• 2020 May 30 15:27

    Xeneta Container Rates alert: continued global uncertainty hits rates, but worst fears yet to be realised

    With the collapse in demand and glut of supply in the container vessel segment, analysts may have been fearing the worst for developments in long-term contracted ocean freight rates. However, despite the widespread ramifications of Coronavirus, rates held comparatively steady for the month of May, with the latest XSI® Public Indices report from Xeneta registering a 1.2% decline. This follows a 0.7% increase in April, leaving the index up 1.7% for 2020 so far. That said, the future, Xeneta cautions, remains defined by uncertainty.

    Proactive Approach
    Oslo-based Xeneta’s XSI® provides unique intelligence on the very latest ocean freight market moves. Based on crowd-sourced data from leading shippers, the report utilises over 200 million data points, covering more than 160,000 port-to-port pairings, to provide a real-time picture of industry developments.

    The unexpected rise in April, after a 0.5% fall in March, was attributed to the proactive strategies of container ship operators, who were withdrawing market capacity and adjusting sailings in an attempt to balance supply and demand. That approach continues to mitigate damage, while the gradual opening of national economies is, Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund explains, giving some room for optimism.

    Early days
    “Given the debilitating effects of the pandemic on global economic activity, there may have been a belief that rates would freefall, but not so,” he comments. “Owners have been quick to remove surplus capacity and as some, particularly European, countries cautiously reopen we’re seeing carriers, such as those in THE Alliance, announce plans to reinstate sailings.

    “Contracted rates have held up well, some would say surprisingly so, while spot rates on key routes have also stood strong. With some national governments stepping in to support the industry - such as those in South Korea and Taiwan, who have both announced emergency funding of USD 1billion for shipping – a ‘blood bath’ has largely been avoided. Nevertheless, it’s early days and many owners have posted worse than expected Q1 results and, it has to be said, will be dreading going public with Q2 figures.”

    Fluctuating fortunes
    He continues: “The future, unfortunately, remains uncertain. That makes it absolutely essential for all stakeholders in the shipping value chain to access the latest intelligence to ensure they stay up to speed and get optimal value when negotiating rates.”

    That sense of unpredictability has been evident in the regional developments revealed by Xeneta’s XSI®, which is based on a unique collection of crowd-sourced rates data pooled from leading global shippers.

    In Europe the import benchmark continued its decline, falling (for the third consecutive month) by 2%, down 2.2% since the start of the year. Exports however continued to perform robustly, with rates increasing by 0.8% and now 6.1% up for the year (5.7% year-on-year). Far East imports, meanwhile, surged by 3.9%, with the figure up 6% in 2020 to date. A performance that couldn’t be matched by the export index, which fell 1.4% in May, but remains up 1.7% for the year, but down 6.1% year-on-year.

    Both the import and export benchmarks fell in the US, with the former declining by 1.5% (up 1.8% since the start of 2020) while the latter slid by 3.4%. It is now just 0.2% up for the year, but 1.6% up year-on-year.

    Positioning for success
    “It’s obviously not all doom and gloom for contracted rates, even though the challenges the industry (and indeed the world) face should not be underestimated,” Berglund concludes. “Owners and operators are clearly up for the fight and moving decisively when and wherever that’s possible. We can see clear evidence of that in the work of the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), made up of the largest carriers, which is looking to introduce a paperless bill of lading and potentially save billions of dollars in costs. A much-needed efficiency.

    “Shippers have to stay equally as limber in this environment, keeping up to speed with real-time market developments. Nobody knows what will happen next, but with the insights enabled through the latest data you can at least position your business to gain competitive advantage. That’s more essential now than ever.”

    Companies participating in Xeneta’s crowd-sourced data platform include names such as Electrolux, Continental, Unilever, Lenovo, Nestle, L’Oréal, and Thyssenkrupp, amongst others.

    About Xeneta
    Xeneta is the leading ocean freight rate benchmarking and market intelligence platform transforming the shipping and logistics industry. Xeneta’s powerful reporting and analytics platform provides liner-shipping stakeholders the data they need to understand current and historical market behaviour – reporting live on market average and low/high movements for both short and long-term contracts. Xeneta’s data is comprised of over 200 million contracted container rates and covers over 160,000 global trade routes. Xeneta is a privately held company with headquarters in Oslo, Norway and regional offices in New York and Hamburg.




