US are reportedly concerned about a takeover by the Chinese COSCO, regarding a large container terminal in Long Beach, California. The terminal is part of COSCO’s plan to buy the shipping company Orient Overseas International. The expected acquisition of Orient Overseas Container Line is about to be completed until the end of June.
The European Commission presented trade agreements with Japan and Singapore to the Council to eventually be adopted. The European shipowners welcomed this move, noting that this was the first step towards the conclusion of these agreements, which “send a strong message to the world in support of fair and regulated trade”.
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Portuguese tonnage tax scheme, which, together with a scheme to support seafarers, will encourage ship registration in Europe and contribute to the competitiveness of maritime transport, while preserving employment and promoting high environmental standards.
The start of operations of the world’s newest container shipping line, ONE, will be tested by its capability to harness synergies from the formerly-three liners it’s made up of, said online freight forwarder iContainers. By working together as a combined entity, ONE should take this opportunity to adopting the best practices of each member.
As part of its continuing effort to combat dwindling orders, South Korea’s largest shipbuilder HHI revealed plans to carry out a voluntary retirement program. The shipbuilder said it has offered to provide up to 20 months’ salary to those who apply for the program by April 29.
Following a significant recovery in upstream Final Investment Decisions in 2017, Wood Mackenzie consultancy expects a similar story in 2018 with around 30 major projects to reach FID. As noted, the upstream industry forges ahead with cost cutting, as projects that did get the greenlight are smaller.
2018 has started with a confident footing for multipurpose shipping, which is forecast to recover further on rising demand, contracting vessel supply and lessening threats from competing sectors, according to Drewry. The multipurpose shipping market has struggled over the last few years, but conditions are now ripe for recovery.
Japanese K-Line’s plea follows an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and charges laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, in relation to cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia. NYK had also pleaded guilty in July 2016.
The container shipping market in 2018 and 2019 will see a healthy demand growth that will outpace the fleet, resulting in a better supply-demand balance and slightly higher freight rates and profits for carriers, according to the global shipping consultancy Drewry.
Shipping confidence achieved a four-year high in the three months to end-February 2018. The average confidence level expressed by respondents increased from 6.2 out of 10.0 in November 2017 to 6.4. A major new investment over the next 12 months is more possible now than at any time in almost four years, even though finance will probably be more expensive to access.
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