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Hellenic Shpg 19/3/13 - Supply/demand: North Europe-North America Print E-mail


Supply/demand: North Europe-North America


Load factors in North Europe-North America trade are too low to support carriers planned GRIs.Westbound


Although there has been much talk of a resurgence of the US housing market increasing US imports since October, no sign of this has yet appeared from Northern Europe. As shown in the chart below, westbound cargo flows remained flat over the past 12 months, oscillating only marginally around a monthly average of 213,000 teu.


Westbound North Europe-North America Container Traffic (000 teu)
The lack of any peak season between July and October, and the continuation of the same cargo levels since, suggests that consumers discretionary spend has been focused elsewhere, leaving just basic materials coming from North Europe.
The winter months are usually the worst for cargo, however, so much of the 16% fall from Octobers high of 229,000 teu to Januarys low of 193,000 teu will have been seasonal. February is when North American stock levels usually start to be replenished, which is why our preliminary estimate is for a 10% month-on-month increase in February.


There are few signs of a recovery ahead either. The USs fiscal cliff was only postponed from the end of December to 7 March, when its Governments budget sequestration finally became compulsory. This involves a massive $85 billion reduction in public spending over the next seven months. On a full year basis, it is said that this will take around $2 out of every $100 of planned Government spending. Employees will also be taxed more, taking disposable income out of their pockets, and companies employing more than 50 people will be compelled to offer generous healthcare benefits.
As an example of what the public spending cut means for the shipping world, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has since warned customers that several thousand of its officers at ports of entry will be lost, in addition to significant reductions to its operating budgets and programmes.

The CBP claims that sequestration could result in the service level of its cargo operations being reduced, including increased and potentially escalating delays for container examinations of up to five days or more at major seaports, and significant daily back-ups at land border ports of entry.

Fortunately for ocean carriers, very few service changes were made between November and the beginning of February. Apart from vessel upgrades, Maersk ceased calls in Wilhelmshaven and St Petersburg on its CRX service in December, but this was probably only due to the normal onset of ice conditions in the eastern Baltic rather than a cargo shortage, and two sailings were cancelled in January.


This meant that Octobers effective westbound vessel capacity of 244,000 teu remained virtually unchanged through to the beginning of February.


North Europe-North America Capacity (000 teu)
Average westbound vessel utilisation consequently fell from a healthy 94% in October to an uncomfortable 81% in December, only rising to 86% in February based on Drewrys latest cargo forecast.


Westbound North Europe-North America Utilisation v Rates
Since then, due to ice conditions in the St Lawrence, and current bad weather on the Atlantic, the 4,400 teu OOCL Belgium was delayed from Montreal to Liverpool at the beginning of March, which could affect Marchs average. After arrival on 14 March, the vessel will be subject to a routine in-water survey, to check that no damage was sustained when the vessel became trapped in ice.
The incident is a reminder that the transatlantic is one of the worlds worst ocean crossings in winter, making the improvement in ocean carrier schedule reliability between 3Q12 and 4Q12 more impressive than at first sight.


Drewry schedule reliability rankings transatlantic carriers on-time %

Northern Europes imports from North America improved significantly between October and February, despite Europes continuing economic difficulties. Large parts of Europe remain on the verge of a triple-dip recession, so an estimated 13% month-on-month increase in eastbound transatlantic cargo in February is fairly encouraging. However, our preliminary estimate would still represent a 3% decline compared to the same month last year.


Eastbound North America-North Europe Container Traffic (000 teu)
As ocean carriers kept vessel capacity more-or-less constant during the period, average eastbound vessel capacity improved significantly, from 72% to 80%.

Shpg Gazette 19/3/13 - Maersk to pull older ships to cope with excess capacity of mega ships Print E-mail


Maersk to pull older ships to cope with excess capacity of mega ships


MAERSK Line CEO Soren Skou said if shippers' demand falls when his company's mega 18,000-TEUers come on steam, older smaller ships will be withdrawn to take up the slack on the Asia-Europe route.


"As we introduce new and larger ships, if the market is not growing we will pull out other capacity to make the balance for us," said Mr Skou in an interview with in-house magazine, Maersk Post.


"We didn't make money on our Asia-Europe routes in 2012, including those served by Daily Maersk," Mr Skou said. "A lack of growth in Europe has curtailed demand; at the same time supply increased.


"However, [Daily Maersk] has been well received and is currently easily the most reliable in the industry. I am cautiously optimistic that in 2013 we will make money in this part of the world," he said.


