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Ports of Singapore and Rotterdam join forces to cut shipping emissions

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Port of Rotterdam Authority (PoR), and 20 partners in the Green & Digital Shipping Corridor are collaborating to cut international shipping emissions by 20%-30% until 2030.

The agreement was made in the third Green Corridor workshop, which was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands this week.

The Green & Digital Shipping Corridor was formed in August 2022 to bring together supply chain partners to achieve zero and near-zero emissions shipping on the Rotterdam-Singapore route, with the ultimate goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

The corridor has received strong support from global value-chain partners such as shipping lines, port authorities and operators, fuel suppliers, fuel coalitions and organisations, banks, premier universities of higher learning, and knowledge partners during the last year.

Moreover, the corridor will continue to intensify efforts to meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) increased goal under the 2023 IMO Strategy on reducing GHG Emissions from Ships.

This will be accomplished by the development and use of zero and near-zero emission fuels in large container vessels (at least 8,000 TEUs) deployed along the 15,000 km route, as well as through a mix of operational and digital efficiency.

According to a statement, a modelling study led by the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero-Carbon Shipping, one of the project’s corridor partners, and supported by the ports investigated multiple alternative fuels across a range of zero and near-zero emission pathways, such as synthetic and bio-variants of methanol, ammonia, and LNG.

Aside from the study, hydrogen is another possible fuel pathway that should be investigated. Efforts are being made to aggregate demand and supply in order to close the cost gap in the adoption of sustainable fuels.

Working groups have been formed to investigate the deployment of all of these fuels in the trade lane, covering topics such as fuel demand and supply, standards, safety procedures, financing, and legislation. This week, the corridor partners met in Rotterdam to determine the next measures for various fuel pathways.

Source: Container News


Change in US consumer behaviour hampers Transpacific trade

As the traditional peak season of the shipping sector comes to an end, the spot rate declines over the past two weeks are a very clear indicator that the peak season did not really materialise, according to the recent Sea-Intelligence report.

Further to that, the Danish maritime data analysis company noted that there are “dark clouds looming over the horizon” for the Transpacific trade, in part linked to US consumer behaviour.

One element is the change in consumer behaviour during the pandemic (from services to goods), which is very likely to change back and have a negative impact on import volumes, according to the report.

“Digging deeper, we see that in recent months, the growth is concentrated on goods which are not predominantly moving in containers,” said Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence.

As shown in the figure, the highest growth is for recreational goods and services, which rose from 12% in 2019 to 17.2% by July 2023. Moreover, the Danish analysts note that the largest growth within this category is exhibited by ‘Video, Audio, Photographic, Information Processing Equipment, and Media’.

The ‘Information Processing Equipment’ is also growing fast mid-2023 with the main driver of strong growth within this category clearly seen to be Computer Software and Accessories; and software is mainly not moving in containers, which means that this strong boost to consumer spending does not benefit container shipping lines.

“Another major growth component on goods spending is the overall ‘Vehicles’ category. New vehicles are indeed growing well, but once again, these are mainly not containerized,” said Murphy.

Source: Container News


Container lines consolidate service networks out of South India as trade expands

Container lines are rapidly expanding connections out of South India to keep pace with growing trade volumes.

But the concentration of calls at private box terminals operated by Adani Group, which act as alternatives to Chennai Port, is becoming increasingly evident.

HMM has cemented its network with direct sailings out of Adani Kattupalli Port (AKPPL). Its FIM [Far East Asia-India-Mediterranean] service is a major boon for southern India shippers traditionally tethered to transshipment over Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port for mainline connections.

The FIM rotation is Busan, Kwangyang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Singapore, Port Klang, Kattupalli, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Karachi, Jeddah, (Suez Canal), Damietta, Piraeus, Genoa, Valencia, Barcelona, Piraeus, Damietta, (Suez Canal), Jeddah, Karachi, Mundra, Nhava Sheva, Kattupalli, Singapore, Da Chan Bay and back to Busan.

In addition, CMA CGM has opened a new string out of Adani Ennore Container Terminal (AECTPL) for North Europe and the Mediterranean. The NEMO [North Europe-Mediterranean-Oceania] Service rotates Ennore, Colombo, Malta, Valencia, London Gateway, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Le Havre, Fos Sur Mer, La Spezia, Malta, Pointe Des Galets, Port Louis, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Singapore and Ennore.

“This new call will offer our customers a fast export connection from the main commercial area in South East India to Europe together with a direct import connection from Australia and Singapore,” said CMA CGM in a customer advisory, announcing the Ennore call.

