will be completed by the time that UK aviation capacity is predicted to run out in 2025.

“I hope I am proved wrong, but I won’t be booking a ticket for the opening ceremony just yet.”

Heathrow chief executive John Holland Kaye said: “Together with our supporters across the country, we urge all MPs to vote for expansion.

“Their votes will connect all of Britain to global trade, increase competition and choice for passengers and create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs for future generations. The world is waiting for Britain. It’s time to vote for Heathrow expansion.”

However, it is not entirely certain that MPs could be relied on to vote in favour of the plan.

Boris Johnson, foreign secretary and member of parliament for Uxbridge, one of the regions that could be affected by an expanded Heathrow, said on one occasion that he would “lie down in front of the bulldozers” to prevent the new runway going ahead.

Many other prominent members of the Conservative Party are also against the plan, arguing that capacity at regional airports should be expanded instead of Heathrow.

Some Labour MPs are also opposed – despite the fact that a Labour Government had voted through an earlier version of the third runway scheme in 2009 – on environmental grounds, saying that it would breach air pollution and noise limits.

One possible solution for Prime Minister Theresa May is to allow Conservative MPs who oppose the plan to abstain, in the hope that there would be sufficient votes from other parties’ MPs to carry the plan through.

Bringing the long-running third runway saga to an end could be seen as a political coup for the minority Conservative government that has been grappling with the extremely thorny ‘Brexit’ issue over the last two years. It would also send a message that despite the UK’s exit from the European Union, the country is still open for business with the wider world.

There are also likely to be objections from local residents and environmental campaigners, who will argue that the plans will breach air pollution limits.

Grayling said it was a “historic moment”.

Announcing £2.6 billion in compensation for residents and noise abatement measures he said it would only proceed if air quality obligations were met.

“The time for action is now,” he told MPs, insisting the decision was being taken in the national interest and would benefit the whole of the UK – with 15% of new landing slots “facilitating” regional connectivity.

The scheme, he insisted, would be funded entirely privately and while the expansion was a “number of years away”, he believed it could be concluded by 2026.

The debate on expanding Heathrow has been going on for nearly 20 years.

The last Labour government backed the idea, and won a vote on it in 2009, but that plan was scrapped – and the idea of expansion put on hold for five years – by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition formed after the 2010 election.

But the idea of expansion was resurrected and has been subsequently backed by the Conservatives. Ministers approved a draft national airports policy statement in October setting out the conditions for a new runway, Parliament has yet to give its approval for detailed planning to begin.

Heathrow is the largest UK port by value and has ambition is to become one of Europe’s best airports for cargo.

The UK economy benefits greatly from cargo, and Heathrow is the UK’s largest port by value for non-EU exports, transporting more than Felixstowe, Southampton and Liverpool.

They are also uniquely placed as a transatlantic and European gateway with 95% of the global economy potentially within reach of a direct flight from Heathrow. Nowhere is better placed to connect UK exporters to the world and help the UK achieve its target of doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

Their strategy will lift freight volumes capacity to 3 million tonnes a year by 2040 through improved service and increased capacity from expansion. For cargo customers our aim is to become a trusted partner – timely, reliable and easy to do business with.

 

Source: Air Cargo News / BBC / Sky

air freight

Record Cargo performance for Heathrow in April

London-Heathrow airport cargo volumes enjoyed their 21st consecutive record month in April 2018, as trade growth at the UK’s largest port by value increased by 2.3% year on year to 141,215 tonnes compared to the same time last year.

The US (+4.1%), India (+7.1%) and China (+10.9%)  were among the fastest growing countries for cargo in April.

For the January to April 2018 period, Heathrow handled 557,950 tonnes, 3.8% increase, while in the running 12 months from May 2017 to April 2018, the hub handled just over 1.7m tonnes, an 8.8% rise.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We’re seeing more passengers and trade flow through Heathrow than ever before. A third runway is a tremendous opportunity to grab a greater share of this global growth for Britain and we’re counting on our politicians to seize it with a ‘yes’ vote on Heathrow expansion this summer.”

