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Shipper fury as spot rates soar - and box lines ignore contracts

The sense of genuine anger amongst North European shippers and freight forwarders was palpable this week as they struggled to digest rapidly escalating spot freight rates.


The ascent steepened over recent weeks, with Drewry’s WCI Shanghai-Rotterdam leg rising 20% week-on-week to finish at $4,999 per 40ft.


However, sources told The Loadstar that slots were being purchased at much higher levels.


“Real terms rates for spot are in the $6,000-$7,500 mark, with carriers saying they will hit $10,000.”



Tight vessel supply is continuing to combine with high demand in trunk trades and has led to a worsening shortage of containers at key export hubs in Asia, as The Loadstar reported earlier this week, and which is now having a significant impact on secondary trades.


But carriers’ preference to carry higher paying spot cargo over contracted volumes is infuriating many customers.


One European import manager suggested the recent hikes would likely force it to suspend shipments once its current bookings are completed.


“The carriers don’t honour anything but their profits – we’re loading/shipping out the stock that’s currently on production lines, then we will cease again, and we’ve already informed our suppliers and partners.

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#shipping#rail
Shipper fury as spot rates soar - and box lines ignore contracts
EU Commission approves German rail freight scheme for 1.7 billion euros

The European Commission (EC) approved a scheme for 1.7 billion euros to support single wagonload and wagon group transport in Germany until 2029. “The maximum annual budget amounts to €320 million”, the EC specified. The measure aims at ensuring that these types of transport and the companies operating them do not cease to exist due to their economic struggles.


Wagon group transport is defined as trains that keep “the same composition from the origin to the destination and is eligible under the scheme for journeys up to a maximum distance of 300 km if operated by short block trains with up to 15 wagons”. This is not a very profitable segment, as it deals with lower number of wagons and shorter distances.


Single wagonload is not profitable as it includes various switching and shunting procedures, which increase costs. For this specific sector, the German government already approved 300 million euros in its budget for the 2024-2027 period. However, concerns remained as some members of the industry say that single wagonload needs more support.

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#transportation
EU Commission approves German rail freight scheme for 1.7 billion euros
East-west freight rates continue rise; even transatlantic edges up

Container spot rates have continued their upward trajectory on the trunk east-west trades with double digit week-on-week gains on the Asia-Europe and Asia-North America routes.


Drewry’s World Container Index (WCI) recorded 12% week-on-week increases on Shanghai-Rotterdam, Shanghai-Los Angeles and Shanghai-New York legs, which respectively finished the week at $4,172, $4,476 and $5,717 per 40ft.


“Drewry expects ex-China freight rates to rise due to increased demand, tight capacity, and the need to reposition empty containers,” the analyst said.


The WCI recorded an 11% increase in Shanghai-Genoa, to $4,776 per 40ft. Freightos’ FBX Asia-Mediterranean leg recorded a 17% increase on the leg to $5,179 per 40ft.



“Ex-Asia ocean rates climbed sharply last week as early month GRIs took hold – with additional significant increases possible in the coming days from mid-month GRIs and surcharges – as unseasonal increases in demand combine with already-stretched capacity due to Red Sea diversions that require the use of more ships and are still causing congestion in places like the West Mediterranean and South Asia,” Freightos head analyst Judah Levine said.

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#container
East-west freight rates continue rise; even transatlantic edges up
jasa pengiriman import door to door

Kami menawarkan Door To Door untuk memudahkan semua orang dalam kegiatan import.Kami juga menawarkan Borongan All-in untuk pengiriman FCL dan LCL,Serta Custom Clearance dan Undername.


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#logistics#terminal
jasa pengiriman import door to door
Prayaas International Logistics has joined MaxModal

Welcome a new company on Maxmodal. You can see Prayaas International Logistics services on their business profile, drop them a message, add them to your contacts or submit a special request to them

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#terminal
Prayaas International Logistics has joined MaxModal
Carriers juggling capacity and port congestion

Shipping’s response to the Red Sea crisis is to reduce capacity to an extent far exceeding expectations, leading to a situation in Europe for Asia-Mediterranean traffic not seen since the pandemic, according to some analysts.


According to Xeneta, new transhipment networks, meant to reduce the impact of Red Sea diversions, are instead adding to it by creating congestion. Deploying more smaller vessels has contributed to an increase in wait times.


The Loadstar recently reported that carrier giants such as Cosco and Evergreen were redeploying tonnage purpose-built for the Far East-North Europe trades to the Mediterranean in the hope of stemming under-capacity there.