The carrier further noted, “Ennore is also a natural gateway from/to ICD [inland container depot] Bangalore covered with an efficient rail connectivity and will provide a best-in-class service to the fast-growing automotive industry.”

The NEMO competes directly with Maersk’s ME7 Service, connecting South India trade via Ennore to North Europe.

The ME7 port rotation is Ennore, Colombo, Salalah, Algeciras, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Jeddah, Salalah, Colombo and Ennore.

With more call additions, Kattupalli and Ennore have already made sizeable inroads into the Chennai market. According to available data, Kattupalli saw 58,046 TEUs last month, while Ennore handled 59,985 TEUs.

The growing shift of volumes to emerging port locations poses challenges for box terminals at Chennai Port, putting further investment in capacity development there at risk.

Source: Container News


“Schedule reliability recovery rate for 2M was above Ocean and THE Alliance for Asia-North Europe trade lane,” reports Sea-Intelligence

To gauge which of the three container carrier alliances recorded the fastest post-pandemic recovery in schedule reliability, Danish maritime data analysis company Sea-Intelligence pegged their lowest recorded schedule reliability during the pandemic as month “0” and then looked at the change from that baseline in the next months.

Source:, Sunday Spotlight, issue 630

Figure 1 covers the Asia-North Europe trade lane. “In just the second month after dropping to its lowest point, 2M had improved schedule reliability by 20 percentage points, whereas the improvements for Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance were both under 10 percentage points,” pointed out Sea-Inteligence analysts.

By the seventh month, 2M almost reached a recovery of 50 percentage points, with the other two alliances lagging severely behind. Ocean Alliance only got to the 45-percentage point mark by the 17th month, with THE Alliance taking 25 months just to get within a hair of the 50-percentage point mark.

“In short, the schedule reliability recovery rate for 2M was far above the other two alliances,” concludes Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence.

In fact, on both Asia-Europe trade lanes, 2M has seen rapid improvements in schedule reliability after dropping to its lowest point during the pandemic, however, while they continued on this trajectory on Asia-North Europe (as previously mentioned), their rate of recovery on Asia-Mediterranean slowed down considerably, according to the analysis.

“Ocean Alliance on the other hand, while having a relatively slower rate of improvement on Asia-North Europe, has largely been consistent in schedule reliability improvements in the months after their lowest figure of the pandemic,” noted Murphy, adding that “THE Alliance has seen a relatively slower rate of recovery on Asia-North Europe, picking up in recent months, while seeing the opposite trend on Asia-Mediterranean.”

Source: Container News


Panama Canal water levels tend to remain low for months

The Panama Canal is experiencing major, ongoing disruptions in the shipping supply chain due to restrictions on traffic related to very low water levels. This is the result of drought conditions that rapidly developed from the beginning of the year through June and have held steady since that time. In fact, 2023 is off to the driest start during January-July since 2015, which had a similar rainfall rate (see figure below). Furthermore, this represents a departure from a long-term wetter trend as reflected by data from 1981-present.

While the low rainfall rate itself is not historic in nature over the long-term, 2023 does show the largest decline in rainfall rate year over year on the record. This sudden drying after a wet 2022 is the likely culprit for the rapid drop in canal water levels.

There has been a slight improvement in rainfall over the past two months, which has resulted in a stabilization of Panama Cana water levels after months of sharp declines. However, rains have not increased enough to raise water levels or to lessen the drought; rather a worsening scenario was simply avoided.

The forecast through the next two weeks does show a more significant period of high rainfall that could finally start to raise water levels in the canal. Unfortunately, high rainfall is likely to be temporary, as the second half of September is likely to feature widespread dryness once again across Panama. Furthermore, season forecast guidance through the end of the year suggests that dry weather could persist. This means that Panama Canal water levels are likely to remain exceptionally low for months ahead yet despite short-term improvements in the forecast.

Author of the article: Isaac Hankes, Senior Weather Analyst at London Stock Exchange Group


A billion-dollar opportunity for Vietnamese coconuts

Vietnam has the opportunity to create another billion-dollar export item. When the US opened the door to Vietnam’s coconuts for official export and China was developing a Protocol on importing coconuts from Vietnam.

Promotion to open many potential markets

According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Department of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the US Department of Agriculture has sent a letter to the Plant Protection Department (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) informing about the US opened the market with Vietnamese coconut skulls to this market.

