DANAOS Corporation, one of the largest containership charter owners, has added the 8,530-TEU CMA CGM Melisande built at Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Heavy Industry, to its fleet of 61 containerships aggregating 312,779 TEU.

The CMA CGM Melisande is 335 metres long, 42.8 metres wide and has a speed of 25.80 knots. The vessel will commence its 12-year time charter at a fixed charter rate. The annualised EBITDA run-rate contribution of the vessel is expected to be US$12.7 million.

"The delivery of CMA CGM Melisande marks the successful completion of a project for building five 8,530-TEU post-panamax vessels at Jiangnan Changxing shipyard that are the largest containerships ever built in China," said Danaos vice president and COO Iraklis Prokopakis.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SWISS based Kuehne + Nagel has opened a new office in Chiang Mai to meet the strong demand for integrated logistics services in Thailand for hi-tech and perishable products.

Located on the northern part of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the country's second city with a high concentration of consumer electronics manufacturing companies. Furthermore, the location is home to the country's leading flower exporters. A company statement said that many of its customers are operating here, due to the city's geographical advantages and the establishment of the Chiang Mai Free Trade Zone.

"The opening is an important step in the development of Kuehne + Nagel in Thailand. With the network stretching to Chiang Mai, we are able to further enhance our service levels for our customers through closer local contacts," said Thailand managing director Pascal Martin.

In Thailand, the logistics giant operates offices in Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Phuket and Chiang Mai, employing 400 staff.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

IAG CARGO, which emerged from the merger of British Airways and Iberian merger, intends to continue mergers and acquisitions but also expand into the temperature sensitive cargo shipment products after a solid 2011, which saw revenues rise 8.6 per cent.

Managing director Steve Gunning told Rosewell, Georgia's Air Cargo World that the company's express product, Prioritise, grew 20 per cent last year and he now feels more premium products will enable the company to counter expected yield declines in 2012.

"The demand characteristics of premium products are much more resilient than general freight," Mr Gunning said. "And so we see them as a real way forward - not just with our express product, but also with temperature-sensitive products and things like high-valuable goods as well."

In the M&A field, IAG expects to buy low-cost carrier bmi from Lufthansa. "In terms of IAG Cargo, bmi is moving freight on short- or narrow-bodied aircraft, which will be a welcome expansion," he said.

While it remains a work in progress, as IAG won't receive approval of this transaction until later this month, he saw bmi acquisition as an easy fit into the IAG brand.

Mr Gunning also saw a possible partnership with troubled Japan Airlines (JAL), which has sought anti-trust immunity to ally with IAG on British Airways flights between Europe and Japan.

"JAL is an important partner for us," said Mr Gunning. "Clearly there have been challenges in Japan over the last 12 months, but it's always been an economic powerhouse and I think it will continue to be one."

But he did not appear interested in taking on India's troubled Kingfisher Airlines, despite much speculation to the contrary.

" I don't think there's any appetite for taking a stake. Although they're part of oneworld alliance, we don't have a great deal to do with Kingfisher. They have mounting funding issues."

On the other hand, export markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh are said to be holding firm in terms of air freight volumes to Europe, but this is mainly in the low-end garment business that represents a lower yield for carriers.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

KOREAN Air plans to commence non-stop flights on June 21 from Seoul-Incheon to Nairobi in Kenya, which would make it the first airline to operate direct service from northeast Asia to Nairobi, the carrier said.

Its new service to Nairobi will be operated with A330-200 aircraft. Flight KE959 will depart from Seoul Incheon every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 22:15 hrs and will arrive in Nairobi at 05:30 the next day. Return flight, KE960, will depart from Nairobi at 10:30 every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and will arrive in Seoul Incheon at 04:50 the next day.

"With only 13 hours of flying time, it will offer passengers the ultimate convenience in travelling between the two cities," said managing vice president for Europe, Middle East & Africa, Jaeho

The has been serving major destinations in Africa through codesharing with Kenya Airways, one of the SkyTeam alliance members.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says that her department's priority this year will be to continue to encourage a US economic recovery through the efficient, yet secure, movement of people and goods across its national borders.

A pledge that is expected to have direct bearing on security measures for the air freight industry, which is proving an on going controversy.

A report by Air Cargo World cited Ms Napolitano as saying in her annual department address that a risk-based approach should be the guiding principal of proposed trusted-shipper programmes and future cargo regulations.

According to Ms Napolitano, international partnerships and air cargo information sharing are becoming as important as the actual physical screening of air cargo itself.

