Global Maritime Hub https://globalmaritimehub.com Shipping, trade and ports market analysis Thu, 08 Apr 2021 13:34:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 https://globalmaritimehub.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/flavicon-Global-Maritime-Hub-logo-01-copy.png Global Maritime Hub https://globalmaritimehub.com 32 32 Capacity surges on Southeast Asia to U.S. trade https://globalmaritimehub.com/capacity-surges-on-southeast-asia-to-u-s-trade.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/capacity-surges-on-southeast-asia-to-u-s-trade.html#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 13:33:37 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8298 The Southeast Asia to U.S. trade has seen a sharp uptick in container capacity as consumer goods demand across the nation remains strong. U.S. goods shipments from Vietnam, the leading country in Southeast Asia the U.S. imports goods from, have been surging in recent years thanks to cheaper labor in Vietnam than in China, U.S.-China […]

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The Southeast Asia to U.S. trade has seen a sharp uptick in container capacity as consumer goods demand across the nation remains strong.

U.S. goods shipments from Vietnam, the leading country in Southeast Asia the U.S. imports goods from, have been surging in recent years thanks to cheaper labor in Vietnam than in China, U.S.-China trade tariffs, and now, strong consumer demand in the U.S., which has been further boosted by U.S. government stimulus money.

U.S. goods imports from Vietnam totaled $79.6 billion in 2020, up from $66.6 billion in 2019 and $49.2 billion in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau trade data.

In January alone, U.S. goods imports from Vietnam totaled $7.7 billion, up from $6.1 billion in January 2020, $5.4 billion in January 2019 and $4.0 billion in January 2018.

Weekly allocated container capacity on the Southeast Asia to U.S. trade has nearly doubled over the last four years, from 39,558 TEUs in March 2017 to 77,380 TEUs in March 2021, according to data from BlueWater Reporting’s Capacity Report.

THE Alliance, with member ONE in particular, has a substantial market share on the Southeast Asia to U.S. trade.

Data from BlueWater Reporting’s Capacity Report also shows the OCEAN Alliance’s JAX-CJX allocates the most capacity each week on the Southeast Asia to U.S. trade at 12,798 TEUs. However, the next four leading services on the trade are all operated by THE Alliance.

Broken down by carrier, THE Alliance member ONE allocates the most capacity on the trade each week at 20,177 TEUs, according to BlueWater Reporting’s Carrier/Trade Route Deployment Report.

Source: Hailey Desormeaux, BlueWater Reporting

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Rising costs and less capacity: Shipping’s extraordinary global predicament https://globalmaritimehub.com/rising-costs-and-less-capacity-shippings-extraordinary-global-predicament.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/rising-costs-and-less-capacity-shippings-extraordinary-global-predicament.html#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 12:39:33 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8285 The vessels delayed by the Ever Given incident are on the move but problems aren’t over. Ocean freight has already been disrupted by the pandemic, leading to spiking container tariffs and 7 out of 10 vessels arriving late. The Suez incident will keep the market off balance for longer, fuelling ongoing capacity constraints and elevated […]

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The vessels delayed by the Ever Given incident are on the move but problems aren’t over. Ocean freight has already been disrupted by the pandemic, leading to spiking container tariffs and 7 out of 10 vessels arriving late. The Suez incident will keep the market off balance for longer, fuelling ongoing capacity constraints and elevated rates.

Reliability of container shipping deteriorates further
After successfully refloating the container carrier Ever Given, the impact on already stretched supply chains is yet to follow. The last of the 350 vessels delayed by the blockage resumed their journeys over Easter, which will lead to an expected wave of calls at Europe’s largest port, Rotterdam, from the second half of this week.

The port will adapt where possible but longer waiting times to enter the terminals seems inevitable. The port handling bottleneck and transport capacity constraints further down the line will push deteriorating delivery times up further for shippers of electronic products, clothes and manufacturing components; and they will last longer than the Suez blockage itself.

Normally 75% of container vessels arrive on time globally but in the last two months, this reliability measure sank to only a third, as you can see in the chart below. The Suez blockage will drag vessel reliability further down in April, leading to inefficiency and extra costs.

Share of containers arriving on time expected to further drop due to the Suez blockage

Suez blockage

Source: Sea Intelligence, ING Research

Lead times for manufacturers in the Netherlands further deteriorate

Lead times for manufacturers

Source: NEVI

Stretching of supply chains will keep tariffs higher for longer

The grounding of the Ever Given came at a critical moment for global supply chains and the container shipping market. Following the mix of an unexpected swift return of volumes, delayed vessels, capacity constraints in ports and container shortages, tariffs spiked in the fourth quarter of last year, as you can see below.

