Port of Singapore has reported a container throughput of 37.3 million TEUs in 2022, which represents a slight decline of 0.7% compared with the all-time record volumes in the previous year.
Despite the fall of 3-4% in global container trade, the Port of Singapore achieved its second busiest year in its history.
At the same time, the port handled 577.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2022, while vessel arrival tonnage hit 2.83 billion gross tonnage (GT).
The port believes that its position as a “trusted, global transshipment hub” was strengthened amidst challenging global economic conditions during the last year.
In 2022, total business spending by shipping companies exceeded US$4.3 billion, and more than 30 companies established or expanded their operations in Singapore, according to Maritime Port Authority (MPA) Singapore. This is more than 30% higher than the number of companies which expanded operations or set up in Singapore in 2021.
Source: Container News
Major port and terminal operator in Indonesia Pelindo has announced precautionary measures to ensure the normal operation of its terminals after predictions of potential extreme weather in the first week of the year.
Pelindo’s main director, Arif Suhartono said anticipatory steps for the potential for extreme weather have been implemented at the company’s passenger, container and non-container terminals.
More specifically, Pelindo III, which operates 15 container terminals in the country, is limiting container stacking as a precaution against strong winds amid Southeast Asia’s monsoon season.
According to Container News sources, normally, up to six containers can be stacked vertically, but the temporary limits restrict stacking to four containers. For safety reasons, container stacking will be suspended when wind speeds reach 20 metres per second.
Internally, Pelindo has appealed to terminal managers both in regional and subholding regarding extreme weather warnings and the potential hazards posed, including among others conducting socialisation on Occupational Safety and Security (K3) in extreme weather and optimising safety briefings & safety patrols to ensure activities operations are carried out safely.
“Currently we are implementing Alert 1 status and if a dangerous extreme weather situation occurs, operational activities will be temporarily suspended to ensure the safety of our officers in the field, as well as partners and service users who are in the Port environment,” pointed out Arif Suhartono.
According to a recent announcement, the presence of extreme weather also has the potential to cause coastal flooding or rob. In this regard, Pelindo said it has routinely checked and added to the provision of water pumps as well as electrical installations and backup generators at various points in the port area which are often affected by tidal floods.
Source: Container News
President of the United State, Joe Biden signed into law the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, the biennial legislation authorising federal flood control, navigation and ecosystem improvements that include the Port of Long Beach Channel Deepening Project.
“We are grateful to members of the House and Senate and the Army Corps of Engineers who championed this bill, the many lawmakers from both parties who voted for it and President Biden,” said board of harbor commissioners president, Sharon L. Weissman, adding that the federal support shows how important international trade through the Port of Long Beach is to the national economy.
The Californian port’s Channel Deepening Project, which was signed on 23 December, is one of only five navigation projects nationwide that met the goals of the Corps’ planning process to make the cut for construction authorisation under the new water resources law.
According to the Port of Long Beach, this project has been in the works for more than eight years and is an essential component of the Port’s Master Plan.
Key elements include deepening the Long Beach Approach Channel from 23 to 24 meters, easing turning bends in the Main Channel to deepen a wider area to 23 feet, deepening parts of the West Basin from 15 to 16 feet, constructing an approach channel and turning basin to Pier J South with a depth of 16 feet, improving the breakwaters at the entrance to Pier J, and depositing dredged material in nearshore sites for reuse or in federally approved ocean disposal sites.
The port noted that the project’s operational benefits include more room for the largest tankers and container vessels to transit the harbor and fewer delays related to tidal flows.
Deeper, wider channels also reduce the need for large vessels to transfer liquid bulk cargo or containers to smaller vessels before entering the harbor. The process, known as lightering, ensures large ships have the underkeel clearance they need to move through the harbor as it is currently configured.
Furthermore, environmental benefits include lower fuel consumption because ships will be able to maneuver more efficiently through the harbor. Burning less fuel reduces vessel pollution – emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides.
The port is sharing the cost of the US$200 million project with the Corps, whose responsibilities include building and maintaining the nation’s waterways. Setting the stage for congressional authorisation, the Corps issued a record of decision in July 2022 endorsing the project based on multiyear environmental and cost-benefit studies of the project.
Additionally, the Corps concluded deepening and widening channels in the harbor would lead to improved vessel navigation, safety, and national economic benefits valued at more than US$15 million annually. In September, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners certified the project’s companion environmental impact report.
Construction is projected to start in 2027 and is expected to take approximately three years.
Source: Container News
MSC will launch a new direct service, which will link India with the West Mediterranean, starting mid-December.
The purpose of this direct connection between the two regions for the Swiss/Italian container carrier is to reduce transshipment for customers and provide expedited transit times.
The service will offer Mundra to Genoa in 19 days, Valencia in 23 days and Nhava Sheva to Barcelona in 16 days, with no transshipment required between load and discharge ports, according to MSC’s announcement.
