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Category Archives: Freight News

Port of Long Beach sets US$760 million budget for 2025

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a US$760 million budget for the Port of Long Beach for the 2025 fiscal year, setting a plan in motion to fund new capital improvements in rail, zero-emissions initiatives, and other infrastructure projects.

Later this year, the budget will be sent to the Long Beach City Council for approval. It includes a record US$25.8 million transfer to the City’s Tidelands Operating Fund, which supports quality-of-life projects along Long Beach’s 7-mile coastline, enhancing shoreline safety, cleanliness, water quality, facilities, and other amenities.

“This budget reflects our values, balancing serving as an economic engine for our city and region and growing responsibly while limiting environmental impacts. We are optimistic about the year ahead and this spending plan builds our competitive advantages for the green future,” stated Mario Cordero, CEO at Port of Long Beach.

The Port’s budgeted spending for the 2025 fiscal year, which begins on 1 October, is 19.5% higher than the budget adopted last year. This increase is largely attributed to infrastructure projects like the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, which is set to break ground this year, and the proposed Pier Wind. If approved, Pier Wind would become the largest facility in the United States specifically designed for assembling offshore wind turbines.

Operating revenue is projected to be 6.8% higher than last year’s budget.

“Because trade, construction and tourism support 51,000 jobs in Long Beach – or one in five jobs – it’s important we stay focused on attracting business, building for the future and moving cargo sustainably. This budget advances these goals by leveraging our stable financial strength as a top gateway for global commerce,” commented Bobby Olvera Jr, president of the Harbor Commission.

Next year’s proposed capital budget totals US$368.3 million, representing a 47.2% increase from the previous year. Of this amount, US$204.9 million is allocated for the Pier B project, which will commence this summer. Pier B aims to shift more cargo to “on-dock rail,” facilitating the transport of containers to and from marine terminals by train. This method is cleaner and more efficient, reducing truck traffic, with no cargo trucks visiting the facility. The Port of Long Beach boasts one of the nation’s most comprehensive seaport infrastructure programs.

The budget also includes approximately US$25 million in Clean Truck Fund subsidies to support the transition of the heavy-duty truck fleet to zero emissions. The Port of Long Beach has set ambitious goals of achieving a zero-emissions cargo-handling fleet by 2030 and zero-emissions trucking by 2035.

Additionally, the Board increased the allocation for the Community Sponsorship Program from US$2 million to US$3 million. This program helps the Port of Long Beach engage with and inform local community members about Port operations and initiatives.

It is important to note that as the City’s Harbor Department, the Port of Long Beach does not rely on tax revenue to support its operations.

Source: Container News

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MSC commences new Asia services

MSC announced the launch of its new service, Britannia, which will enhance port connections via a unique corridor from China and Vietnam to Liverpool, UK.

This new loop offers access to the port of Vung Tau, Vietnam, establishing a direct service to Liverpool, UK, and MSC’s hubs in Rotterdam, Netherlands; Antwerp, Belgium; and Hamburg, Germany. It also connects to destinations in Scandinavia and the Baltics, thereby expanding the company’s coverage from China and Vietnam to the UK and Northwest Continent.

The first sailing will be the vessel MSC DENISSE X on 1 July, voyage number QB427W.

The full rotation is as follows:

Shanghai, China > Ningbo, China > Yantian, China > Vung Tau, Vietnam > Liverpool, UK > Rotterdam, Netherlands > Antwerp, Belgium > Hamburg, Germany > London Gateway, UK > Singapore, Singapore >Shanghai, China

Furthermore, MSC announced the launch of an additional new weekly service, Carioca, connecting Asia with the East Coast of South America.

This service will enhance coverage and increase connectivity and frequency with Asia on this trade route, complementing MSC’s existing Ipanema and Santana services.

Specifically, the Carioca service will:

– Extend port coverage by adding calls to Itapoa and Rio de Janeiro
– Improve connections to Navegantes, Vitoria, and the River Plate region via Rio de Janeiro
– Increase sailing frequency from Korea and China to South Brazil (Santos and Paranagua)

The full rotation will be as follows:

Busan, South Korea > Shanghai, China > Ningbo, China > Shekou, China > Singapore, Singapore > Rio de Janeiro, Brazil >Paranagua, Brazil > Itapoa, Brazil > Santos, Brazil > Itaguai, Brazil > Colombo, Sri Lanka > Singapore, Singapore > Busan, South Korea

The inaugural sailing is scheduled to depart from Busan on 19 July, with MSC YOKOHAMA, voyage QI429A.

