1. General Market Overview:

In this edition, we bring you the latest updates and insights from the dynamic world of container shipping. From market rates to strategic alliances and digital transformation, we’ve got you covered.

2. Ocean Freight Market Rates:

COSCO’s ASAX Service Upgrade:

Exciting news from COSCO as they enhance their ASAX service, offering a smoother connection from Port Klang to Fremantle with increased capacity, doubling the previous limit to over 3500 TEUs. The Ocean Alliance’s east-west liner services vessel-sharing agreement has also been extended until March 31, 2032, putting an end to speculations about potential shifts.

Industry Outlook for 2025:

Anticipate a challenging year for container shipping in 2025, with over 2 million TEU of newbuilding deliveries, resulting in a 5% fleet growth. However, efforts to manage capacity amid supply growth are underway, with projections of a 3% increase in container trade volume. Digitalization is becoming crucial for staying competitive in this evolving landscape.

New Feeder and Short-Sea Shipping in Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia introduces Folk Maritime, its first dedicated feeder operator, connecting key ports in the Red Sea. Services include connections between Jeddah, Neom, Yanbu, Ain Sokhna, and Sudan.

3. Market Rates & Economic Conditions:

Upcoming Weakness in Market:

Expect a weaker market next week as stable vessel capacity becomes a concern. FAK rates from CNMP are predicted to be lower than USD 1000/TEU after e-commerce spot rates, particularly in the range of USD 850-900/TEU to AUEC.

Competitive Rates to Australia:

FAK rates from SEA origins and Australia West Coast remain stable, with rates around USD 600-800/TEU and 550-700/TEU, respectively. COSCO’s ASAX service upgrade, now at 7 days from Singapore to Fremantle, contributes to the competitive edge.

Container Imbalances and Trade Challenges:

Growing trade imbalances highlight the struggle to reposition empty containers, exceeding the growth in paying container volumes. This inefficiency poses economic burdens on multiple parties, impacting the overall container system.

Guangzhou Accident Update:

An accident in Guangzhou has led to temporary traffic control and delays for ships and trucks. Repair work is expected to take four to five months, with temporary docks available in the meantime.

4. Global Economic Outlook:

Equity Markets and Inflation Trends:

Despite gloomy economic conditions, equity markets, particularly the tech-heavy NASDAQ, have reached all-time highs. Inflation is decreasing, encouraging potential rate cuts in the European Central Bank (ECB). Economic challenges in the European economic zone call for stimulus and interest rate cuts.

Commodity Currencies and Economic Data:

The softer reserve has led to a recovery in commodity currencies, with the AUD surpassing 0.6500 and the NZD aiming to regain 0.6100. The upcoming week promises a wealth of global economic data, providing insights into growth and inflation measures.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights in our next newsletter. As the container shipping landscape evolves, we’re committed to keeping you informed. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, feel free to reach out.

Safe sailing,