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Accumulation of cargo would lead to a collapse of the container transport market

The port congestion and rising rates of sea freight unprecedented attached to the huge profits of the second quarter of the shipping lines have been criticized by cargo owners, and a new report says that shipping alliances are «suppressing » load.

According to a market review by MDS Transmodal and the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), container traffic grew 4% in the second quarter, up 22% year-on-year, returning close to pre-Covid growth levels, The Loadstar reports .

Shipping companies were «effectively full,» with 90% utilization on most trade routes, MDS said, noting that capacity quotas based on Vessel Sharing Agreements (VSAs) «in some markets key »exceeded 40%.

Mike Garratt, President of MDS Transmodal, said: “This high level of consolidation has the benefit of allowing lines to adjust capacity allocation in line with changing demand, but, combined with the resulting very high levels of utilization, it has allowed that freight rates remain at historically unprecedented levels and implies that some potential freight rates may be being phased out. ‘

In fact, GSF director James Hookham said that shippers faced a «collapse» in the container shipping market: «tariffs in the stratosphere, spaces in the auction houses and service performance in garbage.» He added: «What none of the industry metrics show is the large number of shipments that do not move: containers left at the dock, stacked in the terminal or stored in export warehouses waiting for a space.»

The review adds that, amid rising profits for ocean carriers , operating costs per container «have barely changed» in the last 18 months, and carriers «earn more than double per container than at the start of the pandemic.»

Defense of Shipping Companies

However, while it did not specifically mention the MDS / GSF review, the ocean liners lobbying Shipping Australia claimed that there had been a «massive increase» in the operating costs of a ship. He said: “Charter costs have increased by 773% since the end of May 2020, and marine fuel costs have almost tripled from US $ 155.50 a ton in April 2020 to US $ 435.50 a ton.

“Don’t be fooled by the propaganda; the operating costs of a ship are high and rising. ‘

Shipping Australia said that Covid had created a contraction in demand, where the supply of shipping capacity was slowly adapting compared to the massive increase in cargo. “If demand skyrockets while supply slowly adapts, prices will rise inexorably. This is the basic economy.

At the same time, he pointed out, the shipping lines had increased the supply of vessels, with the commissioning of the previously inactive fleet and the hiring of «non-specialized multipurpose vessels, and even capesize bulk carriers, to transport containers.» And «maritime transport has invested in massive orders for new ships and new containers,» he added.

Blame the ports?

The group also blamed much of the industry’s troubles on container ports, claiming that additional supply was being wasted by terminal congestion and poor port performance.

«A supply equivalent to the global fleet of the world’s largest ships is effectively being wasted by ships forced to waste time in queues of port congestion,» he said. «Shipping Australia urges shippers to direct their lobbying efforts where they are really needed: port congestion and poor performance.»

Shipping Australia CEO Melwyn Noronha added: “Misleading statements from certain elements of the shipping community are painting a false picture of the shipping industry, which has been very resilient and provided excellent value for money throughout the pandemic, despite all the restrictions imposed by governments ”.


Fuente: MasContainer.

Fecha de publicación: 8 de septiembre de 2021