Source: Container News

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Los Angeles Harbor Commission approves US$2.6 billion budget

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved a US$2.6 billion budget for the City of Los Angeles Harbor Department for the fiscal year 2024/25.

“This year’s budget takes a prudent approach that carefully balances revenues and expenses and sets up the Port well for the future. Most importantly, the plan will allow us to stay the course and follow through on many strategic priorities and industry-leading initiatives in the coming year,” stated Lucille Roybal-Allard, president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission.

This revenue and spending plan aligns with the Port of Los Angeles’ priorities, which include community investment, decarbonizing port-related operations, workforce development, and modernizing cargo infrastructure.

With steady cargo volumes over the past nine months, the FY 2024/25 budget anticipates handling 9.1 million TEUs, marking a modest 2% increase from the previous fiscal year’s budget.

This cargo increase is expected to generate a 4.9% rise in operating revenues for FY 2024/25, projected at US$684.7 million, with shipping services contributing approximately 75% of this revenue.

“With a healthy economy, continued consumer spending and a strong U.S. labour market, we are optimistic about cargo volumes for the next fiscal year. We’ve prepared a budget that leaves room for unanticipated changes in the global trade market or other uncertainties that may arise,” stated Gene Seroka, port executive director.

Operating expenses for FY 2024/25 are projected at US$403.7 million, reflecting an 8.4% increase over the previous fiscal year’s budget, driven largely by increased staffing needs and the filling of open positions at the Harbor Department.

The budget allocates US$257.7 million to the Port’s capital improvement program (CIP), a 19% increase from the previous fiscal year.

Significant CIP allocations include US$44.3 million for the reconfiguration of the State Route 47/Vincent Thomas Bridge & Front Street/Harbor Boulevard Interchange; US$15.3 million for the Zero-Emission Port Electrification and Operation program; US$14.2 million for restoration and improvements at the Pasha Terminal; and US$12.5 million for Marine Oil Terminals Maintenance Standards (MOTEMS) projects, among other initiatives.

An additional US$28.5 million in CIP funds is earmarked for LA Waterfront public access improvements in Wilmington and San Pedro. Key projects for FY 2024/25 include Phase II of the San Pedro Waterfront Promenade and the Wilmington Waterfront Avalon Pedestrian Bridge & Promenade Gateway.

Furthermore, the CIP budget includes US$4 million for planning the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach Goods Movement Workforce Training Facility. This US$150 million facility will be the first in the U.S. dedicated to goods movement sector training, including longshore work, trucking, and warehousing. The environmental review process for this project began earlier this year.

Source: Container News

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Port congestion disrupts almost half Asia-Europe sailings

Nearly half of all Asia-Europe westbound sailings have failed to depart on time as congestion escalates in Asian ports.

Linerlytica’s latest report says last week only six out of 11 Asia-North Europe sailings departed on schedule, with congestion at Singapore and Tanjung Pelepas severely disrupting the market.

The consultancy said: “While bottlenecks in the second-busiest port, Singapore, have eased, the strain has shifted to Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia. Waiting times have also risen across all main Chinese port regions, with Shanghai and Qingdao experiencing the longest delays.”

Ships have had to wait as long as five days to berth in the world’s busiest port of Shanghai, where logjams are at their highest since Covid.

S&P vessel-tracking data shows 50 containerships in Shanghai, including at anchorage. Some, like the Cosco Shipping Mexico and CMA CGM Big Sur, have been in the port since last week.

In Singapore, where authorities have temporarily reopened the shuttered Keppel Terminal to alleviate vessel queues, there are 56 boxships. The bottlenecks have caused some operators, including CMA CGM, to skip Singapore calls. That said, there is now about 380,000 teu of delayed vessels in Singapore, compared with 450,000 teu last week.

S&P also shows 51 containerships in Port Klang. Ports in south-east and north-east Asia are still the most congested, accounting for 29% and 23% of vessel queues worldwide.

The situation is such that management at Taiwanese liner operators Evergreen, Yang Ming and Wan Hai said last week they did not foresee any short-term let-up in the congestion, and that freight rates would remain high into Q3.

