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 51Issue 343
In this issue: Expect Ocean Alliance Network Change
A closer analysis of the deliveries of large vessels in 2018 points to a development wherein 2M and THE Alliance might focus on minor network changes, but wherein Ocean Alliance is likely to make significant changes following Chinese New Year.
Service level review: Asia to Oceania
Port combinations offered to Oceania have seen a consistent increase over the years. Transit times have generally improved, except from Singapore to Melbourne and Sydney. The number of blank sailings on this trade lane remains high, while schedule reliability, although seasonal, has improved significantly in 2017.
Service changes APL to join the PAD/NASP service
Changes in port rotation to the MIDAS Loop 1/Mesawa service
More information
Week 50Issue 342
In this issue: N.America round-trip rates undermined
Increasing trade imbalance into North America undermines the round-trip rates for containers. Conversely, the round-trip rates on the Asia-Europe trade see the head-haul rate decline mitigated by backhaul rates.
Weekly capacity volatility 2015-2017
Weekly capacity fluctuations on Asia-NEUR and Asia-MED have been lower in 2017 than 2016, whereas the opposite is true for Asia-USWC and Asia-USEC. Transatlantic WB has seen the greatest Y/Y increase in weekly capacity fluctuations of all the major East/West trades.
Merchandise Imports and Reliability
Merchandised imports is found to have statistically significant but weak impact on schedule reliability, suggesting that reliability increases when annual merchandised import in a country exceeds 100bn USD. The reverse is also true: When merchandise imports are low, schedule reliability will also be low.
Service changes OOCL to launch a new Intra–Asia service
HMM and Sinokor to launch a new Intra-Asia service
More information
Week 49Issue 341
In this issue: Pacific contract rates underperform
Following the rate collapse in 2016, contract rates on Asia-Europe took about a year to recover to the rates implied by the spot market. On the Transpacific market, contract vs. spot misalignment is at 30-40% showing the potential for increases in contract season 2018-19 barring an all-out rate war.
Transatlantic WB service level review
Port combinations from NEUR have increased sharply since the launch of the new alliance networks. Transit times from NEUR to Halifax have substantially increased, while transit times from both regions to USEC have generally improved. Schedule reliability, although highly cyclical in nature, has been lower than in 2016.
Modelling Transpacific freight rates
We build a model for explaining Asia-USWC freight rates, and find bunker oil price to be the strongest driver, while supply and demand also are significant.
Service changes Carriers to revise rotation of the WSA4/NW2/ASA/Andes/ACSA2 service
Carriers to upgrade the PAD service to weekly
More information


Week 48Issue 340
In this issue: 2017-Q3 financials and volumes [update]
2017-Q3 is a significant improvement over 2016-Q3, with CMA CGM far outperforming the rest of the industry, and all but one carrier, HMM, reporting a positive EBIT/Operating Profit. Despite healthy volumes, freight rates were disappointing.
Sustained shift in reliability strategy
Looking at reliability developments across the top-20 carriers shows that only Maersk and MSC have materially changed their approach to reliability as a competitive parameter – in opposite directions.
Schedule Reliability in Transhipment Hubs
The number of vessels arriving on-time in the major transhipments hubs in Asia, Middle East, and Europe have seen a significant Y/Y decrease in 2017. No transhipment hub has consistently seen a high number of on-time vessel arrivals between 2012 and 2017.
Service changes Carriers to revise the rotations of the FE2 and FE4 services
Carriers to revise rotation of the ESA/SA3 service
More information
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