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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Industry renews call for immediate action to stop piracy off Somalia

On the occasion of the annual International Transport Forum held in Leipzig, Germany from May 25-27, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) renewed its call for immediate action on piracy, urging governments to take action against the increasing number of pirate attacks occurring off the Somali coast.

ICC said the past year has witnessed an escalation in both violence and the number of attacks on ships and their crew. According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau, there were 219 attacks in 2010 off Somalia, in which 49 vessels were hijacked and 1,016 crew members taken hostage.

Pirates continue to strike despite measures taken by the United Nations Security Council and the presence of naval units in the area of the Gulf of Aden, and more and more ship owners have had to resort to using private security firms to protect their seafarers and ships.

In 2010, the One Earth Foundation estimated the economic cost of piracy on the supply chain to be between US$7-12 billion.

"This is of great concern to any industry having to navigate through the Gulf of Aden to deliver goods by water," ICC said.

Prepared by the ICC Commission on Transport and Logistics, the call for action said: "As the World Business Organization, ICC urges governments to recognize that piracy, in addition to its effect on the safety of seafarers, has an important financial impact on global trade and shipping, and furthermore poses increased threat on the stability and security of energy supply lines not only for major industrial nations."

ICC called on governments to improve the rules of engagement given to the navies present in the area, and refocus the efforts of the UN and other international bodies to ensure that pirates are brought to justice and that required institutions in central Somalia are established to maintain economic and social standards.

Together with ship owners and trade associations around the world, over 20 CEOs from key shipping and trading companies have endorsed the ICC Call for Action on Piracy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Analyst predicts over-capacity in the container shipping market

Lured by attractive ship building prices and the strength of last year's market recovery, containership owners have ordered 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (Mteu) of new capacity since June 2010, outstripping the deliveries recorded in the previous period, which reached 1.4 Mteu, according to Alphaliner.

This rapid rise in ordering activity in the last twelve months has brought back concerns of over-capacity in the container shipping markets, with the level of deliveries in 2013 likely to hit a new record.

With all 2011 and most of 2012 delivery slots currently booked, attention no turns to 2013 slots.

Scheduled deliveries for 2013 have surged from 380,000 teu a year ago to 1,590,000 teu today and there is still some available shipyard capacity for 2013 deliveries.

If all current options, letters of intent and intended orders were exercised, 2013 vessel deliveries could exceed 2 Mteu. This would mark the highest-ever annual level of containership newbuilding.

Alphaliner cites Maersk's ten 'EEE'-class 18,000 teu ships, which are the largest units planned for delivery in 2013. Options for 20 additional vessels of the same size have yet to be exercised for 2014-15 delivery.

Furthermore, Evergreen has committed to 35 ships of 8,800 teu (including five chartered units ordered by Costamare), of which 22 are earmarked for delivery in 2013.

Other carriers and non-operating owners have joined or are planning to join the new capacity race.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

LCL importing from Shenzhen Shekhou and Yantian - BEST rates

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Port of Vancouver honours shipping lines for eco-friendly vessels

May 12, 2011

Port Metro Vancouver announced the eleven recipients of its Blue Circle Award for 2010. Launched last year, this award recognizes the most eco-friendly vessels that call at the Port.

The Blue Circle Award acknowledges industry commitment to Port sustainability by recognizing the extraordinary environmental achievements of ships that participate in Port Metro Vancouver's EcoAction Program for Shipping. The program offers a financial incentive for cruise and shipping lines to reduce ship emissions.

Port Metro Vancouver's emissions reduction programs have attracted international acclaim, having been awarded the Globe 2010 ecoFreight Award for Sustainable Transportation and nominated for the International Sustainable Shipping Award. Shore power at Canada Place represents a key initiative that has contributed to the success of the Port's Air Action Program. Port Metro Vancouver anticipates a 40 per cent increase in shore power-enabled ships during the 2011 cruise season.

The Port Metro Vancouver Blue Circle Award recipients for 2010 are:

• APL (Canada)
• Grieg Star Shipping (Canada) Ltd.
• Hapag-Lloyd (Canada) Inc.
• Holland America Line
• "K" Line
• Maersk Line
• Princess Cruises
• Regent Seven Seas Cruises
• Seaboard International Shipping Co. Ltd.
• Silversea Cruises
• Westwood Shipping Lines

Under Port Metro Vancouver's EcoAction Program for Shipping, vessels that qualify will be eligible to receive the Blue Circle Award, a recognition reserved for only the highest emissions reduction achievements.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Report shows that ocean freight rates are linked to overall capacity

May 9, 2011

A report from ComPair Data shows rates and available capacity are inextricably linked when it comes to container shipping. The quarterly report, the Rate-Capacity Nexus, shows how capacity and rates on key North American trades fluctuated throughout 2010, giving a complete picture of how these two crucial variables are influenced by one another.

The report shows that carriers enjoyed bumper rates on the main routes to North America in the first half of 2010 thanks to the strategy of pulling capacity and shelving ships in late 2009 and early 2010.

Rate-Capacity Nexus also demonstrates how quickly those rates receded in the fourth quarter when capacity wasn't pulled in late 2010.

ComPair Data examines the relationship between freight rates and capacity on trades to and from North America in a new quarterly report, Rate-Capacity Nexus. The report shows how allocated capacity - that is, the space ComPair Data estimates carriers allocate to specific trade lanes - moves quarterly in relation to freight rates.

The rate and capacity data illuminates how the liner industry deviated from the strategy that worked so well in late 2009 and early 2010 - that is, pulling capacity on key lanes during the slack season and using slow steaming to absorb capacity arriving in the form of new vessel deliveries.

While slow steaming has remained as a fixed component of carrier strategy, lines didn't withdraw services or idle excess vessels to a large enough extent to maintain rate stability.

Friday, May 6, 2011

West coast ports' union members ratify eight-year contract

May 5, 2011

A new collective agreement between the International Longshore Warehouse Union Canada and the BC Maritime Employers Association has received wide support by ILWU Canada members.

"Collective bargaining is alive and working well at Pacific Gateway ports," said ILWU Canada President Tom Dufresne.

Details of the agreement are being released today following the May 3rd ratification by the ILWU's membership.

The term of eight years provides unprecedented stability and reliability to everyone associated with the Pacific Gateway - ILWU members and employers alike.

"The interests of ILWU Canada members and the employer are aligned when it comes to having an agreement that delivers reliability and predictability in the workplace. This is a win-win agreement," Dufresne said.

The agreement includes a new program for maternity and paternity leave and an average wage increase of 3.5% every year of the agreement and a cost of living factor starting in year 6.

"The agreement will deliver the kind of financial stability our members need. The employer has also agreed to pension enhancements, a benefit of great importance to ILWU members," Dufresne said.

Ship and dock foremen in ILWU Local 514 are covered by a separate agreement which is still under negotiation.