The best hope for the industry, the report claims, is the voluntary Air Cargo Advanced Screening programme, which is now in its pilot phase and accepts advanced electronic bills of lading data from forwarders and carriers in order to identify in advance of entry high-risk cargo. The ACAS pilot establishes lines of communication with forwarders and carriers in order to provide shipment data about air cargo destined for the US.

The ACAS pilot programme has three phases. The first phase reviewed shipment information from express carriers. The next phase concentrates on scanning data from passenger airlines and forwarders, and the third phase focuses on data submitted by all-cargo airlines, it said.

It added that despite the ACAS programme having no existing mandate through regulation, legislation has been proposed by Congress to require the advanced screening of shipment data before departure. There is also talk of a proposed rule that may be introduced by the end of the year.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE general rate increases slated for March 1 appear to have been a success as Asia-Europe spot rates soared 71 per cent to US$1,412 per TEU, up $586 from the week before, according to the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI).

The latest rate hike follows an increase of $115 per TEU the week before last, bringing the increase to $701 in just two weeks, up 98.5 per cent from the rate quoted on February 17.

Rates from Asia to the Mediterranean saw a similar leap of 63 per cent to $1,416 per TEU.

Despite the sharp increases on the Europe and Mediterranean trades, rates to the US east and west coasts continued to creep down last week.

Asia-US east coast fell dipped by 0.2 per cent to $2,916 per FEU, while Asia-US west coast rates slipped 0.8 per cent to $1,759 per FEU.

Across all trades covered by the index the SCFI rose 19.1 per cent to 1163.96 points.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MARSEILLES shipping giant, CMA CGM, has raised Asia-Europe westbound rates for shipments from all Asian ports to all European destinations and North Africa by US$408 per TEU and $806 per FEU effective April 1.

The breakdown of the total increase includes the existing interim fuel surcharge of $550 per TEU will be increased by $30 per TEU. The Aden Gulf surcharge of $54 per TEU will be reinstated, the Suez Canal surcharge will be increased to $14 per TEU, the container security fee of $10 per container will be reinstated and an emergency revenue increase of $300 per TEU will be added on top of all quotations.

Meanwhile, CMA CGM also said it will increase eastbound north Europe-Asia rates by $100 per TEU from March 19, applying to dry and low value commodity cargo.

The world's two largest carriers Maersk and MSC has announced the similar April rate increases earlier, and it is believed that most carriers will follow this second round of general rate increases (GRI) after the successful action of GRI in March.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

IN the second MSC ship accident since the MSC Rena ran aground off New Zealand in October, the MSC-operated 4,437-TEU Carole has run aground on a reef off Jakarta, where it remains after unsuccessful attempts to refloat it.

Slot buyer APL issued a statement to customers: "Maersk Line has advised that all crew members are safe and no oil spillage has been observed. The extent of damage to the vessel and/or cargo has not yet been ascertained."

Confusion arose as the MSC ship was deployed on a Maersk Line service under a vessel sharing agreement, reported Lloyd's List, adding that Maersk has since said its responsibility extended to container stowage, not navigation.

APL notice to customers said: "Your cargo is on board the vessel. Unfortunately, this incident is likely to delay delivery. We will keep you informed once we receive further updates."

The February 27 grounding follows several MSC containership accidents in recent years, starting with the loss of the 4,688-TEU MSC Napoli in the English Channel in 2007, followed by the collision of the 2,314-TEU MSC Chitra with a 33,113-ton bulk carrier in 2010 on the Hoogly River channel into Calcutta, and last October's loss of the MSC 3,037-TEU Rena off New Zealand's North Island.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HONG KONG's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has announced it will increase the rates on its southeast Asia-Australia services by US$200 per TEU with effect from April 1.

The increase is applicable to shipments from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Indian subcontinent and Middle East to Australia, according to a company statement.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SYDNEY's Port Botany container throughput rose in January by two per cent compared to the same period 2011 with imports leading at 85,700 TEU and full year volume up by two per cent to 621,000 TEU year on year.

The port in the process of privatisation has recorded containerised exports of 33,870 TEU for the month of January and year-to-date of 266,770 TEU close to 2010 figures. Leading export commodities were cereals, machinery and transport equipment and chemicals, representing 31 per cent of total exports.

Import commodities were manufactures, machinery, transport equipment and chemicals. Of the imported machinery and transport equipment, motor vehicle parts and accessories, agricultural and industrial machinery and equipment as well as electrical and non-electrical equipment were included.

