SeaIntel Sunday Spotlight

Previews for non-subscribers

We can see from our database that you have not bought any kind of subscription to the SeaIntel Sunday Spotlight newsletter. To have complete access for either to all our SeaIntel Sunday Spotlight newsletters, you may purchase a subscription. You may otherwise download a free preview of any newsletter by clicking on the preview links.


Click here to purchase a subscription to the weekly SeaIntel Sunday Spotlight newsletters.



Week 47Issue 339
In this issue: 2017-Q3 financial and volume results
2017-Q3 is a significant improvement over 2016-Q3, with ten of the eleven carriers that have published their Q3 results recorded a positive EBIT/Operating Profit, with only HMM in the red. Despite healthy volumes, freight rates were disappointing.
Q4 Capacity Growth in ECSA trades
The trades connecting to East Coast South America may not have the same levels of excess capacity as in the previously analysed trade lanes, but given the smaller number of operating services, even these numbers might turn out to be problematic.
Hapag-Lloyd productivity increases
Whilst productivity per land based employee improves, increasing costs per employee means that the employee cost per TEU handled is slowly increasing.
Service changes Carriers to launch a new Asia-Indian Subcontinent service
APL to take slots on the CPX service
More information
Week 46Issue 338
In this issue: Vessel Utilisation and Freight Rates
There is a stark contrast in how the freight rates have responded to levels of capacity utilisation throughout the years. While we see an improvement in capacity utilisation on the Transpacific trade, there is no significant improvement on Asia-Europe.
Seasonality in General Rate Increases
Spot rates increased coming into November, and this has been termed “extraordinary”. Closer analysis shows that this type of development is quite common in Asia-Europe spot rates and global contract rates.
Q4 Capacity Growth in Transatlantic
The Transatlantic trade is currently slated to see Q4 capacity increase marginally relative to Q3, rather than contract as in past years. If the 2012-2016 average contraction is to be reached, at total of 28 sailings would have to be blanked.
Service changes Carriers to launch a new Asia-Indian Subcontinent service
Maersk Line to revise the FI3 service
More information
Week 45Issue 337
In this issue: Container vessels favour tax havens
Looking at the development in flag state registration from 1980 to 2017 shows a constant shift of more tonnage towards tax havens – but, depending on definition, this might now have stagnated.
2017-Q4 East/West capacity remains high
If 2017-Q4 capacity is to contract to the average levels of 2012-2016, an additional 24 average-sized sailings will have to be blanked on Asia-Europe, whereas the number increases to an unprecedented 58 average-sized sailings in the Transpacific.
Global Schedule Reliability in 2017-Q3
Schedule reliability has seen a poor third quarter, improving only 0.2 percentage points Q/Q, while being the second lowest Q3 ever recorded. OOCL was the most reliable carrier, while Ocean Alliance was the most reliable alliance. None of the trade lanes saw a Y/Y improvement while Asia-US East Coast saw a massive Y/Y decline of 16.9 percentage points.
Service changes Changes in port rotation to the North Brazil Express service
Changes in port rotation to the Colombia Express service
More information


Week 44Issue 336
In this issue: IMF Report: positive news for shipping
The October update of the IMF report paints a positive picture for the Asia-Europe trade with strong growth in China, India, Spain, and Italy. The recovering Brazilian economy is a welcome boost to the East Coast South America trades. US has recorded a downward revision in their growth projection due to an uncertain fiscal policy.
Global liner connectivity declines
Newly released data from UNCTAD shows global liner shipping connectivity declining in 2017 for the 2nd consecutive year.
Modest Bunker cash drain in coming years
Crude oil prices are projected to remain flat for the 2017-2018 period, so our forecast for bunker oil prices also remains flat. Bunker delay is expected to have a limited cash flow impact in the coming years, although a slow cash drain expected in 2019-2030.
Service changes Changes in port rotation to the EC3 service
Changes in port rotation to the AL3 service
More information
Week 43Issue 335
In this issue: Mega-vessels to dominate A-E in 2020
With the current orderbook of mega vessels, the Asia-Europe service is poised to be 88% comprised of vessels in excess of 14.000 TEU by 2020. The Asia- Europe trade will have limited ability to absorb large additional batches of mega newbuilds.
Alliance scorecard: Asia-Europe
Contrasted to the Transpacific trade dominated by Ocean Alliance, the Asia- Europe trade is considerably more balanced across the three alliances in terms of number of services, capacity market shares and number of distinct port-pairs offered directly, although we generally see a picture of 2M slightly ahead of Ocean Alliance, with THE Alliance coming in with a bit of distance. As in Transpacific, schedule reliability has improved in recent years, but we are still quite below the alliance reliability of the same period a year ago.
Service changes Changes in port rotation to the Z7S service
Gold Star Line, KMTC, RCL, TS Line and SM Line to launch a new Asia-Middle East service
More information
Week 42Issue 334
In this issue: Port costs quadruple versus fuel costs
Seen over the past 6 years, the importance of fuel costs has plummeted while port, terminals and canal costs have climbed to be the - by far – most important cost element for the container lines.
Alliance scorecard: Transpacific EB
Six months in, we take a look at the new Transpacific alliances in terms of the number of services and port-pairs being offered, average vessel size, capacity market share, and schedule reliability, and compare them to each other and the “old” alliance networks.
Service changes MSC to launch a new Asia-Red Sea service
COSCO to purchase slots on SAEC1 service
More information
Week 41Issue 333
In this issue: Massive overcapacity in 2017-Q4
2017-Q4 is currently slated for massive overcapacity, as the traditional seasonal culling of capacity has not (yet) been scheduled. If the past five years is used as a guide, 25 sailings will have to blanked on Asia-Europe, while Transpacific will require the blanking of 67 average-sized sailings.
Continued market strength in August
The newest set of data from Container Trade statistics underpin the demandside strength seen in the market during the 2017 peak.
Capacity variability: Transpacific EB
On Asia-US West Coast, both Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance have struggled with capacity variability, whereas 2M has seen marked improvements. On Asia- US East Coast, Ocean Alliance has the lowest capacity variability, while 2M has the highest, and THE Alliance is seeing wild swings in excess capacity month to month.
Service changes Changes in port rotation to the SWACO2/FME/IFX/FCS service
Changes in port rotation to the NEMO/EAX service
More information


