Cancelled, or blanked, sailings have long been used by the container shipping lines to manipulate capacity when volumes fall, but inconsistencies in announcements around China’s Golden Week have been criticised, with accusations of blank sailing gamesmanship by the 2M and Ocean alliances.
Shipping lines including Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM and OOCL have announced that they will implement fines up to $15k for dangerous goods mis-declaration, which many lines suspect are behind recent containership fires.
The sea freight bunker fuel operation will change significantly when the IMO’s global 0.5% fuel sulphur content cap is enforced from 2020, with shipping lines looking to pass on the additional costs.
Attracting 64,000 visitors from 125 countries Munich’s Transport Logistic is one of the industry’s biggest events, so when shippers and forwarders express concerns over the increasing decline in container carriers the press take notice.
Last week’s suspension of flights by India’s Jet airways followed a lengthy deterioration of services and increasingly optimistic public statements, which has caught many shippers out, with consignments stranded at airports and cargo facilities around the world.
Short-sea services can offer cost savings of up to 50%, for those willing to accept much longer transit times. But is transferring short-sea volumes to containers a way of avoiding any future Dover congestion, or is just making a bigger problem elsewhere.