The Game of Shipping

The Game of Shipping

By Guy M. Tombs

“An old military adage has it that amateurs concern themselves with tactics, but professionals worry about logistics.” So says Richard Fidler in his excellent book Ghost Empire. Reading this recently cheered me, as I am in logistics. But I quickly had the less comfortable thought that clever tactics frequently overwhelm elaborately thought-out logistics. The game we are all in of course demands of us both knowledge and wit. (more…)

Vancouver port dispute with container terminal tenant over capacity expansion

Vancouver port dispute with container terminal tenant over capacity expansion

By R. Bruce Striegler

Volumes of containers handled at the port of Vancouver’s terminals have grown substantially through past decades, increasing at an average rate of ten percent annually since 1995. Projections of growth up to the year 2040 are now predicted at about 8.0 million TEUs (or 20-foot-equivalent units), and to give some perspective, in 2018 Vancouver handled 3.4 million TEU’s. The port is deeply engaged in capacity expansion, either directly or in cooperation with private terminal operators, and it points to projects already approved or somewhere in the approval pipeline, designed to reduce the potential capacity jams. Capacity improvements are at the heart of an unpleasant row which has developed between the Port Authority and one of its larger tenants, GCT Terminals Canada. (more…)

Paul Pathy on the ups and downs of business, and the frustration and loss to the economy of operating without sufficient icebreaker support

Paul Pathy on the ups and downs of business, and the frustration and loss to the economy of operating without sufficient icebreaker support

By Brian Dunn

As it celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Fednav is showing its appreciation for the support it has received from the Montreal business community, by naming its two new Lakers Federal Montreal and Federal St. Laurent. It’s the first time Fednav has named a vessel after a city. Federal Montreal will be delivered at the end of August and Federal St. Laurent is expected to arrive at the end of June. The 35,000-tonne Lakers are being built by Oshima Shipbuilding in Japan with six holds, four cranes and onboard ballast water system. (more…)

Brand new container ships enhance Halifax reefer trade

Brand new container ships enhance Halifax reefer trade

By Keith Norbury

Tropical Shipping expects to debut a second brand-new container ship on its Halifax run by this July to transport fresh and frozen foods and other products to the Caribbean. “It may even be earlier, but we’re going public with saying early July,” said Gordon Cole, the company’s Assistant Vice-President for Canada, Hispaniola, and the Virgin Islands. (more…)

Tumbling Asia-to-U.S. rates could hamper carriers in contract renewal talks

By Mike Wackett

Container spot rates from Asia to the U.S. are sliding fast, with the early March Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) recording a further 10 per cent drop for the U.S. west coast and 7 per cent for east coast ports.

With new annual contract negotiations about to begin in earnest, transpacific carriers hoping to secure a 20 per cent+ rate hike from BCOs will need a very convincing pitch, and get meetings booked early, before rates tumble even further. Due to a positive impact on rates from the front-loading of cargo in the latter part of last year, designed to beat the threatened imposition of a new 25 per cent duty on a wide range of consumer goods, spot rates are still above the level of a year ago. The U.S. west coast component of the SCFI stands at $1,549 per 40ft, 23 per cent higher than 12 months ago, with the rate for the U.S. east coast at $2,640 per 40ft, 11 per cent ahead. (more…)

CMA CGM unveils billion-dollar cost-cutting plan as profits tumble

By Alex Lennane

CMA CGM is to attempt to shave $1.2 billion off its costs as it consolidates its position following acquisitions. The French carrier announced the plan as it revealed its 2018 results, which saw record revenues of $23.5 billion, up 11.2 per cent. This, however, translated into a pre-tax profit of $167.7 million, down from $800.7 million a year earlier. Operating expenses rose from $18.9 billion to $22.3 billion, while core EBIT was $610.4 million, down from $1.57 billion, following a 33 per cent increase in fuel prices. Volumes in TEUs were up 9.3 per cent and the line added: “Despite an increase in oil prices, our recurring EBIT margin remains considerably above the industry average.” (more…)