By Gavin van Marle
An example of just how poorly container shipping lines communicate with shippers was underscored in June, at the TOC Container Supply Chain event in Rotterdam, when a major shipper gave a vivid insight into a recent supply chain debacle.
Tomi Puolakka, Regional Logistics Director of the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East & Asia) for tire manufacturer Goodyear Dunlop, related how his company was one of the shippers caught up in the chaos which followed a fire in some containers stowed on board the 13,000 TEU Hanjin Green Earth, as it transited the Suez Canal on a northbound passage on 1 May. Shippers understand that things go wrong – they work in logistics. What is crucial is what is done after something has gone wrong and how is it rectified, because there is a customer at the end of the supply chain who is paying for the service and is really not that interested in what happened,” he said.
By Mike Wackett
While merger talks between China’s ailing state-run shipping groups China Cosco and China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) appear to be making progress, we expect that similar discussions are inevitably being mooted amongst the highest echelons of South Korean shipping as its Hanjin and Hyundai Merchant Marine lines continue to struggle hugely difficult balance sheet requirements. Alpahliner claims that the two companies’ container divisions had since 2009 suffered cumulative losses of $700 million and $500 million respectively.
By Alex Lennane
If you want to know what lies in store for the forwarding industry, you’d be well advised to start with a report by Transport Intelligence, backed by Kewill. As is often the case, to get a grasp on the future means understanding the past. And why forwarders are having to work harder than ever before to maintain a decent yield.
By Mike Wackett
Shippers can expect even more container shipping services to be mothballed as the traditional slack season approaches. According to Drewry Maritime Research, this year could be tougher than last for shippers to book space.
“Carriers will need to retrench further than they did in last year’s slack season if they hope to restore ship utilization to levels that will support significant price gains,” it said.
By R. Bruce Striegler
The 2015 Coal Association of Canada conference was optimistically billed as the industry’s preparation for “the upturn”. Held in Vancouver in September, the conference attracted fewer participants than previous years, but Canadian miners still heard from more than sixteen international industry participants, a handful of recognized commodities analysts as well as the International Energy Agency (IEA). Canadian producers are acknowledging that coal, currently in global oversupply, is being further challenged by international forces of environmental and health concerns. For the first time, the conference also featured a separate Technical Program providing in-depth information on coal technologies such as wave liquefaction and environmental controls and mitigation topics including dry coal cleaning.