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2018 seen tough for cargo shipping

With more than 220 cargo ships scheduled for delivery in 2018, realizations of container shipping lines across the globe are expected to come under pressure next year because of oversupply. 2018 is going to be a tough year for container shipping lines as some players are acting bullish and adding capacities which could put freights down in the coming months, it is said.

The year 2017, however, has been a market of improvement for container business segment, said industry officials as cargo demand picked up across the globe with trade showing some upswing. Container shipping lines will have to act cautiously next year as any kind of aggression in adding capacity will only hurt the business.

Hong Kong set to lose spot among top 5 container ports in 2018

Hong Kong is poised to lose its ranking as the world’s fifth-busiest container port if cargo-handling trends continue. Sea freight processed in the city dropped for a second straight month in November, making Hong Kong the only container port among the world’s top five to report weaker traffic, based on statistics compiled by port authorities. South Korea’s Busan, ranked sixth, has narrowed the gap and is set to overtake Hong Kong on an annual basis in 2018.

Hong Kong handled 18.97 million 20-foot containers in the first 11 months of 2017, 6.4 percent more than a year earlier. That trails the 8.3 percent increase for Shanghai and 9.1 percent growth in Singapore. Hong Kong has slipped steadily through the annual rankings over the last decade.

Total of 28 vessels delayed at richards bay coal terminal

Some 28 ships were delayed outside Richards Bay Coal Terminal in South Africa Wednesday, down from 35 last week, it is said. The delays were due to bad weather in the area preventing a normal operating schedule in the past few weeks, market sources said. Delays were expected to continue in the coming week as weather forecasts were not improved, although sources said should a normal loading schedule resume the queue could be dealt with in a few days. Some 14 of the vessels were returning from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, while four were returning from Singapore, and one each from Kenya, the Maldives, Mauritius and Saudi Arabia, with seven returning from other ports. Six ships were moored at loading berths. The average deadweight tonnage of the delayed ships was 90,936 mt.


Shipping: sailing smooth after a slow start

The shipping sector started 2017 on a dull note due to the fallout of demonetization implemented in November 2016. As it was settling down, the second shocker came in the form of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) beginning July 1.

Both impacted the industry as the movement of goods to international markets slowed considerably. Data from Indian Ports Association show that during April-November all major ports collectively reported a 3.46 percent increase in cargo handling over the same period last year. They handled 439 million tons (mt) as against 424 mt a year back.

Japan containership merger seen saving $440m in first year

Japan’s three big maritime transport companies expect the integration of their container-shipping operations to reduce costs by a combined 50 billion yen ($440 million) for the fiscal year ending in March 2019. Nippon Yusen President Tadaaki Naito and Kawasaki Kisen President Eizo Murakami discussed the merger of their companies’ containership businesses with that of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines. Ocean Network Express, the joint venture created by the three shippers, begins operating in April. Annual savings should reach 110 billion yen over the following three years or so due to streamlining efforts such as consolidating bases and trimming payroll.


S Korea’s shipbuilding sector suffers sharp drops

South Korea’s key industries, including the auto and shipbuilding sectors, suffered a sharp drop in exports last year, but the country logged a decent trade surplus due to a dip in oil prices.

According to the data compiled by Statistics Korea, the country’s exports reached US$494.3 billion last year, down 6 percent from a year earlier. Imports dipped 7.3 percent on-year to reach $399.8 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $94.5 billion. Large exporters shipped $317 billion worth of goods overseas last year, down 7.9 percent from last year’s $344 billion, the data showed, as auto and shipbuilding firms suffered a sharp decline in their exports.

Ship-owners face heat over new global rule on low-sulphur bunker

Local ship owners looking to grab charter contracts of more than five years from state-run oil firms are staring at the uncertainty and cost implications arising from a new global rule on using low sulphur content fuel oil.

Beginning January 1, 2020, ships must use fuel oil on board with a sulphur content of not more than 0.5 percent (mass/mass), a steep cut from the current global sulphur cap of 3.5 per cent m/m. Ships can meet the requirement by using low-sulphur compliant fuel oil or continue to use high sulphur fuel oil by fitting exhaust gas cleaning systems or scrubbers. Local oil refiners have said it is not possible to produce low sulphur fuel oil by January 1, 2020.

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