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

father christmas

Heathrow at Christmas

Heathrow has released new data revealing the wide array and surprising volumes of seasonal exports that fly in the bellyhold of planes in the months leading up to Christmas.  

Over 143 million kilograms of Christmas cargo is expected to fly via Heathrow to the world in the month leading up to December 25th, a record to date.

New data reveals a sharp spike in exports of seasonal essentials including Christmas lights, calendars, fish, lobster, and meat.

As the biggest port in the UK by value, Heathrow plays a crucial role in delivering the essential ingredients of Christmas celebrations to British homes and homes all over the world.  The airport’s data from November and December 2016 shows a clear spike in the volume of certain Christmas staples coming into the airport and out to non-EU destinations, including:

Christmas lighting sets – 27,467 kg (up from an average of 7,203 kg/month from January – October)

Frozen lobster – 443,146 kg (up from an average of 163,312 kg/month from January – October)

Calendars – 31,316 kg (up from an average of 3,382 kg/month from January – October)

Dried flowers, including for decorations –  310,677 kg (up from an average of 109,796 kg/month from January – October)

Salmon was the most popular export to non-EU destinations overall by weight in November and December 2016, with 6,070,000 kg of fish (equivalent to approximately 480 New London Routemaster Buses) recorded as flying through.    Exports of books were the second most popular commodity – with a recorded 4,834,000 kg going through last year (or approximately 382 New London Routemaster buses).

Heathrow’s data also reveals the top 5 destinations these exports are flying to outside the EU – showing the majority of long-haul exports are destined for American markets:

•United States (15.31 million kilograms)

•China (6.20 million kilograms)

•UAE (3.77 million kilograms)

•Australia (3.36 million kilograms)

•Hong Kong (2.77 million kilograms)

To highlight the wide array of exports flying out of its gates, Heathrow has today launched a “12 Exporters of Christmas” social media campaign.   Each day in the lead up to Christmas, Heathrow will highlight individual stories of SMEs up and down the country that rely on the airport to export British Christmas essentials including tea, jams and biscuits across the world.

In total, Heathrow has seen a record 290,340,803 kilograms of exports flying through from January to October to non-EU destinations this year – an 8.5% increase from the same period last year. These exports are worth an astounding £39.62 billion. Heathrow’s role as a trading hub will grow as expansion takes place, with cargo capacity set to double with the addition of a third runway.

Nick Platts, Head of Cargo at Heathrow Airport said: “Heathrow is at its busiest time at Christmas – and this year, we not only expect record numbers of passengers to fly through, but also a record amount of cargo to be flown in the holds under their feet.   Santa may still have the claim on the most deliveries on Christmas Eve, but for the months before it, Heathrow is doing its bit to export our British Christmas across the world.”

Source:

Heathrow media centre – All figures – unless indicated – exclude EU27 and Switzerland. Sources of figures: UK Tradeinfo, Seabury Group, Heathrow Analysis and Heathrow Monthly Traffic Figures

digital age

Can container shipping reinvent for the digital age?

In 1967, the British Transport Docks Board (BTDB) commissioned McKinsey & Company to assess the impact of a recent development from the United States: container boxes. The first purpose built ships for them were being launched, and a few US lines were carrying these novelties on their regular service. 

McKinsey & Company predicted:

Containerised cargo is effectively becoming homogenous, like other bulk cargoes, and is subject to the same economies of scale. Economics of scale will result in this concentrated cargo being handled by a small number of large organisations. Efficient use of expensive containers will require extensive route networks under unified control to allow load balancing.”

Now that standardised containers have been introduced in the shipping industry, the rush to ‘get on the bandwagon’ will probably lead to substantial overexpansion.

If container ships follow the tanker trend, ships of more than 10,000-container capacity could be available.

Feeder services will tend to replace direct calls when the large container ships come into service.

Rotterdam is an example of a European port which is in a good position to fill a major transoceanic role.

The role of British ports may tend to become that of feeders to the Continent…. Proximity of British East Coast ports to Europe will dictate their use.

