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Fracht Australia News - March 2023


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"“The ones who are crazy enough to think they change the world, are the ones who do it”"


  • DEMAND FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIAN EXPORTS continues to rise as trade ties with the state’s biggest export market – China – pick back up after months of decline, according to state trade data. Exports from the state were worth $15.9 billion in the 12 months to November 2022, up 22% on the previous year.
  • A DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE has toppled containers and halted operations at ports on Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean coast. The death toll from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria is reported at 46,820, with media reports indicating the hardest-hit areas in the country are the provinces of Hatay.
  • US INTERMODAL TRAFFIC rolled into 2023 with the brakes on. The sector was down last year and things got worse in the first week of the new year, producing the worst January since 2013. The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) reported  16.2% decline in Q4.
  • CONTAINER IMPORTS TUMBLE AT US PORTS, with the West Coast hardest hit. January import volumes at the ten largest US container ports fell 17.9% against the record throughput of January last year. According to the latest McCown container volume analysis, there were 23.5% fewer containers discharge at US west coast ports last month than the previous year.


  • GLOOMY PICTURE AHEAD at North Europe box ports as “shopping frenzy” ends. North Europe’s container hub ports are bracing themselves for the weak January import volumes from Asia to continue through the year. Ocean carriers are obliged to blank a high percentage of their advertised sailings from Asia to North Europe, due to very weak demand.
  • MOL ADDS METHANOL-FUELLED CARRIER TO FLEET – MITSUI O.S.K. Lines has taken delivery of methanol-fuelled carrier Cypress Sun. The Japanese shipping company said the duel-fuelled methanol carrier can run on either methanol or conventional heavy fuel
  • 2M TO END IN 2025 – Maerks and MSC will end the 2M Alliance in January 2025. The vessel-sharing agreement began in 2015, with the two companies saying its aim was to ensure competitive and cost-efficient operations on the Asia-Europe and trans-Pacific trades. “Discontinuing the 2M alliance paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies” a joint statement from Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc and MSC CEO Soren Toft said.
  • ANL REVAMPS SE ASIA SERVICES – ANL is launching three new services that connect the major Australian ports with South East Asian port with three weekly loops. AAX-S will be serviced by seven 8500-TEU vessels and will connect Port Kelang, Tanjung Pelepas and Singapore with Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Fremantle. AAX-E will be serviced by six 5700-TEU vessels and will connect Tanjung Pelepas and Singapore with Brisbane and Sydney. AAX-W will be serviced by three 1800-TEU vessels and will connect Singapore, Fremantle and Port Kelang.
  • DIGITALISATION FEARS ARE JEOPARDISING MARITIME PROGRESS. A new report from Finnish marine technology company Wärtsilä addresses seven focus areas, including digitalisation, decarbonisation, regulation, decision-support, highly automated shipping, next-generation talent and fragmentation, and suggests the maritime industry’s attitude towards these areas reflect early sailor’s fears of sea monsters. The report found 78% of participating industry professionals agree change and technological innovation is good for the industry, but 45% admit to having a volatile attitude towards technology and 36% are resistant to change.
  • CAPACITY SHORTAGES A CHALLENGE FOR BREAKBULK IN 2022. Capacity shortages and service disruptions created challenges for the entire breakbulk industry in 2022, according to Wallenius Wilhelmsen. The shipping company said the industry experienced a misalignment between supply and demand as well as a peak in demand for high and heavy equipment. It highlighted labour shortages, geopolitical tensions, over-saturation in ports and equipment shortages as the causes of these disruptions.
  • HAPAG-LLOYD ANNOUNCES “EXTRAORDINARILY” STRONG 2022 RESULTS. Hapag-Lloyd’s profits soared last year, according to its preliminary and unaudited figures for the 2022 financial year, with revenues rising to US$36.4 billion, and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rising to US$18.5 billion.
  • CHINESE CAR EXPORTERS TURN TO CONTAINERS TO PLUG CAR-CARRIER CAPACITY GAP. Insufficient pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) space is driving some Chinese car-makers to use containers to export their automobiles. Adding to the attraction are rates that have tumbled from the historical peaks of last year, while prices for space on car-carriers have soared.
  • FURTHER WEAKNESS DRIVES SERVICES SUSPENSIONS as carriers report declines. Maersk’s Q4 volumes last year were 14% below the same quarter of 2021 – the worst performance of all the carriers that have reported to date. HMM (Hyundai Merchant Marine) reported that its Q4’s net profit halved, compared to the same period of 2021. OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Line) noted a 5.6% decline in its liftings, compared to the previous year, and Japanese carrier ONE has reported its Q4 carryings had declined by 10% year on year.



  • 2022 – A POOR YEAR FOR EUROPE’S AIRPORTS. European airport cargo data for 2022 is trickling in. The numbers are poor, but likely to be poorer still this year. Frankfurt was the latest to admit to falling volumes last year, down 13.3% to 2021, and, like Schiphol, volumes were down on 2019 too, by 5.6%. December was particularly bad, with year-on-year volumes down 19%.
  • LUFTHANSA CARGO WAS FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO CUSTOMERS as it had to freeze bookings after suffering an IT outage in mid-February.
  • NEW OWNER DRIVES $80 BILLION AIR INDIA FLEET EXPANSION to regain market share. The carrier, under new owner Tata Group, will acquire a total of 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, at an estimated cost of some $80 Billion.
  • NOT ENOUGH SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL (SAF) FOR AIR CARGO TO HIT NET ZERO. Concerns have been raised over airfreight’s capacity to maintain its present growth rate, cater to rising demand for e-commerce and hit 2050 net-zero targets. SAF is considered by most in the aviation sector as the surest route to net zero by 2050, but just 0.03% of the required 450 billion litres a year that would be needed to fuel the sector was produced globally last year.


  • CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN ON MELBOURNE INTERMODAL – Construction plans are in place for a $400-million intermodal freight terminal linked to the Port of Melbourne. The Somerton Intermodal Terminal is positioned at an overlap between two rail projects in Victoria. The newly established Intermodal Terminal Company (ITC) is to build the new intermodal terminal at the Austrak Business Park in Melbourne’s north.
  • NEWCASTLE TRADE ON THE INCREASE – Trade through the Port of Newcastle increased slightly in December to 13.88 million tonnes, up 2.6 % compared with the same month in 2021. However, the value of trade increased by 119% to $8 billion in December 2022, from $3.7 billion in the same month in 2021.
  • DECEMBER DECLINE IN BRISBANE CONTAINER THROUGHPUT – Port of Brisbane saw a slowdown in container throughput in December, declining 13 % compared with the same month in 2021.



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