The cost of shipping a 20ft container from Shanghai to Europe peaked at $4,400 in midJanuary,
roughly four times the 10-year average. While elevated tariffs on the East-West trade had started to slide after the Chinese New Year, spot rates stopped decreasing. In order to rebalance capacity, the container network liner Maersk temporarily stopped short term spot bookings and short term contracts.

These factors resulted in new capacity constraints, while spare capacity is already scarce, putting renewed upward pressure on container rates which had just started to decline.

Suez blockage leads to new upward pressure on container rates

Container rates

Source: Clarksons, ING Research

Article source: ING Economics

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Bunker Prices Outlook, Week 14 https://globalmaritimehub.com/bunker-prices-outlook-week-14.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/bunker-prices-outlook-week-14.html#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 09:11:30 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8264 MABUX World Bunker Index has shown downward changes during the week. The 380 HSFO index has decreased from 414.21 USD/MT to 409.56 USD/ MT (-4.65 USD), VLSFO has lost 3.02 USD: from 500.59 USD/MT down to 497.57 USD/MT. MGO LS decreased by 0.72 USD from 572.99 USD/MT to 572.27 USD/MT. The Global Scrubber Spread (SS) […]

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MABUX World Bunker Index has shown downward changes during the week. The 380 HSFO index has decreased from 414.21 USD/MT to 409.56 USD/ MT (-4.65 USD), VLSFO has lost 3.02 USD: from 500.59 USD/MT down to 497.57 USD/MT. MGO LS decreased by 0.72 USD from 572.99 USD/MT to 572.27 USD/MT.

Bunker prices

The Global Scrubber Spread (SS) – the difference in price between 380 HSFO and VLSFO – continued to decline during the week and averaged 87.54 USD (89.41 USD last week).

SS Spread in Rotterdam has increased during the week from 95.00 USD up to 102.00 USD (+7.00 USD), the average SS spread for the week has also increased by 3.00 USD from 93.67 last week to 96.67 USD. In Singapore, SS Spread has also slightly increased during the week – by 5.00 USD: from 104.00 USD to 109.00 USD, while the average weekly SS index rose by 4.00 USD: from 104.17 USD last week to 108.17 USD.

Scrubber spread

Correlation of MBP Index (Market Bunker Prices) vs DBP Index (MABUX Digital Benchmark) in the four global largest hubs during the past week showed that 380 HSFO remain undervalued in three selected ports in a range from minus 10USD (Houston) to minus 31USD (Singapore). This kind of fuel is overcharged in Fujairah by 5USD. VLSFO according to DBP Index, is undervalued in a range from minus 13 USD (Rotterdam) to minus 27 USD (Singapore) in all selected ports except of Houston, where it is overpriced by +24 USD. MGO LS was also overvalued in Fujairah (+14USD) and Houston (+16USD). In Rotterdam and Singapore this type of fuel remained underpriced by minus 36USD and minus 39USD respectively.

World bunker prices

The percentage of VLSFO samples found to be non-compliant because of their sulfur content has more than doubled in 2021, according to testing company VPS. About 3% of the samples VPS received last year were found to be non-compliant on sulfur levels, and this rate has risen to about 7% so far in 2021. The majority of the non-compliance is coming from samples from Europe and the Americas.

Supply of bunker fuels remains tight across most East of Suez ports, with lead times for VLSFO stems in Singapore stretching up to 11 days this week. Despite the weekly stockbuild, lead times for bunker fuels remain long in Singapore. The bunker hub’s demand seems to have picked up at the beginning of this week, adding further pressure on lead times. Fujairah’s low sulphur bunker availability is similar as last week. Lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO stems are unchanged on the week at six days in Fujairah, while lead times for HSFO380 has dropped from 12 days to 8 days now.

Bunker fuels can be procured at a shorter notice in Zhoushan and Shanghai, which currently have the shortest lead times across East of Suez ports. Lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO stems now stand at 3 days in the two Chinese ports, up from two days last week. VLSFO and LSMGO stems remain tight in South Korea’s southern ports for another week. Lead times are steady on the week in Busan, stretching up to 9 days. Japanese HSFO inventories fell to six-week lows last week, as rising exports has drawn stocks.

