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Shippers nervous as new Europe-Asia container capacity crunch looms

By Mike Wackett

CMA CGM has announced that it will increase its 40ft FAK rate from North Europe to Asia to $850 from 1 November. The first adjustment this year by the French carrier of its backhaul rates could coincide with what European exporters fear: a severe capacity crunch as a consequence of the vast number of blanked westbound voyages this month, which were a result of the Chinese Golden Week factory shutdown this week and particularly soft forward demand forecasts. Additionally, Maersk and MSC decided to again temporarily suspend their AE2/Swan loop, removing around 18,000 slots a week from the market in a bid to avoid a complete collapse of freight rates on the route. (more…)

November on course to be the crunch month for ocean carriers

By Mike Wackett

November will be a decisive month for ocean carriers as they go all out to push up container spot rates on the key tradelanes of Asia-Europe and the transpacific. According to Alexander Borulev, commodity associate at S&P Global Platts, rates are “no longer falling” due to the blanking programmes of the carriers. And they are preparing a raft of FAK and general rate increases for 1 November. However, the extent of the challenge facing the global carriers is evidenced by today’s Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which continues to record substantially depressed rate levels for both routes. Nevertheless, there was a small 2.4 per cent gain this week for the North European market, to $594 per TEU, but this is still some 21 per cent below the level recorded by the index in the same week a year ago. (more…)

DHL Express invests $100 million to expand its gateway at Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport

DHL Express announced its latest gateway expansion in Canada: a new $100 million facility at Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport. This new facility will replace its existing one to meet double-digit growth in shipment volumes. “Hamilton International Airport offers us the benefits that we need to meet our growing demands in handling capacity,” said Andrew Williams, CEO of DHL Express Canada. “With 24-hour landing capability, dedicated onsite Canada Border Services Agency representation and the ability to grow in the future with a partner positioned to become the cargo hub of Ontario, we know this is the best decision to continue leading the market.” (more…)

Sept-Îles marks major milestone as record cruise season comes to a close

It has been a banner year for Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu. After an impressive spring earning international recognition at the Cruise Insight Awards in Miami and an award at the Gala du Mérite Nord-Côtier, the cruise development organization now marks the end of its tenth season of international cruises with record visitor numbers and plans for a new permanent welcome pavilion in the works. (more…)

CN and CP announce third quarter results

It seems that Canada’s two national railways keep on producing never-ending record performances. Although both carriers expressed caution about the immediate future, both produced very respectable third quarter results.

During the quarter, CN’s revenues increased by 3.9 per cent to $3.8 billion. Operating expenses, as a percentage of revenues, decreased from 59.5 per cent to 57.9 per cent, as a result of which operating income rose by 8.1 per cent to $1.6 billion. Cash flow from operations increased to $1.69 billion from $1.56 billion, but “free” cash flow, the amount remaining from operating cash flow after subtracting net investments made during the quarter and dividends paid to investors, declined to $315 million from $508 million, because of unusually large capital expenditures. From Jan 1 to Sept 30, CN spent $1.26 billion repurchasing its own shares, a reduction from the $1.52 billion spent during the same period in 2018, and paid $1.16 billion in dividends, an increase of $159 million over 2018. (more…)