The Loadstar

  • China gives four shipping lines $293m to upgrade fleets
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 30/09/2014
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    No doubt fiercely rekindling the ever-present debate about state subsidies, China has handed out $293.3m to four shipping lines for fleet retirement and replacement. China Cosco announced this morning that its bank account had risen by Rmb1.3bn, while Cosco Shipping admitted to a Rmb182.9m filip. China Shipping Development Co and China Shipping Container Line received Rmb215m and Rmb40m respectively. All four lines admitted that “they expected the subsidies to have a positive impact on their full-year results”, according to this Reuters report.

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  • Zim ship heads toward LA after Oakland protest blocks unloading
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 30/09/2014
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    The Israeli-owned Zim Shanghai has been forced to move on to LA from the port of Oakland, without discharging its cargo following pro-Palestine protests at the port. It follows a similar outcome for Zim Piraeus, which was blockaded for four days in Oakland last month. The ILWU union said it was taking no position on the Israel/Gaza conflict, but members refused to unload the ship when faced with physical threats as they tried to work. It amounts to more bad news for Zim, already embattled in a tough market and facing financial difficulties.

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  • Arms dealer: the notorious Mr Bout
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 30/09/2014
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    A new side to the most famous name in air cargo, Viktor Bout, has been revealed in a fascinating documentary. Made up of his own extensive film archive, interviews with US agents and Bout’s family and associates, it charts the rise and fall of the man who made a very good living as “the world’s most efficient postman”. Essentially branding Mr Bout as something of a fool with no moral compass, perhaps most interesting is the placing of the story within a historical context: his coming of age in the Soviet Union as communism underwent a fast and clumsy change into capitalism, opening up opportunities for trade of all kinds.

    Believed to be a legitimate businessman, he only came properly under the radar after 9/11, when air cargo security tightened and the US sought revenge in many quarters. While Bout’s activities may be morally repugnant, a UN Weapons Inspector noted: “On occasion, yes, his aircraft were carrying guns for people who used them to carry out human rights abuses. But one of the problems with the illegal arms trade is that most of it is not terribly illegal. Governments are loath to make international laws tougher, because it stops us helping our friends.”

    The film, which also shows the heady, booming days of air cargo in the 1990s in Sharjah, was aired last night on BBC4, and will be available on iPlayer for a month, or you can read a good review here.

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  • North Atlantic bright spot for carriers
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 29/09/2014
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    Some welcome news for ocean carriers plying the North Atlantic tradelane is that unlike several other routes it has remained robust, with according to Drewry high utilisation levels and a balanced supply of capacity helping to keep spot rates stable on both eastbound and westbound routes between North Europe and North America.

    Moreover, in its Container Insight Weekly trade analysis Drewry says that notwithstanding the expectations that the vice versa import surge between the continents “may begin to tail off” it thinks that in the case of the North Atlantic trade there should be only a “limited impact on rates” …that is of course with the proviso capacity remains balanced.

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  • Container port congestion adds more uncertainty for retailers
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 29/09/2014
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    Ships running off-schedule and not making berthing windows, cargo peaks caused by the introduction of larger vessels, and fears of strikes or shutdowns are some of the main reasons why port congestion at the world’s container terminals is once again a big talking point, according to Drewry. In the transport consultant’s Container Insight Weekly its analysis concludes that the issue is not restricted to one part of the world although it says that certain regions may be at greater risk of congestion in the longer term. Getting an ultra-large container ship discharged is the priority for ship operators but thereafter landside congestion, caused by truck shortages and a vicious circle of slow turnarounds, is a further burden for retailers struggling to keep the supply chain moving and their stocks replenished.

     

     

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