Low sulphur fuels continue to be readily available in major bunker locations across Europe and Africa, while HSFO380 availability has tightened further in the Canary Islands this week. VLSFO and LSMGO stems can be procured at short notice in ARA and other Northern European ports like Skaw and Hamburg. Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries are also in good availability in the Gibraltar Strait ports, in ports further east in the Mediterranean ( Piraeus, Istanbul and Malta), and in the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. HSFO380 availability has tightened further in the Canary Islands.

South African ports continue to have limited HSFO180 volumes to supply, while VLSFO and LSMGO can be sourced with shorter lead times.

Source: Mabux

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World’s first hydrogen cargo vessel set for Paris debut https://globalmaritimehub.com/worlds-first-hydrogen-cargo-vessel-set-for-paris-debut.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/worlds-first-hydrogen-cargo-vessel-set-for-paris-debut.html#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 18:32:44 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8266 The European innovation project Flagships will deploy the world’s first commercial cargo transport vessel operating on hydrogen, plying the river Seine in Paris. Commercial operations are set to commence in 2021. The hydrogen cargo transport vessel will be owned by French inland shipowner Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT), a subsidiary of the Sogestran Group. The […]

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The European innovation project Flagships will deploy the world’s first commercial cargo transport vessel operating on hydrogen, plying the river Seine in Paris. Commercial operations are set to commence in 2021.

The hydrogen cargo transport vessel will be owned by French inland shipowner Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT), a subsidiary of the Sogestran Group. The company is currently developing a new business for urban distribution with transport vessels in the Paris area.

“The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise. As part of the Flagships project, we are happy to be leading the way on reducing emissions from transport and demonstrating the superior features of hydrogen fuel cells in waterborne applications,” says Matthieu Blanc, director of CFT.

“Green and sustainable shipping is a prerequisite for reaching national and international emission reduction targets. Ships powered by renewable hydrogen will make a substantial contribution to reducing emissions from shipping and improving air quality in cities and other densely populated areas,” says Flagships Project Coordinator Jyrki Mikkola from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Hydrogen gaining ground

Both the EU and the shipping industry see hydrogen as a key contributor in the efforts to mitigate climate change. The Flagships project was awarded EUR 5 million of funding in 2018 from the EU’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020, under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), to deploy two hydrogen vessels in France and Norway.

The project’s initial plan was to deploy a hydrogen push-boat in the Lyon area, but as the broader potential for hydrogen in cargo transport emerged, the demo pusher was changed to an inland cargo vessel. The new vessel will be tasked with moving goods on pallets and in containers along the river Seine.

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Ever Given leaves supply chain disruption in its wake https://globalmaritimehub.com/ever-given-leaves-supply-chain-disruption-in-its-wake.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/ever-given-leaves-supply-chain-disruption-in-its-wake.html#respond Thu, 01 Apr 2021 12:44:48 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8229 With the Suez Canal open again, a stretched world trade system can’t catch up overnight, increasing the disruption to supply chains. The blockage is over, but the damage is done The six-day-long period of traffic being completely stopped in both directions along the Suez Canal has delayed some 16 million tons of cargo freight on […]

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With the Suez Canal open again, a stretched world trade system can’t catch up overnight, increasing the disruption to supply chains.

The blockage is over, but the damage is done

The six-day-long period of traffic being completely stopped in both directions along the Suez Canal has delayed some 16 million tons of cargo freight on hundreds of container ships. Getting back on track will put an already stretched system under more strain. Estimates suggest that the queue of ships which has built up will be able to move through the canal within two weeks.

Ships arriving at the Suez Canal will be delayed while the backlog is cleared, but opting for the Cape of Good Hope route to avoid the Suez Canal will add at least a week on to journey times. Taking into account the likely bottlenecks when ships arrive at their destinations via either route, the effects of Ever Given’s time in the Suez Canal will be felt in vessel waiting times and port congestion in European and Asian ports for weeks to come, and in global supply chains for much longer.

What the Suez blockage really means for trade

While the impact of the canal disruption may not register on world trade volumes already straining against capacity constraints, it illustrates the risks of the system operating at such tight capacity. This results in any disruption having large ripple effects, with delays quickly causing problems along supply chains that take a long time to resolve.

Running short of equipment is an increasing problem for EU businesses

Suez canal

Source: DG ECFIN, ING calculations

Shipping capacities between Europe and Asia have been under pressure since the beginning of the pandemic, suffering four out of five cancelled sailings of ships while Pacific Routes have seen capacity little changed. Problems have mounted, including continuing shortages of containers and equipment affecting the ability of European countries to export their goods.