Week 39Issue 331
In this issue: Asia-ECSA: Trade lane developments
Port combinations offered from Asia to ECSA have a high degree of monthly volatility. Transit times to Paranagua and Rio Grande have greatly improved while transit times on all port combinations have stabilized since October 2015 with a decreasing trend.
Deep-sea rates not driven by fuel
With the exception of Africa, deep-sea export rates out of Asia are currently in a phase where the fuel price is a marginal component in rate formation, and fully irrelevant in some trade lanes.
Vessel arrivals throughout the week
Most arrivals happen on Mondays and Tuesdays, while the least number of calls is registered on Saturdays. Ports on the US West Coast and West Coast South America experience big differences in the day of arrival, while deep-sea vessel arrivals in Asia are spread almost evenly throughout the week.
Service changes Changes in port rotation on the “Spain to SAEC”/MSE service
Changes in port rotation to the SAT/SAAF/SAMWAF service
More information
Week 38Issue 330
In this issue: Asia-ECSA decline due to extra loaders
Asia-ECSA spot rates have dropped from 3,800 USD/TEU to 2,200 USD/TEU in just 11 weeks. Closer analysis shows that renewed capacity injections have caused the sharp decline.
Carrier Q2 financial and volume results - update
In 2017-Q2, all analysed carriers reported significant increases in revenues, with CAM CGM being the most profitable carrier. Volumes have also increased Y/Y, with HMM, CMA CGM, and COSCO posting significant increases. [NOW UPDATED WITH CMA CGM FIGURES]
Knock-On Reliability: Non-alliance trades
96.4% of on-time vessel arrivals in Tanjung Pelepas arrive on-time in ISC. On Asia-ECSA, knock-on schedule reliability for vessels that are on-time in Port Klang and Singapore is over 91%, while 88.7% of vessels that arrive late in Port Klang, arrive on-time in ECSA.
Service changes Changes in port rotation to the CGX service
Changes in port rotation to the IMED service
More information
Week 37Issue 329
In this issue: Rates increase mainly in large trades
Global freight rates are up 7.7% in July versus same month last year – however the majority of trades have seen rate declines, with smaller trades being worse off. This raises concern for niche carrier performance.
2017: Golden Week blanked sailings
The Transpacific trade lanes have already seen most of the expected Golden Week 2017 blank sailings announced, and we expect only 1 blank sailings further on Asia-USWC and Asia-USEC. Asia-North Europe is expected to see five more blank sailings, while Asia-MED is expected to see 3.6 average-sized sailings being blanked.
Carriers’ Use of Social Media 2017
Shipping Line social media remains a world of Maersk Line and then everyone else, with the Danish line commanding a 10:1 follower lead over competition, except LinkedIn where CMA CGM are closing the gap. In 2017, Hapag-Lloyd has gained a strong presence.
Service changes Changes to port rotation of Matson’s CLX service
Maersk Line closing the WAF8 service
More information
Week 36Issue 328
In this issue: Carrier Q2 financial and volume results
In 2017-Q2, all analysed carriers reported significant increases in revenues, with Maersk Line being the most profitable carrier. Volumes have also increased Y/Y, with HMM and COSCO posting significant increases.
Best case: 71% vessel utilisation
The combination of inter-continental trade imbalances and seasonal demand fluctuations result in a situation, where in the most optimal case the industry can only achieve a 71% annual vessel utilisation.
Developments in vessel arrival delays
2017-1H has seen a decrease in the lateness of vessels compared to 2014-1H and 2015-1H, but 2016-1H had the least delays. Other than seasonal elements and the impact of port related incidents, average delays of all vessel arrivals tend to remain within a stable bracket whereas average delays for late vessels are generally more volatile.
Service changes Changes in port rotation to the NEFGUI service
Changes in port rotation to the WAX/CIMEX 3 service
More information