EMC GM Wu Kuang Hui pointed out that wage negotiations between port workers on the US east coast were due in September, which could cause shippers to rush out goods before that in a bid to avert any industrial action.

Linerlytica notes that, overall, liner capacity utilisation remains very high, while capacity forecasts for June, with continued delays from congestion, also see reduced capacity available due to forced blankings.

The consultancy estimates that scheduled Asia-Europe capacity for June is 3% lower year on year, even with the addition of Hapag-Lloyd’s relaunched China-Germany Express (CGX) service this month, and Ellerman City Liners’ recently launched China-UK service.

Source: The LoadStar

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CMA CGM updates freight rates worldwide

CMA CGM, the French carrier, has announced Freight All Kinds (FAK) rates effective from 1 July 2024, for shipments originating from North Europe, West Mediterranean, East Mediterranean, Black Sea, and Baltic regions to Australia and New Zealand.

20’ST 40’ST/HC 20’RF 40’RF/RH
North Europe to Australia* US$1,873 US$3,746 US$3,255 US$4,950
North Europe to New Zealand** US$1,735 US$3,250 US$2,975 US$4,550
Mediterranean to Australia** US$2,075 US$4,150 US$3,465 US$5,250
Mediterranean to New Zealand** US$1,775 US$3,550 US$4,525 US$7,050

These rates represent a Rate Restoration of US$525 per TEU on existing rates.

The FAK rates will apply to all types of cargo, including special equipment like In gauge and OOG, until further notice.

Furthermore, CMA CGM has notified its customers about the Peak Season Surcharge (PSS), which will be effective from 3 July 2024 (loading date) until further notice.

The surcharge will apply to shipments originating from Asia, including China, Taiwan area, Hong Kong & Macau SAR, South East Asia, South Korea & Japan, and destined to Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands.

This PSS will be applied to all types of cargo, with an amount of US$2,000 per container.

In addition, CMA CGM announced a new PSS effective from 1 July 2024 (loading date) until further notice. This surcharge applies to shipments originating from the Indian Subcontinent and destined for the US West Coast.

It applies to all types of cargo, with the following amounts: US$2,160 per 20′ container (all types), US$2,400 per 40’/40’HC container (all types), US$2,400 per 40’RF container, and US$3,040 per 45′ container (all types).

Also, the firm announced PSS originating from Europe to the Gambia.

CMA CGM has issued a notice to its customers regarding the implementation of Peak Season Surcharge (PSS), effective from 15 June 2024 (loading date) until further notice.

The PSS will apply to shipments originating from various regions:

Originating from North Europe (including Baltic & Scandinavia), West Mediterranean, Adriatic, North Africa, Greece, Cyprus, Malta & Syria and destined to the Gambia. This PSS will apply to dry cargo, with an amount of US$522 per container, payable with freight.

Another PSS will be applicable to shipments originating from the UK and destined for the Gambia. The cargo will be dry, with an amount of US$530 per container, payable with freight.

Additionally, a PSS will be implemented for shipments originating from Turkey, Egypt Med & Lebanon and destined to the Gambia. This PSS applies to dry cargo with an amount of US$600 per container, payable with freight.

Moreover, CMA CGM announced a new PSS from Europe to West Africa (the Gambia excepted).

CMA CGM has issued a notice to its customers regarding the implementation of Peak Season Surcharge (PSS), effective from 15 June 2024 (loading date) until further notice.

For shipments originating from North Europe (including Baltic & Scandinavia), West Mediterranean, Adriatic, North Africa, Greece, Cyprus, Malta & Syria and destined for Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo, a PSS of US$217 per container will be applied to dry cargo, payable with freight.

Another PSS will be applicable to shipments originating from the UK and destined for the same destinations mentioned above. The cargo will be dry, with a PSS amount of US$224 per container, payable with freight.

In addition, CMA CGM has communicated an update regarding the Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) to its customers, effective from 15 June 2024 (loading date) until further notice.

This update applies to shipments originating from Turkey, Egypt Med & Lebanon, involving dry cargo. The PSS amount for this category is US$400 per container, payable with freight.

