Monjasa suffered massive deficit, while broker Lightship lost a dramatic court case to a former partner. And Dong found a buyer for the company's oil and gas business. Here are this week's top stories on ShippingWatch.
Container carrier CMA CGM increased its net earnings in the first quarter 2017, which marked a big improvement compared to the same period last year. The acquisition of APL contributes positively to the business for the first time.
Cosco Shipping Group plans to launch a large financing fund for targeted investments in shipping. The fund will be split into a yuan fund and a dollar fund and will focus on, among other things, struggling companies.
Hapag-Lloyd and UASC are now officially merged after the two container carriers have agreed on the last remaining formalities in the deal. The merger will create the world's fifth-largest carrier by capacity. Get the latest details here.
The EU Commission is informally contacting stakeholders to determine if the prices between Europe and Asia have increased after April 1 this year as a consequence of the fact there are now only three major container alliances left operating.
Like its major competitor Maersk Line, German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd was slammed by higher bunker prices in the first quarter, where the carrier booked a loss of EUR 62.1 million. Expenses for ports and terminals towered up for the company, writes Clarksons Platou.
Maersk Line's deficit is symbolic of continued struggles throughout the container industry, analyst Lars Jensen tells ShippingWatch. He thinks that two things in particular are worrying about the numbers. CEO Søren Skou on the other hand stand firm on the forecast for the full-year 2017.
Bondholders are uncertain about the rescue plan proposed by German shipping company Rickmers Group aimed at securing continued operations. The plan includes Chairman Bertram C. Rickmers surrendering control of parent unit Rickmers Holding.
In the wake of massive consolidation, pressure is mounting on medium-sized container carriers such as Singapore-based PIL. "But we are not for sale," the carrier's Executive Director Lisa Teo tells ShippingWatch, although she does acknowledge the challenges ahead.
Customers have been saying it for a long time, and new figures document that the container carriers are far from able to comply with their service schedules. Maersk Line acknowledges to ShippingWatch that the industry including the carrier itself is not performing satisfactorily. "We have a service problem that needs to be solved."
Peter Frederiksen, who since 2012 has been part of the executive team at Hamburg Süd, will leave the German carrier when Maersk moves in. Now he plans to pursue an active board career, he tells ShippingWatch in an interview.
Norden off to a weak start in dry bulk in 2017, a record-large deficit for DSV, strong results from oil majors, and increased political focus on shipping by US and EU authorities were among this week's key stories on ShippingWatch.
Spot rates on the key container tradelane Asia-Europe took a big dive last week, according to a survey from Drewry. The firm expects the rates to keep sliding as there is by now more space available for shippers.
Two prominent senior executives from Maersk Line will join the management team of German container carrier Hamburg Süd. The carrier has also tapped a new CEO from its own ranks for when Ottmar Gast steps down. The changes are contingent on the finalization of the acquisiton.
The US maritime laws, which exempt international container carriers from regular competition regulations, are outdated, according to several US legislators who are prepared to present a new bill in less than a month.
With the delivery of Madrid Maersk, the first vessel in its new mega-series, Maersk Line has begun to take delivery of the 27 vessels set to enter the company’s fleet over the next two years. The carrier will return short-term chartered vessels from all segments to their owners, explains COO Søren Toft.
Several EU member states, including Denmark, are currently having their state subsidies to carriers and maritime businesses scrutinized, while John Fredriksen's efforts to take over DHT continue. And ShippingWatch was present at the major shipping conference in Singapore this week.
The three major Japanese container carriers: MOL, NYK Line, and K-Line, which are poised for a merger, all have faith in advancements this year, as indicated in their annual reports published Friday morning.
2017 did not begin as well as last year for Seaspan. However, the shipowner has faith in the future and is ready to benefit from the reconstruction of the container market which is currently underway, says CEO Gerry Wang.
2017 has already been hailed by Maersk Line and several of its biggest competitors as the year in which the miserable results from last year will be replaced by a de-facto turnaround. Things have developed positively so far, Maersk Line's head of Asia and the Pacific tells ShippingWatch.
Alphaliner's chief analyst, Tan Hua Joo, is one of only a few external experts who has been asked by the container sector's secretive Box Club about his view of the future. He now warns the carriers of a worrisome development.
One of Europe's biggest logistics and forwarding companies, Kuehne+Nagel, will take the container carriers' abilities to go digital into account when signing orders in the future, CEO Detlef Trefzger tells ShippingWatch.
Shipping banks have impaired loans for USD 3.4 billion and DHT stopped an attempt by Fredriksen's Frontline to block the transaction with BW Group. These stories and more were featured this week on ShippingWatch.