"Combined, these commodities represent over 57 per cent of total full containerised imports," said Sydney Ports CEO Grant Gilfillan, according to Sydney's Transport & Logistics News. Forty-four per cent of imports came from the Far East, Europe at 17.1 per cent accounting for 62 per cent of total container imports.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NEW JERSEY's SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd, which owns or manages 594,071 units or 933,499 TEU, posted a 27 per cent year-on-year net profit increase to US$44.1 million in 2011, drawn on revenues of $169.5 million, up 23 per cent.

Fourth quarter net profit was up 19 per cent year on year to $12.3 million, drawn on revenues of $46.7 million, up 30 per cent year on year.

Average utilisation was 98.1 per cent in the fourth quarter and 98.3 per cent for the full year, said the statement from New York-listed company, adding that it had invested $561.1 million in new equipment last year.

"During 2011, we more than doubled our container investments, enabling the company to significantly improve its revenue, earnings and cash flow. We have invested another $80.8 million during the first two months in 2012, of which 88 per cent has been committed to long term leases," said SeaCube CEO Joseph Kwok.

SeaCube is one of the world's largest container leasing companies based on total assets, said the company statement. The principal activities of SeaCube include the acquisition, leasing, re-leasing and subsequent sale of refrigerated and dry containers and generator sets, mostly on long-term contracts to the world's leading shipping lines. The company employs 75 in seven offices worldwide and has assets of $1.5 billion.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

GUANGZHOU Port Group has signed a strategic cooperation heads of agreement with government of Maoming, a city in southwestern Guangdong province, on multiple port projects including building a 300,000-tonne terminal, Xinhua reports.

The two parties also agree on developing Maoming into a regional shipping and logistics hub for trade between hinterland China and ASEAN countries.

Maoming is speeding up the development of the 1,688-square-kilometre "New Coastal Area" approved by Guangdong province government. The area is planned to become the locomotive of local economy.

Maoming has ideal conditions for building deepwater ports and is well-developed in petro-chemical industry. The new port area it is now developing will be mainly for petroleum, gas, and containers.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HONG KONG's shipping line OOCL says it has switched terminals in New York and Le Havre for its upgraded Atlantic Express service (ATX) to use.

The carrier is using Global Terminal in New York instead of New York Container Terminal (NYCT), while its ships will in future dock at Generale de Manutention Portuaire (GMP) in Le Havre instead of Compagnie Nouvelle de Manutentions Portuaires (CNMP), it announced.

The first westbound sailing, following this move, is due to depart from Le Harve on March 3, and the OOCL California (voyage: 030W) is scheduled to arrive in New York on March 11. The first eastbound sailing will be made by the OOCL California, voyage 030E, departing from New York on March 12 and arriving in Le Havre on March 30.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE low volume of goods to China from Bangladesh has resulted in the country's exporters losing out on a direct shipping service to China with the suspension first such link five months after it started.

"The ships which were coming from China directly to Bangladesh were going back with almost empty containers," said Rafiqul Islam, Bangladesh country representative of Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL).

Each 1,200- to 1,500-TEU ship carried 400 - 500 TEU from China, only move 100 TEU on the backhaul, he said, adding that even a reduction in container rent from US$1,000 to $600 failed to boost business.

The service loss is also a blow to the Bangladeshi government, keen to boost exports to rein in a trade deficit that widened more than 25 per cent in the five months to November compared with a year earlier.

The direct link meant goods took between 12 and 15 days, saving nearly a week compared with other routes, which stopover in Singapore, reports Hong Kong's Asia Times. The blow to Bangladeshi exporters comes at a time when shipping companies are raising rates as fuel prices rise after incurring losses last year as international global trade growth slowed just when a large number of new vessels were coming into service.

"This is happening due to the global economic situation," said an official of one Singapore-based shipping company. "The demand for goods in the US and in Europe has reduced a lot and this is leading to severe losses for shippers, who are coming up with effective solutions to cut losses."

"During March, we will continue to carry cargo between Bangladesh and China through transhipment via Singapore. Three ships will carry containers from China to Singapore and then they will be brought to Chittagong port through a feeder service. This will take maximum 15 days, compared with 12 days with the direct route," said Mr Islam.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

Mumbai's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has received approval from the Indian shipping ministry to spend for INR15 billion (US$305 million) to widen the Mumbai Harbour Channel and terminal channel to accommodate bigger ships.

The widening of channels and dredging to 14 metres from today's 10 metres will allow the port to handle 6,000-TEU ships. The work will be completed within 25 months and is hoped to kick-start employment on the west coast of the subcontinent.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
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