Source: Air Cargo News / Heathrow Media Centre

China flag

China to ban the recycling of international ships

China plans to stop allowing the recycling of international ships at its yards as of the beginning of 2019.

The decision comes on the back of China’s efforts to crack down on polluter and waste producing industries in the country, which have seen many yards denied their ship recycling licenses.

The Chinese-flagged ships will be allowed to continue to be dismantled at Chinese yards, however, the Government of China will no longer provide subsidies for the branch, as decided last year. Due to such a turn in policy, local owners are likely to look elsewhere to retire their ships, including India.

“In view of this, owners will have to succumb to the fact that, with the exception of Turkey, the H.K Convention approved recycling yards in Alang will have to be taken more seriously following the incredible improvements that have been made at these yards over many years and the fact that these yards now can only offer owners the only alternative at this current time for green recycling,” Clarksons Platou Shipbroking said.

Two years ago, industry leader Maersk committed to investing in Alang yards and boosting their operational standards to comply with the company’s requirements.

Chief Executive Officer of  A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, Søren Skou, said recently that some yards in Alang, India, are performing at the same level or better than yards in China and Turkey, “which used to be the only options for economically viable and responsible ship recycling. “

Explaining its approach, Maersk said that the company helps the yards to upgrade their practices while contractually requiring full implementation of its standards controlled by on-site supervision throughout the process as well as quarterly audits by third parties.

Even though the situation is far from perfect, especially when it comes to health hazards at the shipbreaking yards in Alang, Maersk believes that helping the yards to improve their standards is an opportunity to change the industry for the better.

However, for a more sustainable progress to be made more shipowners need to become involved.

From a total of 206 ships, which were broken in the first quarter of 2018, 152 ships were sold to the beaches of South Asia for breaking, according to NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

Despite a considerable improvement made by some shipbreakers, a great majority of south Asian yards are notorious for their poor environmental and healthy and safety practices.

It is quite common for workers to suffer serious injuries or even get killed due to exposure to various types of risks ranging from falling objects to intoxication.

So far this year, 10 workers have lost their lives and 2 workers have been severely injured when breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Another two workers were reported dead after an accident at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India, data from NGO Shipbreaking Platform shows.

Source: World Maritime News

Heathrow Cargo

Air Cargo figures start the year strong according to IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 8.0% in January 2018 compared to the year-earlier period. This was up from the 5.8% annual growth recorded in December 2017. 

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 4.2% year-on-year in January 2018.

The continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2018 reflects the fact that demand drivers for air cargo remain supportive. Global demand for manufacturing exports is buoyant and meeting this strong demand is leading to longer supply chain delivery times. Demand for air cargo may strengthen as a result, with companies seeking faster delivery times to make up for longer production times.

“With 8% growth in January, it’s been a solid start to 2018 for air cargo. That follows an exceptional year in which demand grew by 9%. We expect demand for air cargo to taper to a more normal 4.5% growth rate for 2018. But there are potential headwinds. If President Trump follows through on his promise to impose sanctions on aluminium and steel imports, there is a very real risk of a trade war. Nobody wins when protectionist measures escalate,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

All regions reported an increase in demand in January 2018.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand in freight volumes grow 7.7% in January 2018 and capacity increase by 2.2%, compared to the same period in 2017. The increase largely reflects the ongoing strong demand experienced by the region’s major exporters, China and Japan which has been driven in part by a pick-up in economic activity in Europe. However, the upward-trend in seasonally-adjusted volumes has paused.

North American airlines’ freight volumes expanded 7.5% in January 2018 year-on-year, as capacity increased 4.2%. The strength of the US economy and the US dollar have improved the inbound freight market in recent years. However, this may be offset by the weakening in the dollar although the recently-agreed US tax reform bill may help to support freight volumes in the period ahead. Seasonally-adjusted volumes are broadly trending sideways.

European airlines posted a 10.5% increase in freight volumes in January 2018. Capacity increased 5.3%. The strong European performance corresponds with a very healthy demand for new export orders among the region’s manufacturers. Seasonally-adjusted volumes jumped 3% in month-on-month terms in January – the largest increase since March 2017.

Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 4.4% year-on-year in January 2018, the slowest growth of all regions. Capacity increased 6.3%. Seasonally adjusted freight volumes continued to trend upwards during the first month of the year, however, the region’s carriers remain affected by the ongoing challenging political environment in the Middle East.

Latin American airlines experienced a growth in demand of 8.0% in January. Capacity increased 5.4%. The pick-up in demand comes alongside signs of economic recovery in the region’s largest economy, Brazil. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are now back to the levels seen at the end of 2014.

African carriers’ saw freight demand increase by 12.9% in January 2018 compared to the same month last year. The increase was helped by very strong growth on the trade lanes to and from Asia. Freight demand jumped by 59% between Africa and Asia in 2017 following an increase in the number of direct flights between the continents, driven by ongoing foreign investment flows into Africa.

Source: IATA

Lufthansa cargo

Lufthansa cargo will fine customers for not using an e-air waybill

To boost electronic air waybill (eAWB) adoption the carrier has decided to introduce a 12 euro per paper air waybill fee for tradelines on which they are available. 

E-AWB penetration edged up 0.6 percentage points to 53.2% in January 2018, according to the latest statistics from IATA.

January’s figure compares with 52.6% in December 2017. IATA’s target e-AWB penetration figure is 68.0% by December 2018.

A spokesperson for Lufthansa Cargo said: “With the introduction of the digital air waybill, Lufthansa Cargo has already set the course for the digitalisation of the logistics industry.

“As of April 2, 2018, the airline will introduce a fee to pass on the costs incurred in processing paper-based bills of lading. The Paper AWB Fee is charged for each consignment for which no e-AWB exists. In an introductory phase until 1 October 2018, only a reduced amount will be charged.”

The spokesperson added: “E-AWBs are already well received by many Lufthansa Cargo customers and partners – they simplify document handling, reduce the error rate in data transmission and make processes more effective.

This development is to be further promoted.

“Since 2013, Lufthansa Cargo has been offering the possibility to digitise central airfreight documents and thus switch to e-AWBs, a decision that allows companies to save up to 50% of their document processing time and thus significantly reduces costs.

“In order to ensure smooth implementation, the freight carrier supports the switch to the digital consignment note.”

A spokesperson for the carrier told The Loadstar this programme would initially run until 1 October, at which point the fee could rise.

“With the introduction of the digital air waybill, Lufthansa Cargo has already set the course for the digitalisation of the logistics industry,” said the spokesperson.

Responding to the news, head of Evofenedex, the Dutch Shippers’ Council, Rogier Spoel told The Loadstar it was the right idea – but the wrong approach.

“We’re in favour of a greater push for eAWBs, but this only works if you stimulate parties to use them, not punish those that use paper,” said Mr Spoel.

“This could be achieved with lower rates or other incentives: offer shippers free track and trace on the eAWB, and that will push forwarders to adopt eAWB.”

Mr Spoel was not alone in his stance, with several forwarders echoing his comments, with supply chain business development director at MIQ Logistics, Matt Fullard noting that “many” airlines and airports are yet to participate in eAWB roll-out. And he questioned Lufthansa’s justification in imposing fees as a result.

“Arbitrary charges are never welcomed by MIQ Logistics, or the forwarding community who will always try to protect their customers,” added Mr Fullard.

“The danger for Lufthansa is that those affected by the imposition of this fee will simply select alternative carriers.”

Unsworth Global’s Mario Gomez said there are still many forwarders and shippers that are are unaware of eAWB and its advantages.

“There is still a lot of progress to be made in raising awareness of the eAWB initiative and the airline’s do have a big role in achieving that, but is levying a charge really the best way to achieve this?” asked Mr Gomez

“We believe that eAWB and paperless transactions is the right move for the industry, but instead of a charge for those that still use paper AWB, a reward system could be devised for the forwarders and shippers that implement the eAWB.”

Air freight director at Norman Global Gary Dean acknowledged that he shares Lufthansa’s frustration with the slow pace of eAWB adoption, but we did not support the imposition of this fee.