The company plans to put the first five Triple-E ships into service between Asia and Europe this year, and the magazine notes that it comes at a challenging time with volumes shrinking on the trade lane five per cent in 2012, and expectation of only one per cent growth in 2013, according to Alphaliner.


Maersk does 30 per cent of its business between Asia and Europe, Mr Skou said, adding "the key is to manage capacity - that is to act responsibly to ensure we do not contribute to oversupply in the industry - that can only lead to rates collapsing."


Mr Skou said the mega ships will have the lowest costs in the industry, consuming 35 per cent less fuel than the 13,100-TEU ships they will replace.

Shpg Gazette 19/3/13 - ICTSI: Africa should learn from India's box experience - good and bad Print E-mail


ICTSI: Africa should learn from India's box experience - good and bad


AFRICA should exploit its full potential with greenfield ports away from major cities to avoid congestion as well as ending cross border-trade barriers, but most of all, learn from India's experience not repeat its mistakes.


This the view of Gagan Seksaria, chief financial officer and head of the Manila-based International Container Terminal Service Inc's (ICTSI) African regional investment, writing in Port Strategy, of Fareham, Hampshire, England.


"There are a great many 'how-tos' and 'how-not-tos' to learn from others further down the public-private partnership route," he said.


"India especially makes for an interesting comparison as the subcontinent has been successful in attracting private investment into its 7,000-kilometre coastline, allowing capacity to treble to 18 million TEU and volumes to reach 11 million TEU between 2000 and 2012," Mr Seksaria said.


"In the same period, if you exclude Egypt, Morocco and Djibouti transshipment centres, Africa's 26,000 kilometre coastline has only taken capacity up to 17 million TEU with actual volumes reaching two million TEU below this." he said.


"What's missing is large-scale greenfield projects. This is due to the splintered nature of the African coast; Africa has a large number of relatively small economies, which in themselves don't warrant such development.


"Unfortunately, although getting cargo across borders is a cumbersome and costly affair, the business case for a 'regional' project focused on a cluster of countries still isn't gaining traction," he said.


Sub-Saharan development, he said, has been limited to refurbishing and expanding existing ports, with capacity only freed up by private operators deploying optimisation techniques and technology.


Ports, like Lagos, Dar es Salaam and Mombasa, are located in the metropolitan hearts of big African cities causing chronic congestion with an impact on port productivity, supply chain efficiency and costs," Mr Seksaria said.


"Mumbai was India's premier container facility until 1998 when P&O Ports developed a private-public green field container port in Nhava Sheva outside the congested city. Since then, volume at Mumbai has shrunk from 600,000 TEU in 1998 down to 50,000 TEU, while JNPT [Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust] has grown to four million TEU and has expansion plans to double this," he said.


ICTSI's Katupalli container terminal near Chennai, India's second largest container port market, is another example. "Katupalli has only been operational since January, but there are indications that it is following the same pattern," he said.


Mr Seksaria was optimistic about Lekki in Nigeria, "poised to jump into the large and fast growing regional market".


Lagos port handled 1.4 million TEU in 2012 and volumes are rising at 15 per cent a year. "You can see the pattern: Lagos is severely curtailed by the city, and the total capacity potential after all expansion programmes will probably be limited to 1.8 million TEU. On top of this, there are issues with the wider port and road connectivity. So, when deep-draft Lekki becomes operational in 2016, it will be well positioned to corner a large share of the market almost immediately." Mr Seksaria said.


Another important aspect, he said lies in getting the investment model or transaction structure right. India continues to face challenges imposing deals that are unattractive to terminal operators and Africa can learn from this.


Africa should also avoid unnecessary, arbitrary, anomalous tariff regulation, and failing to deliver infrastructure commitments, he said. Such things slow down development and create distrust among foreign investors.

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侺 ó иҹҼԹҷҧ觻 ٴ¡Ѻ zoom in ѹ 19 .. 2013 ͧ "Թҷ秼͡ԡĵɰԨͺ"



Shpg Gazette 18/3/13 - German authorities demand HS Code for all cargo at German ports Print E-mail


German authorities demand HS Code for all cargo at German ports


AN HS [Harmonised System] Code must be provided for all cargo entering or being transshipped at German ports to facilitate the veterinary (animal products) inspection by port officials.


News came in a notice to trade from Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), which warned:

"To avoid any cargo clearance delays and potential extra costs imposed by the authority or as demurrage, OOCL strongly recommends our customers to provide the appropriate HS Code in the Shipping Instruction at the loading end for all types of commodities."


The regulation comes as a European Commission's directive, which was adopted by Germany with immediate effect, said OOCL.

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