What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 38

Lines raise serious concerns over EU’s “quasi-global” ETS plans

The World Shipping Council (WSC), which represents around 90% of the world’s container shipping lines, has voiced its “serious concerns” with European Union proposals to expand its Emissions Trading System (ETS) to include shipping.

In a paper published on 10 September the WSC believes that the European Commission (EC), by using its Monitoring Recording and Verification (MRV) tool as the basis for its ETS charges, will cover a geographical area that goes far beyond the scope of the European Union.

Source: Container News


UK study says sea level rise will force ports to spend as much as $18 billion by 2050

By 2050, the effects of sea level rise will require ports around the world to allocate an additional $8 billion to $18 billion to protect their facilities, according to a new study.

The study, “Demand for Ports to 2050: Climate Policy, Growing Trade and the Impacts of Sea‐Level Rise” adds that by 2100 ports will need to factor an additional $12 billion to $63 billion.

The range is wider for 2100, because higher sea levels are more difficult to pinpoint.

Seaport footprints will need to expand by up to 3,689 square kilometers (1,424 square miles) worldwide in the next three decades to cope with the combination of sea-level rise and rising demand, according to the study that was released in July.

Source: AJOT


Airfreight Market Roundup: China dips while SE Asia stays strong

China gave the airfreight market a headfake last week. It gave the impression capacity was tightening to the point that rates would seek higher ground for the rest of the year in response to peak season shipping.

Instead demand tailed off as Apple slightly delayed the launch of its iPhone 12, with capacity slightly exceeding actual volumes. It was a similar story in many markets, according to WorldACD, with yields inching down or staying flat.

It may seem that shippers are catching a break on rates under the circumstances, but consider that any pause comes during a year that has seen significant inflation because of the shortage of aircraft to fly goods, especially as manufacturing bounces back from production slowdowns associated with the coronavirus pandemic. In August, spot prices were 67% above the rate for 2019 and 22 points higher than in July. As of Sept. 7, spot pricing was 54% greater than a year ago, according to investment bank UBS.

Source: Freight Waves, American Shipper


Maersk first to cancel GRI and cut transpacific rates as China wades in

Maersk has reportedly reduced its planned mid-September transpacific GRIs, thought to be due to China’s move to step in to reduce freight rates on the trade.

Last week, Zest Shipping Media reported that Chinese authorities planned to interfere in pricing and capacity management on the transpacific as rates soared to record highs.

Source: The Loadstar


Imports will continue to drive strong trucking volumes through September

According to the FreightWaves Ocean TEU Volume Index, bookings of U.S. imports from China are up 89% year-over-year (y/y) through next week, which is a good indication that freight volumes will continue to flow through the rest of September.

FreightWaves’ Greg Miller reported ocean shipping rates broke records, with 40-foot container rates eclipsing $3,700 in the spot market from China to the U.S. West Coast last week.

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, many ocean shipping companies reduced their capacity. Trans-Pacific carriers are now returning their services to full strength and increasing rates in response to new shipper demand. This trend bodes well for domestic freight carriers.

Source: Freight Waves


Carriers impose restrictions as container shortages in Asian ports get worse

All the major carriers are experiencing equipment shortages at Asian ports with popular 40ft high cubes in particular short supply at Chinese depots.

Anecdotal reports to The Loadstar suggest CMA CGM currently has a shortage of equipment at all of the main Chinese ports, while other carriers are advising of shortages at some docks and “near normal” availability at others.

However, one Chinese forwarding source said equipment availability was more about “what you are prepared to pay”, with some lines introducing a “box priority fee”, payable at the time of booking.

Source: The Loadstar


East Coast ports welcome largest vessel

The CMA CGM Brazil became the largest vessel to call a U.S. East Coast port when the container ship, with a capacity of 15,072 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), arrived at the Port of New York and New Jersey on Saturday.

The 1,200-foot-long CMA CGM Brazil berthed at APM Terminals at the Elizabeth Port Authority Terminal. Port Director Sam Ruda and Deputy Director Bethann Rooney were on hand to welcome Capt. Biser Nikolaev Draganov and his crew and present a plaque to commemorate the CMA CGM Brazil’s inaugural visit.

Source: Freight Waves, American Shipper


AmCham: 71% of businesses have no plans to leave China despite souring trade relations

2020 started on an optimistic note for the trade relationship between China and the U.S., with a phase 1 trade deal coming a few weeks after the start of the year. The deal kept many of the tariffs in place, but had the U.S. increase its exports to China by $200 billion over a 2017 baseline.

"But now a wider chill in US-China relations obscures the outlook and threatens to overturn the goodwill and progress achieved by the Phase One agreement," the AmCham wrote in a report accompanying the survey. "These conflicting forces mean that the data in this year's report is mixed."

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Cathay to park 40% of fleet in long-term storage overseas

Beleaguered Cathay Pacific will move about 40% of its fleet to long-term storage locations overseas, as it adjusts downwards its forecasted capacity for the coming months.

In its monthly traffic results for August, Cathay confirmed that it is parking a significant number of aircraft overseas, given that it “will be operating just a fraction of our services in the foreseeable future”.

This is an upward adjustment of earlier figures of about a third of the Cathay fleet, which was disclosed during its earnings briefing in August.

Source: Air Cargo News