“Particularly when the primary benefit is on the carrier’s side rather than the forwarder, who has to invest in costly software changes in order to participate,” said Mr Dean.

“Additional charges are always received negatively, rather than levying a surcharge for not adopting eAWB, we would prefer to see a discount, or other reward, for adopting eAWB.”

The carrier did not respond to questions on whether subsidiary carriers Brussels and Swiss World Cargo would also be implementing the fee. However, the spokesperson did say eAWBs were “already well received” by many of its customers and partners as they “simplify” handling and reduce errors.

“It’s a decision that allows companies to save up to 50% of document processing time, and thus significantly reduces costs,” continued the spokesperson. “In order to ensure smooth implementation, the freight carrier supports the switch to the digital consignment.”

Source: The Loadstar /Air Cargo News

Heathrow Cargo

Record breaking figures for Heathrow

Freight travelling through Heathrow reached record levels for the start of the year, as over 133,000 tonnes made its way through the airport in January, with export volumes growing by 10.6%.

The top destinations for cargo growth were the US (1,214t), Spain (1,070t) and China (966t).

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“Heathrow is off to a flying start, with record passenger numbers and cargo volumes and the start of our public consultation on the third runway.  Heathrow expansion will provide the global trading routes to super-charge Britain’s economy as we leave the EU.”

Heathrow has now launched one of the largest public planning consultations in the country’s history – the next milestone in the airport’s plans for expansion. The 10-week consultation offers the public the opportunity to shape the airport’s plans, enabling Heathrow to deliver the benefits of expansion while the keeping commitments made to local communities.

Heathrow remains the UK’s busiest port by value with over £100bn of goods travelling through the airport each year.

air freight

Air freight volumes at their strongest year of growth since 2010

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released full-year 2017 data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew by 9.0%. This was more than double the 3.6% annual growth recorded in 2016.  

Air cargo’s strong performance in 2017 was sealed by a solid result in December. Year-on-year demand growth in December increased 5.7%. This was less than half the annual growth rate seen during the middle of 2017 but still well above the five-year average of 4.7%. Freight capacity grew by 3.3% year-on-year in December.

Full-year 2017 demand for air freight grew at twice the pace of the expansion in world trade (4.3%). This outperformance was a result of strong global demand for manufacturing exports as companies moved to restock inventories quickly.

Industry-wide FTKs grew by 9.0% year-on-year in 2017 as a whole, up from 3.6% in 2016 and the strongest calendar-year of growth since 2010.  Demand grew three times faster than capacity in 2017, which drove a further recovery in the freight load factor. 2017 was also the strongest year of global goods trade growth since 2011.

“Air cargo had its strongest performance since the rebound from the global financial crisis in 2010. Demand grew by 9.0%. That outpaced the industry-wide growth in both cargo capacity and in passenger demand. We saw improvements in load factors, yields and revenues. Air cargo is still a very tough and competitive business, but the developments in 2017 were the most positive that we have seen in a very long time,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“The outlook for air freight in 2018 is optimistic. Consumer confidence is buoyant. And we see growing strength in international e-commerce and the transport of time- and temperature-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals. Overall the pace of growth is expected to slow from the exceptional 9.0% of this year. But we still expect a very healthy 4.5% expansion of demand in 2018. Challenges remain, including the need for industry-wide evolution to more efficient processes. That will help improve customer satisfaction and capture market share as the expectations of shippers and consumers grow ever more demanding,” said de Juniac.

Airlines in all regions reported an increase in demand in 2017.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw demand in freight volumes grow 5.6% in December 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and capacity grow by 2.2%. This contributed to a growth in freight demand of 7.8% in 2017 compared to 2016. Capacity increased 1.3%. The strong performance of Asia-Pacific carriers in 2017 largely reflects the ongoing demand for exports from the region’s major exporters China and Japan which has been driven in part by a pick-up in economic activity in Europe and a continued solid performance from the US. This is expected to support demand into the New Year.