Inbound trade has also been a problem, with equipment shortages in the sectors most associated with ocean freight – investment goods (such as machines and computers used by industry), intermediate goods (inputs to manufacturing) and consumer durables (furniture and electronics) increasingly being reported as limiting production within the EU.

Deliveries delayed by the Ever Given will add to these disruptions, in some cases bringing production to a stop. The average delay for late vessel arrivals at ports has risen above six days in 2021, the highest on record, having steadily increased during 2020, as world trade has struggled to keep up with fast-recovering demand around the world.

Another alarm bell ringing, but don’t expect a big rethink of global supply chains yet

The faster than feared re-floating of the Ever Given will help to limit the damage, and allow trade between Europe and Asia to continue to normalise. But this is a setback in what has already been a sustained period of difficult conditions for trade between the two regions.

Nonetheless, a major re-shoring effort is unlikely to follow. Relief is round the corner for some of ocean freight’s worst difficulties, as air freight capacity begins to recover and the most time-sensitive goods can once again be transported by air. Port handling speeds will also increase once safety measures for staff can be relaxed.

Source: ING Economics

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The Port of NY and NJ has Strongest February on Record https://globalmaritimehub.com/the-port-of-ny-and-nj-has-strongest-february-on-record.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/the-port-of-ny-and-nj-has-strongest-february-on-record.html#respond Thu, 01 Apr 2021 09:15:32 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8222 After starting the year with the highest January on record for volume, the Port of New York and New Jersey continued the record-breaking trend into February with a 7.9 percent increase in overall cargo activity over February 2020. Total volume for February was 625,120 TEUs (347,635 lifts) versus 579,124 TEUs (326,370 lifts) in February 2020, […]

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After starting the year with the highest January on record for volume, the Port of New York and New Jersey continued the record-breaking trend into February with a 7.9 percent increase in overall cargo activity over February 2020.

Total volume for February was 625,120 TEUs (347,635 lifts) versus 579,124 TEUs (326,370 lifts) in February 2020, which represents the highest total volume for any February at the Port of New York and New Jersey. Total cargo activity year-to-date rose to 1,346,404 TEUs.

Imports at the Port of New York and New Jersey rose by 11.2 percent in February, totaling 334,176 TEUs compared to 300,445 TEUs in February 2020.

From January through February 2021, imports reached 705,568 TEUs versus 623,088 TEUs in the same period of 2020, a 13.2 percent increase. Import empties rose by 18.7 percent from January through February compared to the same period in 2020.

Exports in February totaled 94,698 TEUs versus 113,801 TEUs in February 2020, a 16.8 percent decrease. From January through February, exported loads at the Port of New York and New Jersey reached 203,436 TEUs compared to 232,289 TEUs in the same period of 2020, a 12.4 percent decrease.

Export empties increased by 18.6 percent in February, totaling 193,956 TEUs versus 163,564 TEUs in February 2020. From January through February, export empties reached 433,465 TEUs, a 28.5 percent increase over the 337,456 TEUs recorded in the same period of 2020.

Rail volume at the Port of New York and New Jersey decreased by 10.9 percent in February from the previous year’s February figure, totaling 49,540 containers. This is due in part to adverse weather in the Midwest. Despite the lower rail volume in February, year to date, overall rail volume is 1.2 percent higher than in the same period of 2020.

Auto volume remained strong in February with 41,580 autos moved through the Port of New York and New Jersey, a 10.6 percent increase compared to February 2020. Through February 2021, auto volume is 12 percent greater than the same period of 2020.

Source: Port of New York & New Jersey

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Shipping networks revisions delayed until May or later https://globalmaritimehub.com/shipping-networks-revisions-delayed-until-may-or-later.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/shipping-networks-revisions-delayed-until-may-or-later.html#respond Thu, 01 Apr 2021 08:47:07 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8219 April is traditionally the month that the three mega-alliances implement changes in their East-West networks. Due to port congestion and a shortage of ships, the situation looks very different this year. The Alliance has formally announced that part of the reorganization of the North Europe – US ‘Transatlantic’ services had to be postponed “due to […]

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April is traditionally the month that the three mega-alliances implement changes in their East-West networks.

Due to port congestion and a shortage of ships, the situation looks very different this year.