Source: Container News

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COSCO switches 16,000 TEU quartet to run on methanol

COSCO Shipping Lines has announced that it will switch four 16,000 TEU newbuildings to be dually fuelled with methanol, from conventional fuel.

The company said this is in line with its plan to comply with the global goal of achieving decarbonisation in 2050. As a result, the price of the newbuildings will be increased from US$620 million to US$734 million.

For reference, Clarksons’ data shows that the price of a 15,000 to 16,000 TEU methanol dual fuel container ship has reached US$191 million.

The ships, to be operated by COSCO Shipping and its subsidiary OOCL, were ordered alongside six 14,000 TEU vessels at COSCO Shipping’s affiliated shipyard, COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Yangzhou), in July 2021.

Due to the alteration in the propulsion, the capacity of each ship will be downgraded from the original 16,180 TEU to 16,108 TEU. The delivery dates for the ships have also been extended from June 2025 to December 2025 to November 2025 to June 2026.

The switch to methanol dual-fuelling means that in all, COSCO Shipping has 16 methanol dual fuelled container ships on order.

In October 2022, COSCO Shipping ordered a dozen 24,000 TEU methanol dual-fuel power container ships in Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering and Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering. These will be the largest methanol dual-fuelled boxships upon their delivery between 2026 and 2028.

In addition, COSCO Shipping is converting two 13,800 TEU ships and two 20,000 TEU ships to be methanol dual-fuelled. The company said the conversion will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 360,000 tonnes each year.

Alphaliner’s data shows that COSCO Shipping’s current fleet comprises 190 owned ships and 310 chartered ships. With a total capacity of 3.19 million TEUs, COSCO Shipping is the fourth largest operator. The company has 38 newbuildings, totalling 685,000 TEU, on order, accounting for about 21.4% of its existing fleet.

Source: Container News

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Yang Ming to join league of 24,000 TEU ships

Yang Ming Marine Transport’s management has hinted that the company will enter the league of 24,000 TEU boxship owners.

Speaking at a shareholders’ meeting after releasing the Taiwanese liner operator’s 1Q 2024 results, GM Patrick Tu said: “On the Asia-Europe routes, we have a competitive advantage because of 24,000 TEU ships, but these belong to our fellow THE Alliance members and, we can’t always rely on others. We will evaluate newbuilding orders in our medium- to long-term plan.”

The other THE Alliance members are HMM and ONE; Hapag-Lloyd will leave the line-up to form Gemini Cooperation with Maersk Line in February 2025.

Linerlytica analyst Tan Hua Joo told Container News that he expected THE Alliance members to start commissioning newbuildings earnestly after Hapag-Lloyd announced its split from the alliance, leaving it with 2.5 million TEUs, rendering it the smallest container shipping alliance.

Yang Ming has no in-service ships larger than 15,000 TEUs, while ONE has six 24,000 TEU ships, HMM has a dozen 24,000 TEU ships. The Taiwanese operator is now building five 15,500 TEU ships at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries for delivery in 2026.

In March, ONE announced plans to grow its fleet to 3 million TEUs by 2030 while HMM said that in April it will expand its fleet to 1.5 million TEUs by the same year. ONE could overtake Hapag-Lloyd and narrow its gap with COSCO Shipping Lines by doing so.

Tan said: “Yang Ming will need to order a minimum of 12 ships in order to run an Asia-Europe string independently. It is inevitable as Yang Ming is the only Top 10 carrier apart from Zim that does not operate ships of this size and they cannot continue to rely on partners’ tonnage. Given current China-Taiwan tensions, they will have to look at yards in South Korea and Japan to fulfill the orders.”

Yang Ming’s net profit tripled year-on-year to US$298 million in 1Q 2024, and Tu expects 2024 to be the fifth straight profitable year for the company.

Source: Container News

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Singapore congestion reaches 2 million TEUs

Congestion at the port of Singapore has reached 2 million TEUs, according to consultancy Linerlytica, which has said that equipment shortages and a lack of tonnage had conspired to raise the spectre of cargo delays and high freight rates as seen during the pandemic.

The spike in congestion at the world’s second-busiest container port in Singapore has seen carriers prolong charter agreements and order new boxes in preparation for what could be a long peak season.