In their October 2017 report they posed the question: In 1967, containers were disrupting the shipping business, so the players had to rethink everything. Now it’s digital, big data, and the Internet of Things. Is it time to rethink everything again? 

In 1956, the first ship to transport containers, named the Ideal X, carried only 58 of them. Since then, container-ship capacity has grown 370-fold: today’s largest vessels can hold more than 20,000 TEUs. Larger vessels provide greater cost efficiencies in fuel and crews, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions per container, and enable hub-and-spoke network strategies. Moreover, as operators collaborate in alliances, putting a single large vessel instead of two small ones on a given route has its advantages.

So, how much longer will this trend toward growth in capacity continue? In the long term, three factors could limit it.

The first is that returns to scale decline with increasing size, so a move from 20,000 to 40,000 TEUs wouldn’t reduce unit costs as much as a move from 10,000 to 20,000 TEUs.

Second, the narrowness and shallowness of some of the world’s waterways impose physical constraints: for example, the Strait of Malacca (between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra) has a minimum depth of 25 meters, the most modern channels of the Suez Canal a depth of 24 meters. The latest designs for vessels that carry 24,000 TEUs have a depth of 16 meters, which leaves scope for further growth in capacity.

Third, over the past decade, the blitz for bigger vessels has strained terminal and port operators, forcing them to invest in new cranes, dredging equipment, reinforced quay walls, and extended berths. Unloading containers from bigger ships takes longer because cranes must reach farther across vessels, thus extending berth occupancy and reducing productivity.

On balance, we do not view 20,000 TEUs as the natural end point for container ships—50,000-TEU ones are not unthinkable in the next half-century. However, progress will probably be much slower than it was in the past decade: overcapacity means that new ordering will be slower over the next five to ten years. Lower slot costs materialise only when demand fills up larger ships, which hasn’t happened recently. But if demand catches up with supply, as it may well do in the early 2020s, the logic of scale will once again drive orders for bigger and bigger ships. Nonetheless, since 40 percent of all shipyard capacity is unutilised, and it’s not conceivable that governments will allow shipyard bankruptcies on a large scale, they could find a way to prompt some level of new ordering.

The size of boxes could also increase. From the original six-foot-long Conex box the US military used in the 1950s, they have grown to 20 and now 40 feet and above. The limitation on box size is compatibility with road, rail, and other modes of transport. On US and Chinese roads, the maximum box length is 53 feet, so containers of this size are common for US domestic trade. As road networks improve and trucking becomes autonomous on major routes, we may well see containers 60 or more feet long, as well as wider and taller containers.

Wholly automated terminal and inland operations, with self-driving trucks (and perhaps even self- driving containers or “hyperloops”) transporting containers to inland distribution centres, will probably become the norm in the next couple of decades. Self-loading trucks, arriving just in time to pick up the next container without waiting or moving around unproductively at terminals, would improve the interface between ports and inland transport. Imagine a terminal with no stacks in the yard; instead, customs would pre-clear boxes digitally, and autonomous trucks would take them straight from ships and out to customers.

Advances in the use of data and analytics will bring further step changes in productivity. Shipping companies could heed the example of today’s state- of-the-art aircraft, which generate up to a terabyte of data per flight. Coupled with the introduction of more sensors, the better usage of the data that ships and containers generate would allow enhancements such as optimising voyages in real time (by taking into account weather, currents, traffic, and other external factors), smarter stowage and terminal operations, and predictive maintenance. Data could also improve the coordination of arrivals at port—a major benefit, since 48 per- cent of container ships arrive more than 12 hours behind schedule, thus wasting the carriers’ fuel and underutilising the terminal operators’ labor and quay space.

Data can create additional value for customers too. Full transparency on shipments, from one end of the value chain to the other, would be an enormous boon to carriers, forwarders, and shippers alike, giving them access to real-time information and enabling them to predict a container’s availability, arrival times, and so forth. Some ports (such as Antwerp, Hamburg, and Singapore) are already starting to share information in real time across data ecosystems, which could eventually extend throughout the whole industry. That would create a truly integrated end-to-end flow of containers and therefore make the industry more productive by reducing handovers, waiting times, and unnecessary handling.

