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Breakbulk July 2018

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14 The Journal of Commerce | July 2018 Breakbulk & Project Cargo commodate cargoes up to 6.1 meters (20 feet) high and 12 meters wide with a weight up to 400 tons. The Norwegian-Swedish compa- ny said its ro-ro liner service oper- ates with a frequent scheduled time- table unlike lift-on, lift-off routes that can be postponed or diverted at very short notice. It also claims that many customers discover that savings from low ocean rates offered by some lo-lo and container carriers are quickly wiped out by extra costs such as container hire, storage, ad- ditional labor and equipment rental. the ointment is always the compet- ing sectors, but here, too, things are looking better. So there is definitely scope to get this [multipurpose] market off rock bottom," according to Oatway. The threat from container carriers, which were targeting the breakbulk and project cargo sector with near zero rates a couple of years ago, has eased as the demand in their core liner markets has picked up and idle tonnage has shrunk to just 1 per- cent of the global fleet. However, ro- ro operators are steadily increasing their presence in the sector as they deploy larger cargo-hungry vessels. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), the world's largest ocean car carrier with a fleet of more than 130 ships and a 20 percent market share, claims that ro-ro is the safest and smartest way to ship breakbulk cargoes. "With the world's most breakbulk capable ro-ro vessels, even experienced logisticians can be surprised by the cargo we can carry," the Oslo-based company said. WWL's largest vessels can ac- Shippers using a regular ro-ro service don't need to hire port warehousing for crating, packing, and loading, which keeps a lid on costs. WWL may have to focus more on breakbulk cargoes if President Trump carries through his threat to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on auto imports. Mediterranean Shipping Co., the world's second-largest ocean container carrier after Maersk Line, is also targeting the market with a recently launched Europe-North Africa service operated by two ro-ro vessels with a capacity for 6,700 automobiles that are also touting for breakbulk and project cargoes. The Swiss-based carrier is also launching a twice-weekly service for contain- ers, project and breakbulk cargoes between the port of Trieste on Ita- ly's Adriatic Coast and Izmir, Turkey, with two container/ro-ro ships. The carrier is set to boost its breakbulk operations amid reports it is about to acquire a 49 percent stake in the Genoa-based Messi- na Group, which operates eight Despite these intrusions from "outsiders," the leading European breakbulk operators continue to boost their fleets as their markets pick up. Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG

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