“If we focus on the first 14 weeks of 2024, capacity on Asia-Med is up by 8% year on year already, whereas it’s down 3.1% on Asia-North Europe,” Xeneta’s Peter Sand told The Loadstar recently.



“West Med transhipment ports are as busy as ever, and may already be exceeding peak productivity levels,” he continued. “The port of Barcelona handled 48% more transhipment teu in Q1 24 than last year. According to Xeneta data, we can clearly see the attractiveness of this trade, from a carrier perspective.”


The additional attention is having a knock-on effect on wait times, which at Barcelona have increased to 3.53 days. According to Xeneta’s short-term market averages, rates from Singapore to Barcelona were climbing again, from a lull in March, up 10% at the beginning of this month, close to levels last seen at the outset of Red Sea diversions in January.


A customer note from a UK forwarder last week gave a dire indictment of the current scenario. It said: “With demand higher than forecasted, there is a realisation we have entered an extremely challenging period, not seen since the dark days of the pandemic. We anticipate this is likely to continue into Q3, where there may be some respite from new capacity coming into the market.

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Carriers juggling capacity and port congestion
Desertification of Hong Kong Container Terminals

The Kwai Tsing Container Terminal in Hong Kong, formerly the world's foremost port in terms of throughput, slipped out of the prestigious top ten rankings in 2023, settling for the eleventh spot. While it remains operational and not yet deemed a "ruin," its decline bears an uncanny resemblance to the relentless spread of "desertification," evident through its falling rankings, diminishing utility, and waning competitiveness. A comprehensive analysis conducted by HK01 delved into the underlying factors contributing to the terminal's downturn, exploring the prospects of a potential resurgence.

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#rail
Desertification of Hong Kong Container Terminals
Ascent Specialized has joined MaxModal

Welcome a new company on Maxmodal. You can see Ascent Specialized services on their business profile, drop them a message, add them to your contacts or submit a special request to them

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#terminal
Ascent Specialized has joined MaxModal
CMA CGM to launch China-Mexico express shipping service

More evidence of the burgeoning direct trade between China and Mexico was on show yesterday after French carrier CMA CGM announced it will launch a new express shipping service between the two countries.


The Marseille-headquartered shipping line said the forthcoming Mexico Express (M2X) service was “specifically designed to streamline your shipments from the Far East to Mexico’s West Coast. This initiative aligns with market dynamics in the region.”


The service will run on a weekly fixed day basis and be operated by eight ships of so far undisclosed capacity, with the following port rotation: Tianjin-Qingdao-Busan-Ensenada-Manzanillo-Lazaro Cardenas-Yokohama-Busan-Tianjin.


The carrier said reefer exports to Asia from Latin America would be transhipped over Lazaro Cardenas.



The first sailing with be on 11 May with the departure of the 4,250 teu ANL Wangaratta, which is currently deployed on the south-east Asia-west Australia AAXW feeder service jointly operated by CMA CGM, Cosco and OOCL, according to the eeSea liner database.


The move will see CMA CGM join the swelling ranks of carriers offering direct services from north-east Asia directly into Mexico on 15 May. OOCL and Cosco will jointly launch their TLP5 string, while MSC is set to introduce a new China-Mexico shuttle service the same day.

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#container
CMA CGM to launch China-Mexico express shipping service
Hannibal to launch new Italy-Hungary-Romania connection

Hannibal, the multimodal subsidiary of Contship, will launch a new rail freight service connecting Milan to Budapest and Curtici. The company expects to commence operations by the end of this year.


The service will connect the Rail Hub Melzo, east of Milan, with the BILK terminal in Budapest and the Arad terminal in Curtici. The plan entails two weekly journeys per direction, with a transit time of roughly 48 hours. “Eurogate Intermodal will handle traction in Hungary and Romania, and Oceanogate will manage the Italian route”, Hannibal explained.


Consolidating cargo flows from Türkiye

The main benefit of this initiative will concern traffic coming from Türkiye, as Andrea Spagnuolo, Contship’s Sales & Business Development Manager, pointed out. In other words, the Curtici terminal will become a hub for Turkish cargo destined for Italy. A somewhat similar initiative was launched in May 2023, with the start of a new connection between the Rail Hub Melzo and the port of Trieste. Just like the new Italy-Romania-Hungary link, this service aims to facilitate the entrance of Turkish cargo to Europe.

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#shipping
Hannibal to launch new Italy-Hungary-Romania connection
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