World Maritime News (52)

Maersk shifts detention billing to shippers ahead of FMC regulation

Maersk will begin billing container detention charges directly to shippers on so-called merchant haulage moves from 1 April, which portends evolving invoicing practices related to potential new requirements from the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). The move by Maersk comes as the FMC is in the midst of a rulemaking process around detention and demurrage billing mandated by the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA-22) last June. In an October notice, the legislation sought to clarify billing practices. The FMC said one of the aspects it will consider is whether only parties contractually related to one another can be billed for detention and demurrage.


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Service modifications of shipping lines

Deep year-on-year declines from the peak of pandemic-driven demand for container shipping are projected to remain for at least the first half of 2023, with carriers now needing to take other decisions over capacity management to prevent an additional rates rout. Recent figures from CTS show the transpacific and Asia-Europe trades have seen falls of 24% and 18% since September, while in the US, data from the National Retail Federation indicated there would be only modest gains in demand before June.

Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) has discontinued calls to the Indian ports of Nhava Sheva (JNPT) and Mundra on its “Falcon” service. The revised weekly string will have new stops at Xingang, Busan, and Xiamen, starting with a 20 March sailing from Xingang. The carrier opened the independent connection between India, China, and the Middle East in early 2015 to capitalize on intra-Asia trade growth. The redesigned itinerary offers a dedicated intra-Asia connection for the Middle East region.

The first signs of an unwinding 2M Alliance may be emerging on the Asia-Europe trade, with Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co. not reinstating a North Europe loop suspended in December. MSC is instead directing its massive order book into upsizing existing services and launching new ones. The dissolution of one of the alliance’s six Asia-North Europe loops comes just weeks after the 2M Alliance members announced their vessel-sharing agreement would end in 2025. Both carriers dismissed concerns over service interruptions ahead of the breakup.


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Topics on new container ships

Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) is scheduled to take delivery of more than 1 million TEU in capacity over the next two years with an order book the size of Hapag-Lloyd’s total fleet, according to the latest data from Alphaliner. MSC became the world’s largest container shipping company a year ago and has continued to aggressively build its fleet to a size that helped fuel its plans to exit the 2M Alliance it holds with Maersk in 2025. According to a statement, OCEAN Network Express has ordered ten more neo-panamax containerships. The ten new buildings, with a capacity of 13,700 teu, would be methanol- and ammonia-ready and equipped with a streamlined bow and other energy-saving technologies, ONE said. ONE’s latest order for new buildings provides delivery dates during 2025 and 2026.


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Chinese ports group rebrands amid consolidation drive

China’s state-owned Shenzhen Yantian Port Group has been renamed Shenzhen Port Group amid a broader government push to integrate regional ports. According to a statement, the name change, approved by the city government and the market regulator from Beijing, is expected to improve Shenzhen’s brand awareness and competitiveness as a global port and logistics hub. The move comes as China has been pushing for consolidating ports at a provincial level to create synergy and reduce excess competition between nearby ports.


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Ports of Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Yokohama agree on green shipping corridor deal

Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Yokohama ports plan to create green shipping corridor partnerships to reduce emissions along their trade routes and promote low and zero-carbon ships and fuels. According to a statement, they signed an agreement at the California-Japan Clean Energy Trade Mission in Tokyo to “more formally” collaborate on sustainability and environmental issues. The deal includes cooperation on issues beyond supply chain optimization and environmental sustainability. Other specific areas of cooperation named under the two agreements include the “testing and deployment of zero-emission vehicles, cargo-handling equipment, and vessels; exploring energy use and alternative energy sources; and co-operating on initiatives related to pollution-reduction technologies for terminals, ocean-going vessels, and drayage trucks.”


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Carrier customers seek reliability to reduce inventory costs

After the supply chain disruptions of the past two years, cargo owners have had to build up buffer stocks. But rising interest rates and slowing sales are making this expensive. Beneficial cargo owners are looking towards improved carrier reliability to help them reduce the high levels of inventory they are carrying as the effects of the pandemic on box shipping begin to unwind.


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Inventory levels point to slow container demand recovery

A string of recent container line results has confirmed what was already widely accepted in the box shipping sector: Demand fell off a cliff in the second half of the past year and has shown no signs of recovering. “Second-half 2022 trends remained at play in 2023, as market conditions in the transport and logistics industry continue to deteriorate,” CMA CGM released its full-year results. Inventory levels remain “extremely high” but would come down again in the second quarter, which would drive growth in the second half of the year, Mediterranean Shipping Co chief executive Søren Toft told the Journal of Commerce’s TPM conference in Long Beach.


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Shippers unite in push for carriers to scale up use of zero-carbon fuel

Global shippers Amazon, Patagonia, and Tchibo have partnered with the Aspen Institute to launch another US-led initiative to drive aggregated demand for zero-emission maritime fuels. The Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA) was unveiled in Miami Thursday. It follows from the Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) initiative that the Aspen Institute formed in 2021, with 19 global brands signed up. By leveraging their collective buying power, shippers in the ZEMBA alliance aim to accelerate demand for green fuel, with plans this year to issue requests for proposals for zero-emission shipping to carriers to move products by no later than 2025-2026.


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Shippers should brace for the impact of net zero costs

Shippers, cargo owners, and consumers are prepared to pay more for greener shipping. A market-based measure in the form of a carbon levy could be the trigger needed to boost net zero initiatives A report which found that the largest retail importers in the US had the largest Scope 3 emissions from shipping also raised the question of what carriers, shippers, and beneficial cargo owners could do more to reduce their emissions. The study asked retailers to do more to protect US port communities by ending their reliance on fossil fuels. That, however, is easier said than done. It also implies that efforts are not already being made, but that is far from the case.


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Visibility providers target challenges of container terminal milestone data

The race to improve the visibility of container terminal milestone data sought by shippers geared up over the past week as vendors Vizion and project44 both unveiled new products. Vizion focuses purely on ocean container visibility and established direct connections with 60 ports and terminals in the US and abroad. It will use data feeds with those terminals to offer two new alerts to its shipper and logistics service provider (LSP) customers. Separately, the multimodal visibility provider project44 said it has beefed up its terminal data offering, Ocean Terminal Visibility. It provides container discharge events — location, last-day of free time information, and status, including holds, customs clearance, and availability for pickup. The new products from project44 and Vizion signal that terminal visibility remains troublesome for shippers, especially involving demurrage fees related to the late collection of laden import boxes.


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Drayage tech provider PortPro targeting shippers with new tracking tools

A software provider primarily serving drayage companies has released a new set of container tracking and auditing tools to lure shippers and forwarders onto its platform. PortPro’s flagship DrayOS product is a transportation management system (TMS) for dray carriers. It launched DrayOS Track to help customers of those dray carriers receive updates on key import milestones such as vessel arrivals, container discharge dates, and demurrage. The tracking product will also give exporters access to terminals’ earliest return date (ERD) information.


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