Singapore container line Pacific International Lines (PIL) is withdrawing from the Asia – Europe trade from April.

Fresh from announcing a first half loss, ZIM has announced an upgrade for the India-Med Express Line (IMX), which it runs independently, with a new rotation that will give a significantly faster transit time, and make it the fastest on the trade.

The Port of Hamburg saw container throughput fall 2.7% to 4.3m teu in the first half of 2018, mainly due to handling of fewer empty boxes. The port said in a press release that 525,000 teu or 15.6% fewer empty containers were handled during the period, while throughput of loaded containers was almost flat at 3.8m teu, sliding just 0.6%.

Despite the apparent shows of strength in recent months, there are clearly signs of concern in the container market in several areas.

The Port of Colombo continues its good growth track, with a record 19.8% pace of increase for transshipment throughput in the first half of the year to 2.73m teu from 2.28m teu in the previous corresponding period of 2017.

After taking over full equity interest in CSP Zeebrugge Terminal in November 2017, Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) has announced that it as planned, has sold a 10% stake to CMA CGM Group’s container terminals unit CMA Terminal.

The Northern Europe gateway ports still have a slight edge but the Southern Europe ports are catching up fast and the way forward should be more towards complementarity than competition, container port industry experts said at a webinar organised by the Contship Italia Group.

APL is extending its Eagle GO Guaranteed product to its Asia-Europe service network. An APL solution for shippers with time-sensitive shipments, this premium offering guarantees equipment and vessel space on board 13 Europe-bound services from 27 Asian ports.

Japanese liner company ONE is the latest to impose an emergency bunker surcharge, joining industry giants Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM which all imposed surcharges last week. The charges, which it has billed as a Bunker cost Recovery Surcharge (BRS) will range between $20 and $60 per teu and will start taking effect from July 1 onwards.

Hong Kong-based line Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has really benefitted from its new high capacity vessels, taking full advantage after the delivery of its last megaship in January to see a 21% rise in Asia-Europe liftings in the first quarter to 302,679 teu.

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