APHIS said that the evaluation results showed that the Vietnamese skullcap coconut meets the requirements of the US side for processed products and has a negligible risk of spreading plant pests. This means that instead of going through a new and lengthy market access regulatory process for fresh fruits and vegetables, APHIS has leveraged existing regulations for processed products to regulate shipments of coconut skulls. APHIS has also completed updating the online database of agricultural import requirements (ACIR) to approve the import of young Vietnamese coconuts, having separated at least 75% (3/4) of the coir and completely remove the green outer shell.

Accordingly, Vietnamese producers can start exporting skullcaps to the US immediately, as APHIS classifies shelled coconuts as non-germinating commercial coconuts. The pulp and coconut water inside can be used as food, so the only phytosanitary requirement is that these shipments must be inspected at US ports of entry. In addition, APHIS also said that it has notified the US Customs and Border Protection Agency with the update to avoid any delays in shipments at US ports of entry.

Not only the US, according to the plan in August, the General Department of Customs of China will visit the field to inspect the growing areas and packing facilities of fresh coconut in our country that have official export demand. During this inspection, the General Administration of Customs of China will focus on inspecting the system of control and prevention of pests on coconuts at the planting areas and packing facilities; registration process for plantations and export packing facilities, training and pest monitoring…; epidemic prevention work of exporting enterprises (arrangement of gardens, measures to prevent epidemics, use of plant protection drugs, training of staff); the process of harvesting, transporting and packing coconuts for export;…

The inspection will help China assess in detail the safety and quality control system of Vietnam’s coconut exports, thereby offering appropriate management measures to ensure safe and effective coconut exports. Thereby improving transparency, strictly controlling the quality and safety of coconuts exported from Vietnam to China, contributing to promoting the signing of the Protocol on the export of fresh coconuts between the two countries. After the inspection, China will carry out a risk assessment process and propose appropriate import requirements to develop a Protocol on importing coconuts from Vietnam.

Branding for coconut products

According to the VCA, Vietnam is currently ranked 7th in coconut production in the world with more than 180,000 hectares of agricultural land used to grow coconuts. Large numbers are concentrated in the central coastal provinces and the Mekong Delta such as Tra Vinh and Ben Tre. Currently, coconut growing localities are making great efforts to improve product quality. In order to export coconuts to China smoothly, businesses have invested in building organic coconut farms, so far, there have been more than 7,000 hectares of certified organic coconut.

Cao Ba Dang Khoa, acting Secretary General of VCA, assessed that currently, the coconut industry has developed about 200 products, including some high-value products that are exported to difficult markets such as Finland, through which has affirmed the brand of Vietnamese coconut in the world market. Realizing the potential and opportunities of the coconut industry, VCA is coordinating with many industries and localities to organize activities to improve production capacity and build brands for coconut products. In particular, the Vifa Expo 2023 event is the opening activity for a series of trade promotion programs of the industry in 2023. The purpose of this organization is to target a wood industry market using sustainable materials from sustainable materials, including coconut trees and handicrafts from coconuts.

Thus, it can be seen that Vietnam has favorable conditions to develop this industry and the export potential of coconut products is still very large. Especially when the US has opened the door for Vietnamese coconuts and China now wants to connect and promote the import of Vietnamese coconuts by official channels. Most of coconut products are popular in this country such as desiccated coconut, fiber, candy, fiber mesh, jelly, desiccated rice, coconut milk.

In order to meet the needs and export standards of the world market, VCA is building a sustainable raw material area for coconut farmers to enjoy high prices, and at the same time, creating competitiveness in the international arena. VCA will support the export promotion of coconut products to China, penetrate more markets in Japan and the EU and the US. With the goal of sustainable development, the coconut industry encourages businesses to participate in deep processing. The fact that Vietnam’s coconuts achieve the official export “visa” to the US will help Vietnam’s coconut exports soon reach the billion-dollar mark.

Recommending some solutions to better exploit the Chinese market for Vietnamese coconut products, talking to a reporter from the Customs Magazine Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Tat Thang, Institute of Strategy and Policy Research (Ministry of Industry and Trade). Industry and Trade) said that localities, manufacturing and exporting enterprises need to increase the application of production models according to VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards to fully meet the increasingly strict regulations on testing and quarantine by the Chinese Government. In addition, it is necessary to focus on sustainable development, which is to increase the proportion of deep processing, which not only helps control costs but also increases the value of goods by 3-4 times compared to fresh products. In particular, this activity also helps to increase the shelf life of agricultural products, freeing the situation of local oversupply.

