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

Stakeholders in the shipping industry cannot sit still; they have the technologies in their hands that can disrupt the digital platforms that are the biggest outside threat to their existence.

News & Analysis

Container ships at the Port of Oakland.
10 Aug 2018
Unless ocean carriers radically change the paradigm on how they go to market, the Jan. 1, 2020 sulfur cap on bunker fuel will represent another cost that carriers fail to pass on to customers. How many other industries operate this way?
A Yang Ming ship.
10 Aug 2018
“While we are seeing others in the container ship industry face similar struggles, Yang Ming anticipates a healthier second half, driven by an improving supply and demand ratio,” the ocean carrier said.
Hapag-Lloyd.
10 Aug 2018
“For the remainder of the year, we see a slow but steadily improving market environment, but we recognize that there are still significant geopolitical uncertainties that could influence the market,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of the world’s fifth-largest ocean carrier.
Maersk IBM blockchain project TradeLens.
09 Aug 2018
Maersk and IBM have fleshed out their designs for an industrywide blockchain solution – an open-source platform called TradeLens. There are a host of other blockchain initiatives in development, but as one stakeholder noted, they joined the Maresk-IBM venture based of Maersk’s history of innovation and IBM’s technological prowess, which gives the platform a “high probability of success.”
Maersk Line.
07 Aug 2018
Maersk said it continues to encounter very high bunker prices, which have not been fully compensated for in freight rates.
A freight train in Mexico.
06 Aug 2018
Like other emerging markets, it is a “bad news, good news,” circumstance for Mexico. The bad: surface transportation and logistics operations are straining to meet shipper demands. The good: Mexico appears to have arrived on the global trade stage, with all key metrics advancing.
A barge travels on the Rhine River.
06 Aug 2018
The water level of the Upper Rhine is getting close to a critical point and barge operators are being forced to suspend their operations or only use one-third of their capacity, according to Hapag-Lloyd.
An OOCL ship.
06 Aug 2018
OOCL is sounding alarms about the impact of a trade war on international shipping volumes after a strong first half.
Port of Santos.
03 Aug 2018
An invaded ship is the latest job action by dockworkers at the port of Santos. They say they extend their existing three-day job action that ends Saturday if Brazil’s government does not agree to their pay/pension demands.
A Unifeeder container ship.
02 Aug 2018
The new loop with calls at Antwerp, Dunkirk, Teesport, and Grangemouth will start with weekly sailings every Wednesday (Antwerp) and Thursday (Dunkirk) on Aug 15.
Maersk Line windmill blade breakbulk transport.
02 Aug 2018
The out-of-gauge cargo — windmilll blades 103 feet long and weighing over 16 tons — was loaded on the Maersk Launceston, voyage 1809, operating as part of the Danish carrier’s Intra-Asia Chennai Express (CHX) Service.
A ONE ship.
01 Aug 2018
NYK attributed Ocean Network Express’s initial loss to administrative problems resulting from “inefficient employee familiarization with the systems and insufficient preparation for the administrative processes.”
MSC at DP World Nava Sheva India Gateway
31 Jul 2018
The new regulations require carriers to complete their advanced manifest submissions considerably prior to the vessel’s arrival or departure.
A Cosco ship.
30 Jul 2018
Cosco Shipping Lines was able to contain the damage from last week’s cyber attack to its operations in the Americas, and cargo handling in the United States, Canada, and South America at its marine terminals was largely unaffected because Cosco isolated its internal networks across its global operations.
A Hapag-Lloyd ship.
30 Jul 2018
At mid-2018, nearly every segment of Europe’s supply chain is straining to keep pace with strong container shipping volume growth — particularly barge and inland haulage. The good news is Europe’s impressive trade growth story continues — a welcomed economic rejuvenation.
Port of Oakland.
30 Jul 2018
There is, perhaps, no better evidence to senior management on the necessity of proactive carrier engagement than this: transportation conditions can change quickly in container shipping, and an annual contract with an ocean carrier is no guarantee of capacity when one needs it.
Port of New York and New Jersey container ship.
27 Jul 2018
Although trade tensions between the United States and the European Union and their impact have been muted so far in 2018, trade stakeholders know that could change dramatically and quickly.
Rotterdam port.
27 Jul 2018
However, the rising spot rate, while encouraging for ocean carriers as peak season approaches, has not — so far — refuted a perennial concern regarding rates and the second half of the year.
APL ship at the Port of Oakland.
26 Jul 2018
APL’s blockchain aims to include a range of container shipping processes, with an example of the platform’s utility being the elimination of the redundancy, needless rekeying, and back-and-forth of one essential task.
A Cosco container ship.
25 Jul 2018
As Cosco continues to guide its customers through email transmissions for the booking of cargo, there was good news on Wednesday.
A Cosco ship.
24 Jul 2018
Since Cosco’s overseas operations have not been affected, communication with US offices is able to take place, although at a slower pace, a key Cosco official said Tuesday.
Hyundai Merchant Marine.
24 Jul 2018
The exchange is about encouraging carriers and shippers to move past a system driven by uncertainty: beneficial cargo owners face no penalty for booking a certain volume of cargo on a ship, and then failing to send it; and carriers face few consequences for leaving containers on the dock.
A container ship at sea.
24 Jul 2018
Despite strong demand, the Hong Kong-based firm said Friday that increases in material costs, particularly corten steel, accounted for a marginal interim net loss for the first half of 2018, compared with a $16.6 million profit for the same period in 2017.
Two container ships at sea.
23 Jul 2018
Geopolitical factors have driven outlook revisions by key container shipping stakeholders.
20 Jul 2018
Amid a slew of low water-level carrier surcharges, the Port of Montreal said concern that its future is limited by its shallow draft is overplayed.
19 Jul 2018
A deal between the port of Santos and pilots will allow more cargo to enter the port and provide carriers with more operational flexibility.
19 Jul 2018
Zim is linking up with the 2M Alliance in a bid to trim costs and capacity on the Asia-US East Coast trade.
A container ship at sea.
16 Jul 2018
It’s now an unavoidable fact that the precautions traditionally taken to avoid container ship fires — such as ensuring that stowage plans comply with dangerous goods guidelines and carriers scan bills of lading for keywords indicating the possibility of misdeclared cargoes — are failing to adequately mitigate the risk to crews, cargoes, and ships.
Port of Los Angeles.
13 Jul 2018
Eastbound Pacific spot rates rose for the second straight week as Cosco and Ocean Alliance partners became the third carrier alliance to announce peak season cuts in services.
Felixstowe Port.
13 Jul 2018
Port owner Hutchison Ports said it will continue to work to improve productivity levels at Felixstowe.
The Port of Los Angeles.
12 Jul 2018
It took the new management team at APL’s Pier 300 in Los Angeles only three months to improve truck turn times from the worst in the harbor to the fourth best among the 12 terminals. And they accomplished it by deploying a "customer focus/consumer focus" strategy.
Port of Los Angeles.
11 Jul 2018
Pushing data back to users may very well prove to be the pivotal point at which the container shipping industry shifted en masse to portals. But getting to that step will likely require another cultural shift.
Panama Canal.
11 Jul 2018
The new Panama Canal’s larger locks appear to have hit the shipping industry at the right time, given at least one, and possibly two, global trends in international trade.
A CMA CGM ship near Japan.
10 Jul 2018
The service, if added, would complement existing feeder services by other ocean carriers. A CMA CGM official said the company has held talks about the possible service.
Blockchain and the world.
09 Jul 2018
Many experts argue that blockchain technology is tailor-made for container shipping’s international logistics work. But blockchain faces numerous hurdles — the biggest of which may be cultural.