Sea freight rates due to rise in November

FREIGHT rates have continued to decline on all the major trades this week as container lines look to November and the latest round of recommended general rate increases.

Carriers pushing for rises of up to nearly $1,000 per teu on the Asia-Europe trade are hoping to repeat last year’s successful GRIs when rates jumped some 123% from $670 to $1,423.

A rise in box prices cannot come soon enough.

The latest Shanghai Containerised Freight Index shows that on Asia-Europe routes,

Airfreight prices worldwide to stay stable over the next 12 months

Airline heads of cargo expect pricing to the main broadly stable over the next 12 months, according to the latest Airline Business Confidence Index from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In the association’s quarterly survey, conducted in October and published today, airline CFOs and heads of cargo reported that “cargo yields declined at a slightly slower pace” in the third quarter compared to earlier in the year, and cargo heads “anticipate stability in cargo yields over the next 12 months”,

Congestion at Far East Ports

Congestion at key Asian ports is the worst it has been over the last 20 years and the situation looks set to continue, according to two executives from one intra-Asia carrier. Transport chief executive Tim Wickmann and chief commercial officer Naresh Potty said that schedule reliability was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain because of the congestion, which began around March. Mr Potty named Manila as the worst-performing port but said that Hong Kong,

Shipping Line Congestion Still a Problem

Schedule reliability among the world’s shipping lines fell for the first time since February in July, as congestion in northern Europe and on the US west coast took its toll on global performance.

Schedule reliability fell almost four percentage points from 75.6% in June to 71.6%.

July’s schedule reliability is based on a record number of vessel calls, with as many as 10,966 arrivals recorded.

In terms of individual carriers,

Sea freight rates to fall long term

Erosion of freight rates in the global container shipping trades is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, Maersk Line chief executive Søren Skou is predicting, leaving ocean carriers to find other ways of returning to profitability.

Maersk Line is one of the few in the industry to have produced respectable second quarter results, helped by unexpectedly good volumes in the Asia-Europe trades, which helped to stabilise average freight rates.

But Maersk Line’s net operating profit of $547m and annualised return on invested capital of 10.8% was far more a reflection of cost-cutting initiatives than higher revenue,

2M Tie up

Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co should know by October 11 whether their collaboration will be allowed to go ahead in the US trades after filing with the Federal Maritime Commission Wednesday afternoon local time.

The Washington agency now has 45 days in which to review the Maersk/MSC vessel-sharing agreement, popularly known as 2M, although the clock can be stopped if commissioners or FMC staff want additional information.

This happened in the case of the now defunct P3 agreement,

Lufthansa airfreight expansion

Demand from the oil and gas sector has persuaded Lufthansa Cargo to launch freighters to Lagos from 15 September to supplement its bellyhold capacity to and from Nigeria and the wider West African region.

The twice-weekly MD-11 freighter flights will depart from Frankfurt for the Nigerian city every Monday and Thursday, continuing on to Johannesburg. The return leg to Frankfurt will include a stopover in Nairobi. The carrier said another two weekly flights from Frankfurt to Johannesburg would also stop in Nairobi on the southbound le

No more road tax

From 1 October, vehicles will no longer have to display paper tax discs to show that vehicle excise duty has been paid.

With a history dating back to 1921, the paper tax disc is the latest victim of the digital age. While some traditionalists will mourn the death of the tax disc as the end of an era, it is estimated that the move could save government administration costs of up to £7 million.

Airfreight 10 years behind the times


It is unbelievable that an industry vital to international trade remains so invisible to the general public.

This may be one of the reasons why the air cargo industry has been allowed to operate in a technological time-warp for so long, while other industry sectors seem to be light years ahead.

With the golden age of air cargo (10-plus years ago) now supplanted by uncertainty, volatility, encroaching modal shift and a plethora of belly capacity,

US lead on lithium battery restriction

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued new standards to strengthen safety conditions for the shipment of lithium cells and batteries that will become mandatory within six months.

It said the changes, some of which focus specifically on shipments by air, were intended to “better ensure that lithium cells and batteries are able to withstand normal transport conditions and are packaged to reduce the possibility of damage that could lead to an unsafe situation”.