Source: Customs News


Holiday notice – Vietnam’s Independence Day 2023

Mac-Nels would like to announce that we will have some days off to celebrate the Vietnam’s Independence Day as following informations:

Wish all Mac-Nelser, customers and partners have a happy holiday.


Container lines see earnings plunge 90% in second quarter

After two very profitable years for the shipping lines, the market is shifting into a post-pandemic normality, as reported by Sea-Intelligence.

More specifically, while the fourth quarter of 2022 gave a first glimpse into what this might look like, the first quarter of 2023 was the first quarter where the carriers’ operating profits took a real hit.

Additionally, this continued into the second quarter of 2023, with the combined earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) dropping by 90% year on year to a little over US$3 billion.

Further to that, both ZIM and Wan Hai once again recorded operating losses. While ZIM has had profitability issues in past quarters, this was a first for Wan Hai in since 2012.

The figure shows the EBIT/TEU of the shipping lines that publish both their EBIT and their global transported volumes.

“None of these shipping lines were able to sustain their EBIT/TEU figures in 2023, with the largest 2023-Q2 EBIT/TEU recorded by OOCL of US$305/TEU. In contrast, the smallest EBIT/TEU in 2022-Q2 was US$1,377/TEU,” noted Sea-Intelligence analysts.

Also, Maersk with US$207/TEU, Hapag-Lloyd with US$298/TEU, and ONE with US$137/TEU all recorded EBIT/TEU within a much narrower range of US$130-300/TEU.

In all of this, ZIM recorded a negative EBIT/TEU of -US$195/TEU. Basically, they lost US$195 for every TEU that they moved in the second quarter of the current year.

A large reason for the decline in profitability is the decrease in the freight rates, which fell by 48% to 67%, according to shipping lines’ data. The drop in box volumes has also played a role in the lower profits.

“What is surprising, however, is that ZIM, one of the only two shipping lines to record an EBIT loss, grew their volumes 0.5% globally, and by roughly 13% on both Transpacific and Asia-Europe,” noted Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence.

Source: Container News


Evergreen temporarily loses ground in TEU rankings; ready to climb higher

Taiwanese ocean carrier Evergreen has lost the sixth spot in the global liner rankings by Singapore-headquartered Ocean Network Express (ONE), according to the latest data (23 August) by Alphaliner.

This is not expected to be a permanent change, as Evergreen’s newbuilding orderbook is significantly larger than ONE’s. The Taipei-based box carrier is looking even higher, as it is very likely to surpass German Hapag-Lloyd, based on the companies’ current newbuilding boxship orders.

However, the Hamburg-based firm seems to explore its options in order to maintain and enhance its global presence. Hapag-Lloyd has lately emerged as another possible buyer of South Korean box line HMM.

In the case of HMM acquisition by Hapag-Lloyd, the Germans will secure their current fifth spot and will be able to challenge Chinese shipping giant COSCO for the fourth spot. Additionally, the potential takeover of HMM will bring a near double-digit market share for the first time in Hapag-Lloyd’s history.

Furthermore, regarding the “podium” of Alphaliner rankings, MSC remains at the top widening its gap from its Danish and French competitors, while as already reported CMA CGM is on track to surpass Maersk and become the second-largest container carrier in the world.

Source: Container News


SC Ports handles over 200,000 TEUs in July

South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) handled 208,134 TEUs and 115,422 pier containers in July.

More specifically, imports flowing into the port of Charleston outperformed US volumes with a 12% increase from June and a 3% increase year-over-year. At the same time, exports were up 9% from last year. However, total container volume was down about 4% year-over-year in July, driven by lower exports of empty boxes.

SC Ports’ two rail-served inland ports continue to yield strong volumes, handling a combined 17,724 rail moves in July, which is a 55% increase year-over-year. Inland Port Dillon continues to break records, reporting a record July with 2,919 rail moves and Inland Port Greer had a strong month with 14,805 rail moves.

“Although overall volumes continue to reflect the tempered US economy, the Southeast is booming and the US East Coast port market continues to attract new cargo,” SC Ports president and CEO Barbara Melvin commented.

While manufacturing and retail remain down in the country, the Southeast market is thriving with an influx of new residents and industrial growth, while port-dependent companies are investing in manufacturing facilities, electric vehicle operations and retail distribution centers, according to SC Ports’ announcement.

Meanwhile, SC Ports has invested more than US$2 billion into port infrastructure and is currently building a US$400 million intermodal yard to provide near-port rail to the Port of Charleston.

Source: Container News



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