The first sailing will be with the 4,800 TEU container vessel MSC Shanghai from Abu Dhabi on 19 December.
The port rotation of the new service is the following:
Abu Dhabi (UAE) – Jebel Ali (UAE) – Mundra (India)– Nhava Sheva (India) – Djibouti (Africa)– Gioia Tauro (Italy)– Genoa (Genoa) –Barcelona (Spain)– Valencia (Spain)– Salerno (Italy)–Gioia Tauro (Italy)– Marsaxlokk (Malta)– King Abdullah (Saudi Arabia)– Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) – Abu Dhabi (UAE).
Source: Container News
The OCEAN Alliance is upsizing its transatlantic service again by replacing four 8,500-10,000 TEU ships with four 11,000 to 14,000 TEU vessels.
COSCO Shipping Lines, CMA CGM and Evergreen Marine Corporation form the alliance.
On 9 December, the 14,000 TEU Tampa Triumph will become the largest vessel ever deployed in the North Europe – US East Coast trade when it replaces the 9,466 TEU Ever Lucky.
CMA CGM, meanwhile, will redeploy the 11,388 TEU sisters CMA CGM Columba and CMA CGM Cassiopeia to the loop to replace the 9,962 TEU CMA CGM Ganges and the 8,465 TEU CMA CGM Bianca.
These will join the 13,092 TEU sisters COSCO Harmony and COSCO Pride.
Even as freight rates on the Asia-North Europe and Transpacific routes are tanking, the Transatlantic market has held up, convincing the OCEAN Alliance to increase capacity into the Atlantic Basin.
On 23 December, COSCO will deploy the 13,092 TEU COSCO Faith on the TAT2 service, where it will join its aforementioned sisters. The ship will trade for COSCO’s sister carrier OOCL and replace the 8,501 TEU COSCO Malaysia.
At the end of the year, the nominal capacity of the TAT2 service will have increased to 12,675 TEU per week, compared to 8,500 TEU in September.
The upgraded service currently turns in six weeks with calls at Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Le Havre, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, Southampton.
Forward schedules suggest that the OCEAN Alliance will increase the round trip to eight weeks from January. This will help enable the longer port stays of the bigger ships, while it will further reduce sailing speeds.
Source: Container News
Dedicated implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will provide Vietnam with many opportunities to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) from European firms.
Addressing a recent seminar on investment flows from the EU, Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai from the University of Economics and Business, a member of the Vietnam National University (VNU), Hanoi, said that by August 2022, the second anniversary of the ambitious EU-Vietnam trade pact, 2,378 EU investment projects with total registered capital of US$27.59 billion were current in Vietnam.
According to economists, since 2020 when the EVFTA came into effect, the EU’s FDI in Vietnam has declined in both number of projects and capital amount. The decline is attributed to the UK’s exit from the EU and the impact of COVID-19. Since 2021, however, the number of EU FDI projects in Vietnam has resumed its growth and almost reached the peak of 2019. This is a positive sign for the Vietnamese economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the unstable situation in the European region.
EU investment projects in Vietnam spread among 18 of 21 Vietnamese economic sectors, focusing on processing and manufacturing industries, electricity generation and distribution, and real estate.
EU companies are also becoming more interested in service sectors such as logistics, posts and telecommunications, finance, office space rentals, retail, clean energy, support industries, food processing, and high-tech agriculture. As a member of the dynamic ASEAN bloc with high connectivity to the global economy, Vietnam has attracted logistics investment from many groups in Italy and France.
EU firms are also increasingly interested in solar energy projects in Vietnam, with French and German firms announcing plans to invest in this field.
Modest numbers, limited quality
Despite positive signs, EU investment still accounts for a modest percentage of total FDI in Vietnam and remains incommensurate with its potential. Moreover, EU investment in Vietnam accounts for only 2-5 percent of total EU investment worldwide.
Most EU projects in Vietnam are small to medium in size and their quality is still lower compared to those in other ASEAN countries. Nonetheless, 42 percent of European companies anticipate that they will increase foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Vietnam by the end of 2022, according to the Business Climate Index (BCI) published by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.
The European Commission has described the EVFTA as the most ambitious free trade deal with the highest level of commitments ever concluded with a developing country. The agreement is expected to minimize protectionism and encourage cooperation, creating a favorable business environment in Vietnam.
However, according to a research team from the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, in order to attract quality FDI from the EU, Vietnam should further institutional reforms and improve the investment and business environment, better consulting services and facilitate investment, intensify human resource training and upgrade infrastructure.
Vietnam has attracted investment from a large number of EU firms in the field of onshore and offshore wind power, including Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Orsted (Denmark), Equinor (Norway), PNE (Germany), and Pondera (Netherlands).