“The global port congestion indicator hit the 2m TEUs mark, accounting for 6.8% of the global fleet with Singapore becoming the new congestion hotspot. The SCFI [Shanghai Containerized Freight Index] has jumped by 42% in the past month, with further gains to follow in June as carriers are adding new surcharges and rate hikes,” stated Linerlytica in its latest weekly report.

As a result of the raised congestion levels vessel operators have been forced to take action to secure their peak season positions, “after their initial hesitation to commit too far ahead if demand would falter after the summer peak season,” argued Linerlytica.

Market signals are “extremely bullish” and are reminiscent of the substantial rate increases that began in 2021 and continued throughout 2022, as the pandemic effects reached their heights, said the consultant.

During the pandemic-affected period supply chain congestion was caused by inland connections and a lack of storage in the US ports and inland terminals, causing ships to be delayed waiting for cargo handling slots, with the knock-on effect that too few empty containers were being returned to Asia for loading.

This year congestion has returned to container supply chains, with Singapore becoming the latest victim, as ships are returning to Asia out of schedule due to extended journeys around the African Cape and the blanked sailings when vessels were unavailable to meet weekly schedules.

Carriers do not have enough tonnage to handle the much longer supply chains caused by the Cape diversions, which was not a problem until demand began to increase according to one industry observer.

An increase in cargo, said Linerlytica, caused, “Berthing delays of up to seven days with the total capacity waiting to berth rising to 450,000 TEUs in recent days.”

Linerlytica added, “The severe congestion has forced some carriers to omit their planned Singapore port calls, which will exacerbate the problem at downstream ports that will have to handle additional volumes.”

These delays have resulted in vessel bunching, causing “spillover congestion” and schedule disruptions at downstream ports.

Increasing port congestion has already taken more than 400,000 TEUs of vessel capacity out of circulation in the last week alone with a further escalation to the current critical delays expected in the coming weeks as the peak season gathers pace.

Source: Container News

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Port of Melbourne handles 270,000 TEUs in April

The Port of Melbourne has announced its trade figures for April, revealing a substantial 11.7% year-on-year increase in container throughput, reaching a total of 270,000 TEU.

Full container import volumes (excluding Bass Strait) showed a 7.9% increase compared to the previous year, with significant rises in furniture, domestic appliances, non-electrical machinery, and paperboard.

Similarly, full container export volumes (excluding Bass Strait) also experienced an 8.8% growth, driven by higher shipments of hay, chaff and fodder, barley, and meats.

Additionally, total empty container movements surpassed the volumes recorded in the previous year by 26%.

Source: Container News

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Port Houston Posts Double Digit Box Growth – Container Volumes Up 12 Percent Through April

Port Houston continues to exceed last year’s container volumes and is up 12% through April with 1,394,094 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). In the month of April, 324,177 TEUs moved through the Port, which represents a 5% increase compared to the previous year’s April figures.

A closer look at container cargo shows strong volume for both loaded imports and loaded exports as both directions continue an upward trend. Loaded imports are up 4% for the month and 12% year-to- date through April, totaling 632,886 TEUs, following a recent surge in new import distribution centers constructed in the area. Compared to 2023, loaded exports handled in April were up 8%, while year-to- date volumes have surged 14%, totaling 523,426 TEUs. The rise in exports is attributed to the demand for regionally produced automotive, furniture, cotton, and plastic resin goods. Port Houston continues to be the nation’s top gateway for resin exports, with a market share of 60%.

In response to the increased volumes at Bayport and Barbours Cut Container Terminals, Port Houston is shifting customers to use its Express Pass appointment system. This timeless appointment option allows trucking companies to initiate transactions prior to arriving. It also provides access to dedicated Express Pass lanes and reduces ingate transaction time, which in turn improves truck turn times in and out of the facilities.

“Our Express Pass system is designed to enhance efficiency at our container terminals. It improves customer truck turn times by providing our team with greater visibility and predictability, which helps us work smarter,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director of Port Houston. “By using this system, our customers are helping us help them reduce their time spent at our terminals. With 10,000 truck visits on average each day every minute, every second, matters.”

General cargo moving through Port Houston’s multipurpose facilities has slowed. Steel volumes decreased by 32% in April compared to the same month last year, while other commodities, such as fertilizer, molasses, and tallow, have shown gains. 
Total tonnage at Port Houston increased by 4% to 17,559,014 tons year-to-date.

Source: Port Houston

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