The Alliance has formally announced that part of the reorganization of the North Europe – US ‘Transatlantic’ services had to be postponed “due to the operational challenges that the industry is currently facing”.

Alphaliner can confirm that other network revisions are also delayed until May for operational reasons.

The delays appeared already unavoidable before the 6.5 days Suez blockage of the EverGiven, which will only add to the operational challenges to have the ships in place for their next assignments.

Source: Alphaliner

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Bunker Prices Outlook, Week 13 https://globalmaritimehub.com/bunker-prices-outlook-week-13.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/bunker-prices-outlook-week-13.html#respond Thu, 01 Apr 2021 07:16:46 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8196 MABUX World Bunker Index has shown irregular changes during the week. The 380 HSFO index has increased from 408.36 USD/MT to 414.48 USD/ MT (+6.12 USD), VLSFO has lost 5.08 USD: from 505.14 USD/MT to 500.06 USD/MT. MGO LS decreased by 8.54 USD from 581.39 USD/MT to 572.85 USD/MT. The Global Scrubber Spread (SS) – […]

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MABUX World Bunker Index has shown irregular changes during the week. The 380 HSFO index has increased from 408.36 USD/MT to 414.48 USD/ MT (+6.12 USD), VLSFO has lost 5.08 USD: from 505.14 USD/MT to 500.06 USD/MT. MGO LS decreased by 8.54 USD from 581.39 USD/MT to 572.85 USD/MT.

Mabux bunker prices

The Global Scrubber Spread (SS) – the difference in price between 380 HSFO and VLSFO – continued to decline during the week and averaged 89.41 USD (98.79 USD last week).

SS Spread in Rotterdam has increased during the week from 88.00 USD up to 95.00 USD (+7.00 USD), the average SS spread for the week has also increased by 2.84 USD from 90.83 last week to 93.67 USD. In Singapore, SS Spread has slightly increased during the week by 1.00 USD: from 103.00 USD to 104.00 USD, while the average weekly SS index rose by 5.00 USD: from 99.17 USD last week to 104.17 USD.

Mabux bunker prices

Correlation of MBP Index (Market Bunker Prices) vs DBP Index (MABUX Digital Benchmark) in the four global largest hubs during the past week showed that 380 HSFO remain undervalued in three selected ports in a range from minus 9USD (Houston) to minus 26USD (Singapore). This kind of fuel is overcharged in Fujairah by 4USD. VLSFO according to DBP Index, is undervalued in a range from minus 10 USD (Rotterdam) to minus 27 USD (Singapore) in all selected ports except of Houston, where it is overpriced by +24 USD. MGO LS was also overvalued in Fujairah (+4USD) and Houston (+22USD). In Rotterdam and Singapore this type of fuel was underpriced by minus 36USD and minus 39USD respectively.

Mabux bunker prices

European bunker hubs continue to have readily available supplies of low sulphur fuels. The Suez Canal blockage has delayed vessel traffic to European ports during the week. Some East Mediterranean ports have seen stems delayed and cancelled, including Limassol in Cyprus. At the same time, suppliers were able to deliver VLSFO and LSMGO with 1-2 days’ notice in Piraeus, Malta and Istanbul.

South African ports, and especially Port Elizabeth, have had reduced availability of HSFO180 for months. Nearly half of South Africa’s refinery capacity has been offline since last year, when a fire and an explosion sidelined two refineries on different occasions. South African suppliers have relied on imports of distillates and fuel oil to cover some of the domestic production shortfall, and availability of higher-value VLSFO and LSMGO products has been better than for HSFO180. While Fujairah’s bunker market has mostly recovered from production issues two weeks ago, supply is now tighter as blending components have been held up in delayed tankers at the Suez Canal.

There should be sufficient product stored in Singapore to meet a potential uptick in demand from eastbound vessels delayed by the Suez Canal blockage, but there has not yet been any noticeable increase in enquiries from these vessels. At the same time, ongoing maintenance work at two local refineries has crimped resupply volumes to Far East Russian ports. Only one supplier has LSMGO available and limited volumes have pushed Russian prices for that kind of fuel up and above those in competing South Korean ports.

