Container Lines

Business intelligence, news and analysis on the container lines that transport most of the world's trade such as CMA CGM, MOL, Zim Integrated Shipping Services, and others. JOC.com's coverage of container lines ranges from new services to leadership changes and in-depth analysis of pricing and volume trends that directly impact shippers' bottom lines and supply chains. 

The container line landscape is constantly evolving as market dynamics present new challenges to the industry. See how the companies involved have changed as a result of mergers and acquisitions since 1977.

Commentary

Ocean carriers and shippers, although mutually dependent, continue to act in ways that are adversarial and self-destructive, and they're doing so while the industry is about to face major challenges, including slowing global demand growth, overcapacity, and the low-sulfur bunker fuel rule.  

News & Analysis

Port of Oakland.
18 Oct 2018
"I’m not optimistic we are going to see a grand bargain with all the tariffs coming off,” Lance Noble, senior analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, said at the TPM Asia Conference on Oct. 10.
A Maersk container ship.
17 Oct 2018
Maersk's announcement is the latest action in its effort to reinvent itself as an integrated container transport and logistics provider.
A CMA CGM ship.
17 Oct 2018
The carrier raised its stake in the logistics service provider a week after CEVA Logistics rejected a $1.5 billion takeover bid from rival DSV.
A ONE ship.
16 Oct 2018
The ocean carrier — which launched in April and comprises “K” Line, MOL, and NYK Line — said in its half-year earnings report that it collectively expects to lose $310 million in the first half of the year, on revenue of $5.03 billion.
Mediterranean Shipping Co.
15 Oct 2018
The Geneva-based carrier said it will roll out the “smart” containers in the coming months, enabling users to follow the movement of containers in real time through the Internet of Things.
A container ship bunkering / receiving fuel.
12 Oct 2018
Among the major unknowns on the minds of ocean carrier executives: will the low-sulfur fuel supply be adequate? How high will fuel prices go? How will the new rule be enforced?
Two container ships at sea.
11 Oct 2018
Ocean carriers are “working in the blind” at present, with each company coming up with its own fee, when what they actually need is a collectively created framework that ocean carriers and shippers will accept, so says a key ocean carrier executive.
CMA CAGM.
11 Oct 2018
CMA CGM’s investment in CEVA is consistent with a customer-centric vision announced in March to move away from commodity container shipping and increasingly tailor end-to-end logistics solutions for customers.
Two container ships at sea.
11 Oct 2018
“The reality is that we are being suddenly exposed to $15 billion in additional spend, so we have to reduce consumption and try to convince customers to pay more,” APL CEO Nicolas Sartini told JOC.com.
Port of Los Angeles.
09 Oct 2018
“Retailers are continuing to import merchandise in order to meet consumer demand even though tariffs are now in place on roughly half the goods imported from China and the trade war is still escalating,” Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation, said Tuesday.
A Maersk Line ship at sea.
09 Oct 2018
Conceptualized in India, the program complements Maersk’s global technological ecosystem and open innovation efforts.
A container ship accepting bunker fuel.
09 Oct 2018
Many shippers have created their own bunker adjustment factors (BAFs), but smaller beneficial cargo owners typically have to accept the BAFs proposed by ocean carriers. However, widespread distrust of the carrier fuel surcharge mechanism may have the effect of pushing more shippers towards coming up with their own BAF formula to have greater control of a process.
08 Oct 2018
While Loadsmart is far from the only startup to take on the idea of automating certain parts of the truck brokerage business — Convoy, Transfix, and Uber Freight are the most notable names in this movement — the former has been on a different growth path.
Chicago - logistics technology capital.
08 Oct 2018
End-to-end visibility will make supply chains more efficient, Chicago-based project44’s President Tommy Barnes says, but only if shippers use data received to collaborate with partners.
A container ship at a port.
08 Oct 2018
The Container Shipping Lines’ Association of India, in its latest report to the Ministry of Shipping, argued that cabotage relaxation has paid off with significant transshipment gains for Indian ports during September.
An APL ship.