Rickmers Maritime Trust is selling its entire fleet of container vessels to a Greek carrier. The sale comes one week after the Singapore-based company announced that it was giving up after battling to survive for months, and would close down.
J. Lauritzen's bondholder dispute was resolved, the carrier relying on money from its owner. More details emerged about the EU approval of Maersk's takeover of Hamburg Süd. And Rickmers Maritime had to throw in the towel. Keep up with this week's top stories on ShippingWatch.
According to Alphaliner, Hamburg Süd will have to pull eight vessels from five consortia as a consequence of the EU's conditions for approving Maersk Line's acquisition. The carriers correspond to 11 percent of the carrier's total capacity.
One of Europe's largest shipping banks, DVB, does not share the 2017 optimism of container carriers. "We have not yet seen the effect of the bottom in the financial reports," says DVB's Managing Director of Shipping and Offshore to ShippingWatch.
The two most important container routes on the Atlantic from North Europe and the Mediterranean to the US East Coast will see a huge rise in capacity this year with the new alliances, according to Seaintel.
Crisis-struck Rickmers Maritime has delivered yet another huge loss. The Singapore-based company has now lost approximately USD 325 million over the past three years. CEO Søren Andersen and Chairman Bertram C. Rickmers still have faith in the future, however.
South Korean container carrier HMM ends 2016 with an operating loss of USD 595 million, writes Alphaliner. Besides bankrupt Hanjin, the carrier's operating margin was the worst among listed carriers last year, writes the analyst agency.
The Maersk-owned container carrier on European services was close to a halving of its result last year. The CEO attributes this development to increasing competition from other feeder carriers as well as from global carriers.
Chilean carrier CSAV, which was bought by Hapag-Lloyd in 2015, emerged from 2016 with a bottom line deficit. "We continue in a scenario of high volatility of rates," says CEO Oscar Hasbun according to Seatrade Maritime.
Significant resignations at J. Lauritzen, large deficits from Hapag-Lloyd and the rest of the container sector, the Maersk Group General Assembly, and massive volumes of oil left on two sunken Maersk vessels featured among this week's top stories.
2016 finished with major losses for the combined container industry, according to calculations made by SeaIntelligence Consulting for ShippingWatch. The level is virtually in line with the horrific year of 2011.
Chinese container carrier China Cosco Shipping Holdings booked a billion dollar loss on the bottom line in 2016. The carrier expects better conditions for container carriers this year than last year, writes Reuters.
The closure of the service that linked the Mediterranean to the US East Coast and parts of Latin America marks the end of a 60-year presence for the carrier on this trade. According to Alphaliner, the service is shut down due to persistent losses.
Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen heralds a pause in growth for the German carrier in order to digest the mergers with CSAV and UASC and cater to the owners who have lost vast sums in recent years. He does not share the optimism for the market expressed by other carriers.
"If the container carriers see themselves as key players in the supply chain, they have failed," European shippers tell ShippingWatch following a members’ meeting Tuesday. The European Shippers' Council is ready to involve the EU to weigh the dominance of the three alliances.
Maersk has developed 15 digital prototypes, says Maersk's departing chairman Michael Pram Rasmussen at the Maersk General Assembly in Copenhagen on Tuesday. He also expresses "pride" at the work being done by Maersk at shipbreaking facilities in India.
It was an aggressive Maersk Line which conquered nine percent of the global container market in 2016, says Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen, who now risks losing longtime cooperation agreements with "neighbor carrier" Hamburg Süd to Maersk Line.
The launch of the new container alliances on April 1 will mark a new era for container shipping, and market observers will keep an eye on whether the new setup helps container majors keep rates high on key trades, notes SeaIntel.
"The bottom line is still that this result is not satisfactory," says Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, which has just published its report for last year. 2017 also saw a tough start for the carrier.
Danish pension funds will invest big-time in shipping, a new COO at French container carrier, and a new deal between Denmark and oil majors for the North Sea are some of this week's top stories on ShippingWatch.
According to Clarksons Platou, Hapag-Lloyd looks set to become one of the winners in a container market which the shipbroker projects will experience significant improvements in 2017 – especially due to a record-low fleet growth.
The EU Commission postpones its final decision concerning Maersk Line's acquisition of Hamburg Süd after the two carriers have made concessions. Maersk Line describes the move as standard procedure and expects EU approval by April 10.
The Journal of Commerce reports that the CEOs of Maersk Line and other container carriers were recently handed subpoenas from US antitrust regulators during a meeting of the industry's closed forum the Box Club.
The world's third-largest container carrier has hired a former Maersk man as one of Rodolphe Saadé's closest employees and new COO of the French company, according to ShippingWatch's sources. Read on to learn who.
The container carriers are working to reduce the number of direct links between several ports on the major tradelanes which will be serviced by the three alliances starting April 1. A new analysis concludes that this could be good for the carriers' business, though it could also hurt the ports.
