Latest Maritime News
25 May-7 June 2021
US Imports Could Stall as Demand Overwhelms Trans-Pacific Capacity

U.S. import demand remains historically high. And yet, containerized imports could pull back, at least temporarily, because the trans-Pacific shipping system has bounced against its max-capacity ceiling and can no longer bear the full load.

Liner giant Maersk said in a new client note that month-on-month U.S. import declines “should not be attributed to a softening in demand, but rather, to continued capacity disruptions caused by heavy congestion across the entire trans-Pacific network.”

FreightWaves’ SONAR platform features a proprietary index of shippers’ ocean bookings (SONAR: IOTI.USA) measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) as of the scheduled date of overseas departure. While these are bookings, not loadings, the index provides a directional indicator of future U.S. imports. Continue reading here (Source: FreightWaves).
Shippers Expanding Container Fleets, But Port Congestion, Strong Demand Likely to Keep Rates Elevated

Container shipping companies are investing in new capacity, but rates are likely to remain elevated amid the global shortage that has seen average container costs rise by three or four times, especially for material from Asia to Latin America.

On Friday, German container shipowner Hapag-Lloyd announced that it has ordered 60,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) of shipping containers in May on top of the 150,000 TEUs it ordered in April.

Global shipping major AP Moller-Maersk said during an earnings conference call in May that it has increased its capital expenditure (capex) budget for 2021-2022 to $7bn from $4.5-5.5bn, with some of that to be spent on additional containers. Continue reading here (Source: Independent Commodity Intelligence Services).
Oil Ends Lower After US Futures Briefly Touch $70 a Barrel

Oil futures ended lower Monday, turning south after the U.S. crude benchmark briefly touched the $70-a-barrel threshold for the first time in more than 2 1/2 years.

Prices took a directional cue from a fall in China’s crude-oil imports from a year ago, as traders weighed the potential for Iran nuclear deal that would likely lead to more oil in the world market.

“Crude’s rally came to a screeching halt overnight” after West Texas Intermediate tested the $70 level, as China’s imports dropped to a five-month low, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a market update. He pointed out that “China’s economic recovery is moderating but is still strong when compared to the rest of the world.” Continue reading here (Source: MarketWatch).
Carnival Cruise Line to Resume US Sailings in July

Carnival Cruise Line today confirmed plans to resume passenger sailings in the U.S. starting in July to vaccinated guests.

The sailings announced Monday include the Carnival Vista departing the Port of Galveston on July 3, followed by the return of operations on Carnival Breeze on July 15.

In statement, Carnival said the cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination, in accordance with current guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue reading here (Source: gCaptain).
What Is the Shipping Cycle - And Can It Ever Be Tamed?

Talk about the future of ocean shipping and it always comes back to the cycle. When is this horrific tanker down-cycle going to end? Did investors buy the tanker stocks too early? How high can this crazy container-shipping up-cycle actually go? When will containerized cargo shippers ever get relief? Is this finally the start of the elusive dry bulk upswing?

And inevitably, the bigger question: Can shipping cycles ever be tamed or broken? Can it ever be the case of “this time it’s different?”

“Market cycles pervade the shipping industry,” wrote author Martin Stopford in “Maritime Economics,” widely considered to be the industry bible. “These shipping cycles roll out like waves hitting a beach. From a distance they look harmless, but when you are in the surf, it’s a different story. Continue reading here (Source: FreightWaves).
Ship Abandonments Hit Record High in 2020

The International Transport Workers’ Federation said today it helped seafarers recover nearly $45 million in owed wages last year while cases of ship abandonments nearly doubled to a record high.

‘Owed wages’ are usually pay, bonuses or entitlements that are unpaid by a shipowner or their agent for the work already done by a seafarer.

ITF Inspectorate Coordinator Steve Trowsdale, who leads the ITF’s 134 coordinators, inspectors and contacts, said the owed wages figure was substantial considering how difficult it has been for inspectors to board ships due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed by governments, health and port authorities. Continue reading here (Source: gCaptain).
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