08 Oct 2018
The Eagle GO Guaranteed Service — targeting shippers willing to pay premium rates for a faster and guaranteed service that provides a complete refund if the ocean carrier fails to meet the delivery date — will expand from 29 Asia ports to 150 Asia and Middle East ports.
The Port of Los Angeles.
05 Oct 2018
As uncertain as trans-Pacific rates have been, they are up 56 percent to the West Coast and 67 percent to the East Coast, compared with early Oct. 2017. However, more price volatility is anticipated as the peak season ends, importers prepare for the Chinese New Year, and proposed 25 percent Trump administration tariffs take effect on Jan. 1.
Container ship bunkering in Japan.
04 Oct 2018
A survey conducted by global shipping consultancy Drewry found considerable unease among global shippers and forwarders ahead of the low-sulfur fuel implementation. Concern was expressed by respondents about ocean carriers’ methods of fuel cost recovery with more than half, 56 percent, stating that they did not consider their service providers’ existing approaches as either fair or transparent.
Container stowage.
26 Sep 2018
The ocean carrier found that existing rules regarding the stowage of dangerous goods cargoes, which create their own oxygen and can’t be extinguished using standard carbon dioxide-based on-board firefighting equipment, to be inadequate and has implemented new procedures across its fleet.
A container ship at sea.
25 Sep 2018
The new bunker fuel adjustment factors will provide more insight concerning whether ocean carriers can recoup what they argue are increased operational costs for bunker fuel and for meeting the Jan. 1, 2020, low-sulfur mandate.
Dover port, United Kingdom.
19 Sep 2018
“Unfortunately, a no-deal scenario is still quite possible,” according to European Council President Donald Tusk. “But if we act responsibly, we can avoid a catastrophe.”
19 Sep 2018
Maersk has taken the next step in its pursuit to become a supply chain integrator akin to UPS or FedEx.
Containers stacked at a port.
18 Sep 2018
So far, India's cabotage reform has boosted transshipment business for private ports more than anticipated.
Maersk Line.
17 Sep 2018
Estimates on the cost of the container shipping industry meeting the mandate range from $5 billion to tens of billions of dollars, but ocean carriers are uniform regarding one aspect of this substantially higher cost.
Port of Los Angeles.
14 Sep 2018
Extra-loaders have made their presence felt, but is that extra capacity capable of ending the escalation in trans-Pacific spot rates long term?
A Hapag-Lloyd ship.
14 Sep 2018
The spot market between Asia and Europe remains stronger than at the same time last year, but the rate is beginning to follow a pattern that will likely concern ocean carriers.
Maersk Line.
13 Sep 2018
The plan calls for targeting transshipment cargo at the east coast ports of Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Krishnapatnam, Kattupalli, and Ennore through expanded feeder networks.
A Hapag-Lloyd ship.
12 Sep 2018
One overriding factor is underpinning the sailing cancellations.
11 Sep 2018
Initial integration problems of Ocean Network Express had an impact on the first-half share of US trade, both exports and imports, carried by the Top 5 US trade carriers.
A ONE ship.
10 Sep 2018
The Top 5’s losses were driven exclusively by shippers shunning the Ocean Network Express, and there was another shipper trend that provides an insight regarding how shippers responded to alliances.
A CMA CGM ship.
07 Sep 2018
As with other ocean carriers, rising bunker fuel prices weighed on CMA CGM’s second-quarter results. Even so, its CEO and chairman remained positive regarding 2018’s second half, citing the rise in freight rates and sustained volumes, in addition to the quality of its service offering.
Two container ships at sea.
06 Sep 2018
Its status may change in the future, but at least for now, instant pricing is a bit of a two-edged sword for ocean carriers.
Maersk Line.
06 Sep 2018
Electronic seals are considered tamper proof and, as such, the new process enhances supply chain security. In addition, as the process eliminates the need for physical, on-site inspection by customs officials, it can reduce shipper logistics costs.
A truck and containers at a port.
05 Sep 2018
It’s not clear whether the petition will survive or not when a final decision is made in December, but shippers' concerns appear to have struck a chord with the federal agency.
Port of Los Angeles.
05 Sep 2018
The move represents modest good news for US importers scrambling for slots, amid a peak season surge in volume.