BDP Trendwatch: European regulator extends temporary-freighter exception into 2022; Big is beautiful to carriers in the new shipping contract ‘beauty contest’; Rails brace for gridlock after Ida hammers New Orleans hub

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European regulator extends temporary-freighter exception into 2022

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has extended rules allowing airlines use passenger aircraft as temporary freighters into next year.

The extension means that airlines will be able to carry certain cargo in passenger holds until July 31.

Airlines have been removing passenger seats from aircraft since the start of the outbreak in response to lost cargo capacity and to keep aircraft employed.



Big is beautiful to carriers in the new shipping contract ‘beauty contest’

Shippers and BCOs must be prepared to take part in “beauty contests” to determine their suitability for long-term contracts with their carriers.

But, given the extent to which the market has pivoted in favour of the shipping lines since the pandemic, one thing is certain: contract shippers will be paying much more next year to move their cargo, and possibly for years to come.

The Loadstar


Rails brace for gridlock after Ida hammers New Orleans hub

Hurricane Ida forced Kansas City Southern to shut its main line in Louisiana and has halted exchanges between railroads in New Orleans, which may worsen delays in a U.S. shipping industry that is already stretched thin. Rail stocks fell.

Kansas City Southern said it doesn’t know when service will resume on its main Louisiana rail route because crews must wait for flood water to recede before beginning repairs. The railroad operator also shut a line in Mississippi from Gulfport to Hattiesburg, according to a statement on its website.

AJOT, Bloomberg


California port pileup breaks record and imports still haven’t peaked

From anchorage stats to forward arrivals, ocean bookings, and inventory-to-sales numbers, all the latest data paints the same picture: The U.S. congestion crisis has never been more severe than it is now - and it’s getting worse.

Hope for any relief this year has vanished. French carrier CMA CGM is the latest in a long line of market participants to push back its timeline on normalization. Capacity constraints “are expected to continue until the first half of 2022,” CMA CGM warned on Friday.

Alarmingly, America’s import system - which is already stretched to the limit - looks like it will have to handle even higher volumes next month.  The likely outcome: Carriers will be forced to cancel more sailings as terminal berths max out and ships get stuck at anchor, even more cargo will get “rolled” (pushed to a future sailing), and importers will face even longer delays and even less slot availability as they scramble to build inventories for holiday sales.

FreightWaves, American Shipper


UK trucker shortage begins to impact ports, gas stations and grocers

The United Kingdom has a significant shortage of truckers, and it is beginning to impact port interests, according to the British Ports Association. "The lack of haulage capacity has contributed to inefficiencies across the supply chain. We are seeing increased wait times at ports," said Richard Ballantyne, the chief executive of the BPA, in a statement last week. "The shortages pushes up costs and puts suppliers under more pressure."

According to the Road Hauliers Association, Britain has a shortage of about 100,000 truck drivers - about one-sixth of the pre-pandemic haulier workforce. In response, BPA, Logistics UK and the hauliers association are calling for immediate government action to increase the availability of foreign nationals from Eastern Europe. A combination of Brexit work visa changes, self-employment tax increases and persistent quality of life issues have made the UK a less attractive place for European truckers to drive, according to Logistics UK, and thousands of them are choosing to live and work closer to home.

The Maritime Executive


Container shipping reliability drops further

Container shipping vessel schedule reliability dropped further in July as global port and congestion disruption continued, and the average delays for late vessel arrivals continued to deteriorate, according to new analysis by Sea-Intelligence.

The container shipping analyst’s latest Global Liner Performance (GLP) report, with schedule reliability figures up to and including July 2021, covers schedule reliability across 34 different trades lanes and 60+ carriers, and indicates that vessel schedule reliability fell month-on-month (M/M) by 3.8 percentage points in July to 35.6%, down “a massive 39.7 percentage points” from last year.

Lloyd´s Loading List


First autonomous cargo ship faces test with 236-mile voyage

In just two decades from now, half of all domestic ships plying Japan’s coastal waters may be piloting themselves.

That’s the ambitious goal of the Nippon Foundation, a public-interest organization backing the country’s development of ocean-traversing autonomous ships. It aims to see crewless ships make up 50% of Japan’s local fleet by 2040. With the foundation’s backing, a group that includes Japan’s largest shipping company, Nippon Yusen KK, plans to have a container ship pilot itself from Tokyo Bay to Ise, a coastal city in central Mie prefecture, in February. According to Nippon Yusen, the 380 kilometer (236 mile) voyage will be the world’s first test of an autonomous ship in an area with heavy marine traffic.

AJOT, Bloomberg


World’s largest containership transits Suez Canal

The world’s largest container ship based on capacity completed its first transit on the Suez Canal on August 28. Because of her large size and because it is the maiden voyage of the vessel, it garnered extra attention and special handling from the Suez Canal Authority.

Evergreen Line’s Ever Ace made the northbound transit on Saturday. With a rated capacity of 23,992 TEU, she has the largest carrying capacity of any containership, approximately 30 more TEU than the HMM Algeciras and her sister ships which have been transiting the canal since 2020. Like her fleet mate, the Ever Given which became notorious due to her grounding in the canal in the spring, as well as the HMM vessels, the new Ever Ace is 1,312feet in length. However, the new vessel, with a 202-foot beam, is five feet wider than the Ever Given and two feet wider than the HMM vessels.

The Maritime Executive


Positive throughput trend for Port of Hamburg after downturn caused by COVID-19

The overall trend in seaborne cargo throughput in the Port of Hamburg in the first half of 2021 was positive.

General and bulk cargo throughput picked up markedly in the second quarter. At 63.5 million tons, total seaborne cargo throughput was up by 3.8 percent. Container handling at 4.3 million TEU - 20-ft standard containers - was 5.5 percent up.

After a modest start in the first two months, March and the second quarter brought a distinct surge in container handling. Totalling 19.3 million tons, throughput of bulk goods remained on an upward curve, being ahead by 3.3 percent.



Red-hot market swells COSCO’s H1 profit 21 times

COSCO Ship Holding’s 2021 first half profit rocketed 21-fold year-on-year to US$6.53 billion as the strong container shipping market propelled its earnings to new highs.

The group’s container shipping business generated a profit of US$7.21 billion, more than doubling from US$356.82 million in 2020 H1.

In the meantime, revenue was up 88% year-on-year to US$21.2 billion, while container shipping contributed US$20.77 billion.

Container News


HMM seafarers to picket in Busan, notwithstanding salary negotiations

While union leaders representing HMM’s seafarers and office staff continue to negotiate with the management for higher salary increments, the seafarers are going ahead with a picket protest with Busan.

At 14:00 Seoul time today (1 September), Kim Jin-man and Jang Jong-geum, the heads of the unions representing shore-based employees and seafarers respectively, began talks with HMM president Bae Jae-hoon.

On 22 August, the seafaring union held a vote to decide on a strike and of the 450 members who came, more than 92% chose to strike. HMM’s Swiss-Italian rival, MSC is attempting to poach the South Korean carrier’s crew with salaries that are 2.5 times what the latter is paying, and 317 of HMM’s seafarers have submitted their resignation letters to the union.

Container News