Report on 12th Arctic Shipping Summit, Montreal, February 21-22

By Brian Dunn

The University of Manitoba is building the largest sea-ice research institute in the world in Churchill to detect the effects of oil spills in Arctic waters. The facility, called the Churchill Marine Observatory (CMO) & Network on Oil Spills in Ice-Covered Arctic Waters, is being headed by Feiyue Wang, Canada Research Chair in Arctic Environment Chemistry, University of Manitoba.

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Capacity increases may put transpacific container rates under more pressure

By Gavin van Marle

As shippers and carriers on the transpacific prepare for the annual contract negotiating season – which kicked off with the Journal of Commerce’s Transpacific Maritime (TPM) convention in Long Beach – industry analysts have predicted planned capacity increases on the trade could bring long-term rates under further pressure. Alphaliner has calculated that capacity between Asia and the U.S. west coast is likely to increase by 8 per cent by July, with new services already announced by APL and South Korea’s SM Line. In addition, the Ocean Alliance is expected to increase capacity by around 10 per cent across its services as it cascades larger vessels onto the trade, with one service – the PSW6 – expected to see ship sizes increase from 8,000 to 13,000 TEUs. The analyst said THE Alliance had been upgrading its vessel sizes by a similar magnitude over the past year and, while the 2M partners have yet to finalize their transpacific fleet deployment, Alphaliner believes Maersk and MSC could “phase newbuildings of 10,000-15,000 TEU into the trade, as well as ships of 13,000-15,000 TEUs, cascaded from the Asia-Europe routes where more ‘megamax’ ships of 18,000 TEU-plus will come onstream and set tonnage free for redeployment”.

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