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GLOBAL SHIPPING FIRMS GOING SUPER-SIZED

The hulking container ships that transport sneakers, bananas and barbie dolls around the world keep getting bigger. So are the companies that own them. A massive consolidation is underway in the $500 billion global industry and the survivors now enjoy big economies of scale and increased demand, one year after excess capacity caused the sector’s worst-ever crisis — the bankruptcy of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping.

GEORGIA PORTS VOLUME INCREASES IN FIRST 7 MONTHS

The Georgia Ports Authority handled 2.33 million TEU in the first seven months of the calendar year, representing a year-on-year increase of 10.8 percent, or an additional 230,000 TEU. It is through the incredible efficiency and productivity of GPA employees and the International Longshoremen’s Association – as well as the continued commitment of shippers and customers – that these record volumes are possible.

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ROTTERDAM TO SINGAPORE VLCC FREIGHT UPS ON FUEL OIL FIXTURE

The Rotterdam to Singapore freight rate for VLCCs jumped Monday to a lump sum of $2.55 million on a fuel oil fixture East, from a rate of $2.4 million last week. The As Suwayq was booked by Trafigura for loading out of Rotterdam on September 3, carrying approximately 280,000 mt of high sulfur fuel oil, according to ship reports. Trafigura could not be immediately reached for comment.

The vessel is currently en route to Rotterdam via West Africa. This is the first VLCC booked for September on the route from Rotterdam to Singapore. But traders were skeptical of any bullish tone spreading across the fuel oil market for better arbitrage opportunities.

LEASING OF HAMBANTOTA PORT TO CHINESE FIRM: REVISED DEAL INKED

Late last month, Colombo inked a revised version of a $1.1 billion deal for leasing the Hambantota port to a Chinese state-run company. The port has been controversial ever since the China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort) signed a framework agreement in December 2016 with Sri Lanka, taking an 80 percent stake in the project. Following the deal, however, there was much domestic unrest and accusations by Sri Lanka’s opposition parties of a sell-out to China, forcing Colombo to reconsider its position.

PORT OF LONG BEACH SETS MONTHLY RECORD OF 720,310 TEU

The Port of Long Beach handled a total of 720,310 TEU of containerised cargo, the port’s highest ever throughput moved in a single month, exceeding the previous record of 703,652 TEU, achieved in August 2015. In the first seven months of the year, cargo volume was up 6.4 percent compared to the same period in 2016 at 4.1 million TEU.

The number of overall container shipments through Long Beach was 13.1 percent higher in July compared to the same month last year. Imports surged 16.3 percent to 378,820 TEU, which was also an all-time monthly record. However, exports were down 11.7 per cent year on year in July to 126,098 TEU.

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FREIGHT RATES IN AMERICAS SURGE AS CARGOES MET BY THIN TONNAGE

When charterers in the Americas brought several cargoes onto the market at once Wednesday, they were met by an extremely short position list and freight rates jumped to a four-month high as a result.

For shipowners, the day started off with a bang, with Noble taking the Happy Lady at a lump sum of $605,000 for a US Gulf Coast-Caribbean voyage basis 38,000 mt, which easily surpassed a Phillips 66 fixture done Tuesday at $525,000. The USGC-Caribbean route was assessed at the $605,000 level, or $15.92/mt. That figure showed a rise of $80,000 from previous. The last time that route finished higher was April 13, when it came in at $625,000, $16.45/mt.

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