North American airlines saw freight demand increase by 5.4% in December 2017 year-on-year and capacity increase of 2.2%. This contributed to an annual growth in 2017 of 7.9%.  Capacity grew by 1.6% in the 2017 calendar year. The strength of the US economy and the US dollar have improved the inbound freight market in recent years. Looking towards 2018, the recently agreed US tax reform bill may help to support freight volumes in the period ahead although this may be offset by the recent weakening in the dollar.

European airlines posted a 5.0% year-on-year increase in freight demand in December and a capacity rise of 3.2%. The strong performance in December boosted cargo volumes for the 2017 calendar year by 11.8% – the largest increase of all regions with the exception of Africa. Capacity in the region increased by 5.9% in the 2017 calendar year. This is consistent with Europe’s manufacturers’ export orders growing at their fastest pace on record. This is expected to support demand into the New Year.

Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 6.3% year-on-year in December and capacity increased 4.7%. This contributed to an annual increase in demand of 8.1% in 2017 – the third fastest growth rate of all the regions. Capacity increased 2.6%. However, having not seen the strong upward demand of other regions in the first half of 2017, Middle-Eastern carries’ share of global demand dropped for the first time in 18 years.

Latin American airlines experienced a growth in demand of 4.9% in December and a capacity increase of 11.6%. This contributed to an annual growth in freight demand of 5.7% and a capacity increase of 3.1% in 2017. This was the first increase in annual demand in two years. The pick-up in demand comes alongside signs of economic recovery in the region’s largest economy, Brazil. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are now back to the levels seen at the end of 2014.

African carriers’ posted the fastest growth in year-on-year freight volumes, up 15.6% in December 2017 and a capacity increase of 7.9%. This contributed to an annual growth in freight demand of 24.8% in 2017 – the fastest growth rate of all regions. This is only the second time African airlines have topped the global demand growth chart since 1990. Capacity in 2017 increased 9.9%. Demand has been boosted by very strong growth in Africa-Asia trade which increased by more than 64% in the first eleven months of 2017.

IATA stated that 2017 will be remembered as the best year for growth in air cargo. With growth comes additional challenges, therefore, it is important that the industry continues to transform and embrace new technologies. As Alexandre de Juniac, IATA ‘s Director and CEO says, “2017 was the strongest year for air cargo since 2010. There are several indicators that 2018 will be a good year as well. In particular, buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international e-commerce and the broad-based global economic upturn are cause for optimism as we head into the New Year.”

To read the full report please go here

 

calm sea

Calmer seas for world Shipping in 2018

The 2018 marine forecast for transpacific and other major shipping trade routes notes that full recovery depends on a number of political, economic and technological factors.

China is also a concern.  “I know analysts have been harping on about it for years,” said Transport Intelligence Ltd. economist David Buckby, “but I think given what the Chinese government has said following the 19th [Communist] Party congress – that it will be switching focus from meeting long-run economic growth targets to other objectives – coupled with recent comments on trying to manage down debt, there is a real chance that Chinese growth will stutter.”

Buckby said the slowdown might not occur in 2018, but it will likely happen over the next few years.

“As the linchpin of so many global supply chains, what affects China is going to impact the rest of the world. I don’t know exactly when that’s coming, but when it does, I think it will adversely impact global port volumes quite significantly.”

McKinsey & Co.’s Container Shipping: The Next 50 Years also points to warning signs about China’s retooled economic development model. It estimates that the swing away from exports of goods to a model based on consumption and services has coincided with a drop in China’s real gross domestic product to between 6% and 7% from more than 10%.

Asia, and China especially, are major containerised-shipping drivers. Asia accounted for 64% of the world’s container throughput in 2016, and McKinsey notes that China imported and exported 52 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2015 compared with 13 million in 2000. It also maintained that China’s dramatic growth and the resultant boom in container trade over the past three decades is unlikely to be repeated elsewhere in the world.

But John Murnane, a partner in McKinsey’s travel, transport and logistics practice, noted in an email response to Business in Vancouver that in the near term, continued growth in container-shipping demand is likely.