A data-enabled shipping industry could also support its customers’ supply chains in important ways— but that will require a truly new order of performance and efficiency. The real-time visibility of all container movements, reliable forecasts, and integrated flow management will pave the way for flexible, dynamic supply chains that all but eliminate waiting times and inefficiencies. This achievement will be especially beneficial for industries (such as automotive) that have increasingly complex supply chains or for those with special needs (suchas cold chains). It will also allow smart logistics providers to differentiate themselves and earn premiums. But these opportunities won’t appeal to all customers; other sectors will demand only basic logistics services at the lowest possible cost.

By 2067, we believe shipping will have some or all of these characteristics: 

Autonomous 50,000-TEU ships will plow the seas—perhaps alongside modular, dronelike floating containers—in a world where the volume of container trade is anything from two to five times greater than it is today.

Short-haul intraregional traffic will increase as manufacturing footprints disperse more widely because of converging global incomes and the increasing use of automation and robotics. Container flows within the Far East will continue to be huge, and the secondmost significant trade lane may link that region to Africa, with a stopover in South Asia.

After multiple value-destroying cycles of overcapacity and consolidation, three or four major container-shipping companies might emerge. These businesses could be either digitally enabled independents with a strong customer orientation and innovative commercial practices or small subsidiaries of tech giants seamlessly blending the digital and physical realms. Freight forwarding as a stand- alone business will be virtually extinct, since digital interactions will have reduced the need for intermediaries to manage logistics services for multiple participants in the value chain. Across the industry, all winners will have fully digitised their customer interactions and operating systems and will be closely connected via data ecosystems.

A fully autonomous transport chain will extend from initial loading, stowage, and sailing all the way to unloading directly into autonomous trains and trucks and drone-enabled last- mile deliveries.

The needs of customers will diverge: some will expect their shippers to be fully integrated into their supply chains—and be willing to pay a premium for that—while others continue to demand sea freight at the lowest possible cost. Both sets of customers will expect transparency and reliability to be the norm, not the exception.

What therefore has to be done to move shipping and containerisation further into the digital age?

First, invest in digital, which is the main way to differentiate products, disintermediate value chains, improve customer service, raise productivity, and cut costs. The risk is that tech giants and would-be digital disruptors will move faster than incumbents and capture most of the value from customer relationships.

Second, think about consolidation: the industry’s natural end game may involve fewer, larger operators. The past few decades of explosive trade growth created an environment that could sustain many players. Now that growth has slowed, the industry must rationalise overcapacity. Although some companies and investors could be candidates to lead the next wave of consolidation, becoming a target may sometimes be better for shareholders than struggling to be the winner at any cost. McKinsey research shows that from 2000 to 2015, in a range of industries, the value from deals was nine percentage points higher for average target companies than for average acquirers.21

Third, integrate. Some next-generation innovations now on the drawing board require careful orchestration across the value chain. Carriers and terminal operators share a particularly rich agenda: bigger vessels paired with investments in infrastructure for terminals, complete transparency on ship arrivals and berthing (thanks to geospatial analytics), and larger containers. Integrated logistics providers could make today’s freight forwarders largely irrelevant by mastering the complexity and the customer interface.

Fourth, be bold. The shipping industry has been built on the vision of audacious leaders with the per- severance to sail through the storms. It now faces a wave of digital disruption. The ability to convey a sense of purpose for employees, to create optimism about the journey ahead, and to maintain a steady course will be the hallmarks of the leaders shaping the industry for the next.

McKinsey and Company’s 1967 predictions were on point, so their analysis of the next 50 years of evolvement cannot be ignored. These changes seem massive and unachievable at the moment, but that would have been the case 50 years ago as well, and the industry is unrecognisable from then.  It is exciting to watch what the next years have in store, and the advances that can be made to make sure that shipping does truly come alive during the digital age.

To view the full report please go here, where you can download the full report at the bottom of the page.

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