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Volume growth steady for US ports

US ports are positioned for another solid year of growth, though the Trump administration’s evolving stance on both domestic and international trade is a long-term development worth a close watch, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest sector briefing. This after a strong 2017 in which ports on both coasts saw overall growth through the year. “Moving to larger ships and implementing operational alliances have helped drive volume growth on both coasts in 2017,” Emma Griffith, Director quoted as saying last week. “Overall volume growth averaged 7.7 percent on the East Coast and 6.3 percent on the West Coast.” The Trump administration’s appetite for renegotiating trade agreements and implementing new tariffs will go a long way towards shaping future movement in both imports and exports.

Baltic index falls on lower capesize activity

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index dropped nearly 2 percent on Wednesday, weighed down by lower rates for capesize vessels ahead of a week-long Lunar Year break in China starting Thursday.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 19 points, or 1.71 percent, at 1,095 points. Despite the Lunar New Year and the fact that the effects of the traditional slowdown are already visible, the Baltic index signals a positive period from March if the pattern of previous years repeats itself, shipbroker Intermodal said in a note.

Handlings at port of Singapore surge 14pc

The Port of Singapore handled 2.99 million TEU in January, representing an increase of 14.1 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). On a month-on-month basis, January’s volumes were up 1.1 percent compared to December 2017’s throughput of 2.96 million TEU. The Lion City port retained its place as the world’s second largest container port in 2017 by handling 33.7 million TEU, an increase of 8.9 per cent on 2016. However, volumes were still marginally lower than the record year of 2014. Total cargo volume in January increased by 3.1 per cent to 52.65 million tons, compared to 51.04 million tons in the same month last year.

India needs better port ecosystem

To achieve the ambitious target of having a 5 percent share in world exports and climb up the ranks in ease of doing business, India needs to address its port ecosystem, says a report commissioned by government think tank Niti Aayog. The report says that processes and operations across India’s ports are not standardized or uniform, costs and time for key processes are unpredictable and there is an unacceptable level of variation across ports as well as within ports.

Asia’s soaring gas demand opens window for new lng projects

Soaring gas demand from China, India and Southeast Asia is sucking up an LNG supply glut previously expected to last for years, opening opportunity for new production from East Africa to North America that had been deemed part of the overhang.

Trade flows in Eikon show global liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports have risen 40 percent since 2015, to almost 40 billion cubic meters (bcm) a month. Growth accelerated in 2017, with imports up by a fifth, largely due to China, but also South Korea and Japan.


EU antitrust regulators to fine NYK, other Japanese shippers

EU antitrust regulators are set to fine Nippon Yusen KK (NYK) and several other Japanese shippers as well as Norwegian Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA (WWL) in the coming weeks for rigging bids for shipping cars, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The EU sanctions follow a near six-year investigation which started with dawn raids by the European Commission in September 2012 in coordination with Japanese and US antitrust authorities. Competition regulators around the world have penalized a number of shippers in recent years for fixing prices and dividing the markets for shipping cars and other products on various routes.

Fujairah 380 cst bunker premium climbs

Fujairah-delivered 380 CST bunker premium rose to a near 6-week high as some of the suppliers struggled to meet prompt spot demand due to tight barge availability.

Fujairah-delivered 380 CST bunker premium to the Mean of Platts Arab Gulf 180 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments rose $2.48/mt day on day to $16.68/mt Monday. The premium was last assessed higher on January 3 at $18.08/mt, S&P Global Platts data showed. A lack of barge availability meant that most of the suppliers were not able to offer against new spot inquiries, especially for prompt delivery dates, traders quoted as saying last week.

Shipping lines globally see schedule reliability drop last year

The schedule reliability of container shipping lines in 2017 globally declined by 8.4 percentage points compared to the previous year to 74.5 per cent, according to data compiled by Sealntel Maritime Analysis. Overall, Wan Hai was the most reliable carrier in 2017, with schedule reliability of 81 per cent.

Hamburg Sud and Evergreen followed close behind with on-time performance of 79.7 percent and 79.1 percent respectively. None of the top 18 carriers improved on their 2016 schedule reliability scores. Evergreen and HMM recorded the lowest decreases of 4.7 and 5.0 percentage points respectively.

On the other hand, MOL, PIL and Yang Ming recorded the largest year-on-year declines at 12.7, 11.2, and 10.2 percentage points, respectively. Looking at the major east-west trade lanes, Asia to North America west coast saw a 9.3 percentage point decline in schedule reliability to 72.1 percent in 2017. Matson was the most reliable carrier on this trade lane with on-time performance of 93.3 percent, followed by Evergreen with 81 percent.

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