“The U.S. and Canada continue to grow strongly, and volumes in 2017 outpaced expectations. This is good news for all ports and terminals. We expect 2018 to continue this strong volume growth.”

Oxford Economics agrees. The U.K.-based economic research company raised its global GDP growth forecast to 3.2% in 2018 from 2.9% in 2017 based on what it sees as a continuing strong performance of the world economy and positive “omens for 2018.” Its December 4 global outlook research briefing pointed to four key reasons for that optimism: strong trade growth, low inflation, robust emerging markets and resilience to political uncertainty.

In a November brief, it also revised its world trade forecast up 0.5 percentage points to 4.2%.

Oxford Economics’ forecast for Canada predicts that exports will rise 2.9% in 2017 and 4% in 2018. It sees imports up 3.7% in 2017 and 2.4% in 2018, but Canada’s GDP growth slipping to 2.1% in 2018 from 3% in 2017.

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, meanwhile, projects global economic growth of 3.6% for 2017 and 3.7% in 2018.

In its 2017 nine-month financials, Hapag-Lloyd (ETR:HLAG), the world’s fifth-largest ocean container company, noted that global container-shipping volume from 2018 through to 2021 is projected to increase between 4.8% and 5.1%.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Review of Maritime Transport 2017, meanwhile, pointed to CETA and the economic partnership agreement concluded between Japan and the EU in July as positive developments for global trade and shipping. It added that the growth of cross-border e-commerce could also drive long-term container-shipping demand.

However, it noted that a sustained recovery will require a strong commitment to “coherent and co-ordinated multilateral policies.” It also red-flagged the growing cybersecurity threats to world shipping supply chains.

While Buckby agreed that CETA will benefit port volumes, he doubted that it would significantly increase cargo through Vancouver and other Canadian ports.

“The dirty secret of many free-trade deals is that they don’t tend to have a substantial economic impact, especially if they just address tariffs, which tend to be low anyway, and don’t focus much on breaking down non-tariff barriers.”

Buckby added that port volumes would drop if NAFTA collapses.“And even if it is successfully renegotiated, supply chains still face disruption, thanks to possible changes to rules of origin.”

The newly widened Panama Canal has also opened the way for larger transpacific ships to reach East Coast ports directly. Infrastructure and operations in those ports consequently face similar pressures.

Port productivity suffers because a mega-container ship can take up to five days to unload. “Some ports are rising to the challenge and investing, but smaller ports and constrained ports risk losing some mainline services.”

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

london gateway

Changes to the London Gateway network

London Gateway is to lose one of its Asia-Europe services next year after THE Alliance partners unveiled their network plans for 2018.

The five Asia-North Europe services will remain largely unchanged, other than in the UK where one call has been switched from London Gateway to Southampton.

Hamburg and Rotterdam will both retain five weekly calls and Antwerp three, while Southampton will gain one weekly call to make four a week – although there have been reports from hauliers about growing congestion at the port over the course of the past year.

The Gateway will next year boast an extra call, as it is now included in four of THE Alliance’s five transatlantic services between North America and North Europe.  There may also be other changes globally for THE Alliance’s network next year, as the schedule published today revealed it has yet to decide on a South-east Asia hub.

Currently, the five carriers – Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, K Line, NYK and MOL – use Singapore as their main transhipment hub in the region, but the reluctance to identify an actual port other than  the reference to a “South-east Asia hub” suggests that the partners are continuing negotiations with other possible ports. The loss of CMA CGM volumes from Port Klang to Singapore would make the Malaysian hub an obvious candidate.

The grouping’s transpacific and Asia-US east coast services have also remained largely unchanged, although there appears to be an opportunity for one of the North-west Pacific ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert or Seattle-Tacoma to win an extra service, given that an unnamed “Pacific North-west” call has included on its PS8 service at the expense of Oakland.

However, the number of services provided by THE Alliance globally is set to increase from 32 to 33 from next April, with the addition of a second deepsea service between Asia and the Middle East – the AGX2, which will feature direct calls at the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr and the newly opened Hamad terminal in Qatar. This service will also include two direct calls at Dubai.

Source: The Loadstar