The container carrier has from 2015 to 2016 virtually eliminated the use of so-called facilitation payments, namely the mild form of bribes as payment in the form of, for instance, cigarettes for pilots, customs officials, and port authorities, reports Danish media dr.dk.
Shipowner Johan Wedell-Wedellsborg opened up about the sale of Stena Weco to Stena Bulk, Maersk Group CEO Søren Skou is building a new CEO Office, and the dry bulk shares have skyrocketed in 2017 so far. Here are this week's top picks on ShippingWatch.
Container carriers Hapag-Lloyd and UASC postpone the deadline for the merger to late May 2017. Dynamar reports that the delay is caused by complex bank negotiations. The launch of The Alliance will not be affected, inform the carriers.
Shippers which routinely send containers to Asia are noting "heavily damaging situations" due to a major decline in capacity on the vessels, says the European Shippers' Council, voicing harsh criticism against the three major alliances.
Things are looking better than it has in a long time for the medium-size container vessels as the charter rates are headed for a more sustainable level. There is an "extraordinary level of activity" right now, writes Alphaliner in the firm's latest analysis.
The downturn in German shipping means that a smaller number of banks have now taken over a large number of feeder vessels from ailing shipowners. This development was noted at Unifeeder in the first half of 2016, as charter prices increased. Yet this trend has turned around, says CEO Jesper Kristensen.
Maersk's CEO, Søren Skou, who also serves as CEO for the group's by-far biggest business area, Maersk Line, is establishing his own staff unit in a so-called CEO Office. The office will be headed by a former McKinsey exec.
The 2M alliance between MSC and Maersk Line will, starting April, increase its capacity on Asia-Europe by 25 percent, and the significant volume expansion could trigger rate disruptions, writes analyst firm Alphaliner in its latest newsletter.
Along with owner Nordic Capital, Unifeeder has designated three areas in which the carrier intends to grow in the coming years before changing ownership again. CEO Jesper Kristensen and Lars Terney, partner of the fund, are both ready for acquisitions, they tell ShippingWatch.
Rickmers Maritime has received word from HSH Nordbank that the bank may be willing to forgive debt if noteholders agree to a similar move. This development means that Rickmers Maritime is now putting together a new restructuring proposal.
In line with other global container carriers, the world's third largest container carrier, France's CMA CGM, booked a deficit for the entire 2016, according to the carrier's report. The fourth quarter, however, showed positive signs.
Maersk plans to sue a Spanish billionaire, Torm CEO Jacob Meldgaard talks to ShippingWatch after the release of the carrier's annual report for 2016, and dry bulk may be closer to recovery. All this and more on ShippingWatch this past week.
Consolidation continues among German shipowners with Hamburg-based Claus-Peter Offen and Offen Group's takeover of Munich's Conto Group. Following the transaction, Offen Group owns a fleet of 169 vessels.
The carrier will "be rooted in the fact that it's a Greenlandic business," and as such, a bigger part of the carrier's fleet will be flagged in Greenland going forward, says CEO Verner Hammeken in an interview with ShippingWatch.
As the first of the three major container alliances, The Alliance is now establishing a trust fund to help the carriers deliver stranded containers if one of the members becomes insolvent. The initiative comes in the wake of criticism from US shippers in particular following the collapse of Hanjin Shipping.
When the new container alliances and 2M launch their new sailing schedules on Asia-Europe a few weeks from now, shippers must expect fewer direct links and thus bigger needs for cargo reloading in ports, according to an analysis from SeaIntel.
Seaspan, one of the world's biggest shipowners, will sell shares and secure debt for USD 1 billion. The company has been hit hard by the shipping crisis and the collapse of South Koran container carrier Hanjin Shipping.
HSH Nordbank has reorganized its shipping portfolio and has thus significantly reduced its exposure to the container segment. Christian Nieswandt, global head of shipping, tells ShippingWatch about the future prioritization for the billions of euros the bank has invested in shipping.
Greenland-based Royal Arctic Line achieved its best result ever in 2016 with a profit of DKK 98 million after taxes. The result came after a year characterized by major changes at the state-owned carrier.
Entirely as expected, Hyundai Merchant Marine is selling ten container vessels to the South Korean state, which will then lease them back to the South Korean container carrier right away. The transaction is financed with a combination of cash, shares, and bonds, reports Yonhap.
A "temperature reading" of how far container companies have gone with their digital customer service does not bode well for customers and the general service level, concludes SeaIntel after carrying out a new test.
Bondholders have become an unforeseen powerhouse in the many restructurings of maritime companies. This is visible in the case of Rickmers Maritime and Rickmers Group which are currently fighting with bondholders.