Source: Mabux

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Massive box ship order wave in Q4 and Q1 https://globalmaritimehub.com/massive-box-ship-order-wave-in-q4-and-q1.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/massive-box-ship-order-wave-in-q4-and-q1.html#respond Wed, 31 Mar 2021 17:41:06 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8192 Following years of restraint, the last two quarters have seen a massive wave of fresh container ship newbuilding orders, especially for ultra large vessels. High freight rates and the shipping lines’ strong financial results have finally renewed confidence in the carriers’ ability to generate money in the very capital intensive liner shipping industry. Over the […]

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Following years of restraint, the last two quarters have seen a massive wave of fresh container ship newbuilding orders, especially for ultra large vessels.

High freight rates and the shipping lines’ strong financial results have finally renewed confidence in the carriers’ ability to generate money in the very capital intensive liner shipping industry.

Over the past six months, carriers, non-operating owners and lessors have placed orders for approx. 2.00 MTEU of new container ships.

The orderbook-to fleet ratio has jumped from 8.8% six months ago to 14.2% today and will exceed 15% when some preliminary orders are firmed.

The vast majority of newly-ordered capacity will be for 12 KTEU, 15 KTEU and 24 KTEU vessels.

One fifth of the new ships will be LNG-powered. Most vessels will be conventionally powered and fitted with scrubbers. A minor part will come with dual-fuel capabilities and natural gas power.

Some vessels will be delivered in 2022, but the vast majority are scheduled for delivery through 2024 and to mid-2024.

Source: DHL / Alphaliner

 

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Container shortages ease at Chinese box hubs https://globalmaritimehub.com/container-shortages-ease-at-chinese-box-hubs.html https://globalmaritimehub.com/container-shortages-ease-at-chinese-box-hubs.html#respond Wed, 31 Mar 2021 06:13:55 +0000 https://globalmaritimehub.com/?p=8167 After months of crippling shortages, container availability is finally improving again in China, according to Container xChange’s Container Availability Index (CAx). The CAx reading of incoming containers across Chinese main ports is currently up 56% compared to before the Chinese New Year (CNY) holidays which started on February 11. At Shanghai, the biggest Chinese box […]

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After months of crippling shortages, container availability is finally improving again in China, according to Container xChange’s Container Availability Index (CAx).

The CAx reading of incoming containers across Chinese main ports is currently up 56% compared to before the Chinese New Year (CNY) holidays which started on February 11.

At Shanghai, the biggest Chinese box port, the CAx has increased 64% for 20 ft. dry containers when comparing pre- and post-CNY container availability.

For 40 ft. dry containers, the increase is even more stark, with box availability improving 112% over the same period.

Chart 1: Container Availability Index for 40 ft. dry-containers and 20ft. dry-containers in Shanghai and Qingdao

Container availability

Dr Johannes Schlingmeier, CEO & Founder of the container leasing and trading platform Container xChange, commented:

“Trade traditionally slows down in China for an extended period during and after the Chinese New Year holidays as factory workers travel to visit families and output drops. Most data suggest Covid travel restrictions and high demand for exports meant that many factories continued operations. But it seems the drop off in output, even if less than normal, was enough to allow the container supply/demand imbalance to reduce.”

In the Container xChange Container Availability Index (CAx), an index reading of below 0.5 means more containers leave a port compared to the number which enter. Above 0.5 means more containers are entering the port.

“One week of index values greater than 0.5 does not mean so much but exceeding the 0.5 marks for several weeks in a row like Shanghai and other main ports in China have done means that finally more containers are entering ports regularly, giving them the chance allow the container supply/demand imbalance to reduce,” said Schlingmeier.

For exporters who continue to struggle with finding the right equipment, other Chinese ports such as Qingdao, Dalian, and Ningbo are great alternatives to Shanghai.

Chart 2: Container Availability Index for 40 ft. dry-containers and 20ft. dry-containers in Dalian and Ningbo

Container availability

Dalian, with the highest equipment availability of the three ports, shows the highest post-CNY index values with 0.79 for 20ft dry containers and 0.80 for 40 ft dry containers – up 17% and 27%, respectively, since the pre-CNY period.

At Qingdao, 20 ft. dry and 40 ft. post-CNY container availability readings on the CAx are 0.64 and 0.65, up from 0.42 and 0.39 during the pre-CNY period.

Container prices confirm the positive trend. After record highs for used container boxes in January of $5593 for cargo-worthy containers, prices fell to $3750 in February.

“These prices are still far higher than buyers usually pay for newly built containers, but this is still good news for companies who export from China,” said Schlingmeier.

“With so many supply chain disruptions still evident, we expect container availability in China and elsewhere to remain volatile. But thus far in 2021 there are positive signs that availability at key export hubs is improving.”

Source: Container xChange

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