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June 22 2020

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18 The Journal of Commerce | June 22 2020 International Maritime A COALITION OF 10 maritime groups led by the International Associa- tion of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is pressing the shipping industry to move aggressively toward digitaliza- tion goals as ports grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among a list of nine priorities to be pursued by the coalition are broader use of single-window port community systems, harmonization of data, and fostering port data shar- ing environments. Those initiatives, if realized, would allow for a less "hetero- geneous landscape" among ports around the globe than currently exists, the coalition said in a statement. "While some port com- munities seized the opportunities of On the double Maritime consortium pushes for quicker adoption of digital port systems By Eric Johnson scrubbers. While Maersk and MSC vessels comprise the bulk of the laid-up fleet in capacity terms at 854,000 TEU, most of the ships that they have removed from service are undergoing scrubber retrofitting. Of the global carriers, in percentage terms, HMM has the largest idle fleet at 32.9 percent of the carrier's overall capacity. The withdrawal of such signifi- cant amounts of vessel supply has kept spot rates well above levels seen at the same time last year. Data from the Shanghai Contain- erized Freight Index (SCFI) show Shanghai–US West Coast rates ticked up another 1.7 percent to $2,132 per FEU as of June 5, a 48.2 percent jump from the same week in 2019, as declining vessel capacity could not keep pace with an increase in import volumes driven by inven- tory replenishment. The SCFI data show Asia–North Europe rates for that week were at $880 per TEU, up 13 percent year over year. The Shanghai–North Europe rate has only fallen below 2019 levels twice since the start of the year, despite Asia–North Europe volumes declining 12 percent in the first quarter of 2020, according to Container Trade Statistics. Another effect of the extensive capacity reductions is an increase in ship utilization. While carriers have not reported the higher load factors, an executive told The Jour- nal of Commerce in May that "ships are leaving China very full." On the Asia–North Europe and Asia–Med trades, this means huge call sizes are being reported. European ports have not yet seen those loads, however. The world's largest container ship, the 24,000-TEU HMM Algeciras, called at HHLA's Burchardkai terminal in Hamburg with a container exchange of 13,600 TEU in early June. The same week, the 23,000-TEU MSC Sixin docked at Hutchison's BEST terminal in Barcelona with a call size of 10,000 TEU. JOC email: twitter: @greg_knowler Another effect of the extensive capacity reductions is an increase in ship utilization. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 Chinese New Year (Announced bef ore CNY) Virus out break in China (Announced f rom CNY to March 13) Global Pandemic (Announced post–March 13) Asia–Europe blank sailings extended as COVID-19 lockdowns lift Source: IHS Markit © 2020 IHS Markit Frequency of weekly blank sailing on Asia–Europe trade lanes before and after Chinese New Year and during the global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Weeks Number of blank sailings

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