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,

- September 2014
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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.

Defunct P3 Aggrement

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

- August 2014
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Lufthansa airfreight expansion

Lufthansa to Launch Freighters to Lagos

Demand from the oil and gas sector has persuaded Lufthansa Cargo to launch freighters to Lagos from the 15th of 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.

- August 2014
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No more road tax

From the 1st October 2014, 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.

- August 2014
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Air Freight 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.

Golden Age Of Air Freight

With the golden age of air cargo (10-plus years ago) now supplanted by uncertainty,

- August 2014
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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”.

- August 2014
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Overweight Sea Containers

Shipping experts remain deeply divided on how to curb the menace of overweight shipping containers despite new proposals that make would make weighing containers mandatory.

Global Shippers Forum (GSF) secretary general Chris Welsh told delegates at last week’s TOC Container Supply Chain conference in London that the GSF was working on an accreditation scheme for container weighing for known shippers, which he likened to the authorised economic operator model. However, employee representative body the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) expressed doubts about the calculation method and said it was seeking further information.

- July 2014
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Maersk MSC CMA P3 alliance Not Approved.

CHINA’s Ministry of Commerce has declined to approve the P3 Network, in effect killing an alliance that would have reshaped the container-shipping landscape.

Freight Operational Network Forbidden

In a strongly worded statement on its website, MofCom said on Tuesday that it had decided after a seven-month antitrust review to “forbid Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM to concentrate” by setting up an operational network.

Separately, Maersk Line, one of the three would-be alliance members,

- June 2014
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Cathay stop flying to Manchester

The airline’s head of cargo James Woodrow said that there had been a shift in capacity from freighters to passenger bellies in the Asia to Europe market and that the Manchester freighters were no longer economically viable alongside Cathay’s other UK main-deck and belly-hold cargo capacity.

He stressed that the carrier was still operating twice-weekly freighters and multiple daily passenger frequencies to and from London’s Heathrow airport, although he acknowledged concerns about some customer losses in the six months prior to the new direct Manchester-Hong Kong flights.

- June 2014
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IMO approves container weighing verification requirement

The IMO has confirmed that the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has approved draft amendments to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) chapter VI to require mandatory verification of the gross mass of containers.

We understand that the draft amendments will be put forward for adoption to the next MSC session – MSC 94 – in November 2014 and, if approved, will enter into force in July 2016.

MSC also approved and issued related draft guidelines regarding the verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo,

- June 2014
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