2020 July 8

16:20 Throughput of Rostov-on-Don port in 6M’2020 grew by 10% Y-o-Y
16:13 Maritime industry calls for EU political leadership on seafarers
15:23 Port of Antwerp total throughput down by 4.9% in H1 2020
14:03 Wärtsilä introduces the system, designed to reliquefy boil-off gas onboard gas carriers and LNG bunker vessels
13:45 RF State Duna adopts a package of laws on privileges in the Arctic
13:12 PD Ports wins major pipeline contract with Global Manufacturer at Hartlepool
12:44 DCSA publishes standards for digital exchange of operational vessel schedules
12:18 Germany takes over HELCOM chairmanship
12:11 Seanergy Maritime announces agreement to acquire a Capesize vessel with prompt delivery
11:55 Russian Fishery Company fleet renewal to reduce carbon footprint by 50%
11:29 Pella Shipyard delivers patrol boat of Project 03160
11:04 Austal delivers first of two 118 metre trimarans to Fred. Olsen Express
10:43 Barcelona Cruise Port obtains the 'Safe Travels' Stamp, as safe infrastructures preventing COVID-19
10:32 Throughput of Rosterminalugol in HI’2020 grew by 10% YoY
10:04 ESPO says EU Taxonomy should align with already defined sectoral sustainability criteria
09:40 Oil prices continue decreasing
09:37 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 08
09:23 Bunker prices rose at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:08 Baltic Dry Index as of July 7

2020 July 7

18:06 ZIM unveils new digital services
17:49 Great Arctic Regatta started in Saint Petersburg
17:27 Crude exports via Kozmino in HI’2020 grew by 5% YoY
17:02 Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig returning to Johan Sverdrup
16:35 Optimarin successfully completes IMO G8 and USCG test programme
16:12 Alfa Laval takes its service offer to the next level through remote service guidance
15:56 New ferry line Baltic Link launched at the port of Riga
15:28 RF Government allocates RUB 320 million to subsidize shipping companies
15:02 ABP delivers project cargo using North Lincolnshire’s waterways
14:32 Air Liquide and the Port of Rotterdam Authority launch initiative for hydrogen road transport
14:02 Konecranes to deliver mobile harbor crane to new terminal in Trieste
13:46 Bunker prices rise at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
13:32 KNOT concludes long-term charter contract with PetroChina for shuttle tanker
13:11 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to West Africa
12:49 Throughput of Vostochny Port in HI’2020 grew by 6% YoY
12:30 GTT Training and Wavelink Maritime Institute in collaboration to deliver LNG training in Singapore
12:23 Tom Hautekiet becomes new CEO Port of Zeebrugge
12:01 IMO endorses guidance on ensuring seafarers’ access to medical care onshore
11:58 NRP facilitates long-term financing for a newbuilt arctic container vessel
11:00 The CMA CGM Group simplifies its trade network on the Transpacific trade
10:52 First jacket successfully installed at Moray East, Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm
10:52 Aker Arctic joins ePIcenter project
10:14 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 07
10:08 Zvezda shipyard starts steel cutting for nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya, Project 10510
09:31 Oil prices are decreasing
09:13 Baltic Dry Index as of July 6
08:40 Klaveness Combination Carriers secures the first sustainability linked bank financing in Norwegian shipping

2020 July 6

19:07 Equinor awarded framework contract for engineering and installation services on Statfjord
18:27 CMA CGM to launch Round the Africa service
18:07 APM Terminals Buenos Aires facilitates first ever export of lemons from Argentina to China
17:31 Northern Sea Route cargo traffic in 6M’2020 reached 14.8 million tonnes
17:30 Kloosterboer starts construction of Cool Port II at City Terminal Rotterdam
17:06 ArcelorMittal issues invitation to tender for heat network in North Sea Port
16:45 Damen delivers five zero emissions propulsion ferries to Arriva in Copenhagen
16:12 Kvaerner improves financial results and outlook
15:32 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO fell to RUB 9,623 in RF spot market
15:08 EMSA’s RPAS to support Finnish, Estonian and Swedish Coast Guard functions
14:05 Zvezda Shipyard lays down fifth Aframax tanker, Nursultan Nazarbayev
13:33 Throughput of Port Vysotsky in 6M’2020 fell by 16.5% YoY
13:10 CMA CGM announces PSS from the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East Gulf, Red Sea & Egypt Red Sea ports to the US Gulf, US East Coast & Canada East Coast
12:00 Sembcorp Marine President & CEO appointed Co-chair of International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation