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July 21, 2014

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28 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE JULY 21.2014 CONTAINER SHIPPING: PEAK SEASON FORECAST SPECIAL REPORT FIRST-QUARTER 2014 NUMBERS are in for the U.S. containerized ocean trade, with year-over-year results essentially flat. Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Evergreen Line were the three largest carriers in terms of first-quarter U.S. trade, with a combined 28.3 percent share. Combined laden containerized volume of 2.1 million 20-foot-equivalent units represented a 3.7 percent increase year-over-year. The trio's first-quarter U.S. exports totaled 0.9 million TEUs, or 28.9 percent of the market, while their 1.2 million TEUs of imports represented 27.9 percent. Maersk led the JOC Top 40 Container Carriers in U.S. imports with a 10.4 percent market share, while MSC led in U.S. exports with a 12.4 percent share. In total U.S. trade, MSC garnered an 11.2 percent share and Maersk accounted for 10.3 percent. Evergreen had a 6.3 percent share of U.S. exports, good for fourth place, and a 7.3 percent share of U.S. imports, ranking third. The proposed 2M alliance between Maersk and MSC likely will begin operating in the trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic and Asia-Europe trades in early 2015, as long Chinese regulators clear the partnership. That's no sure thing after China in June nixed the previously proposed larger P3 Network that included CMA CGM and that had received the go-ahead from the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission and the European Commission. Considering their approval of the larger, more dominant P3, it's unlikely regulators in the U.S or European Union would oppose the 2M. Here are the other factors impacting containerized trade data in the first quarter of 2014 and beyond. Q. WHAT OTHER CHANGES could we see in the carrier landscape? Hapag-Lloyd's merger with CSAV, which is awaiting approval from competition authorities, would have made the combined carrier the third-largest in overall U.S. containerized trade in the first quarter, with a 7.2 percent market share and 8.5 percent year-over-year growth, according to PIERS, the data division of JOC Group. Saltchuk Resources' acquisition of 24th-ranked Tropical Shipping/Thompson Line, which operates in the U.S.-Carib- bean trade, will add to the former's shipping portfolio that already includes Totem Ocean Trailer Express serving the U.S.-Alaska trade, and 30th-ranked Sea Star Line, operating between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The transaction is expected to close this month. Tropical and Thompson will remain sepa- rate brands and will operate as a sister company to Sea Star. Also worth watching is Great White Fleet, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based carrier that serves Central America and ranked 23rd in first-quarter U.S. trade. Great White is owned by Chiquita Brands International, the fruit and vegetables company awaiting European regulatory approval on a stock- for-stock merger with Dublin, Ireland-based Fyffes, which owns Agriex, ranked No. 40. Q: HOW BIG WAS U.S. trade in the first quarter? U.S. imports increased 3.8 percent to 4.3 million TEUs, and represented 58.3 percent of total U.S. trade. Volume at 14 of the JOC Top 40 Import carriers declined year-over- year. U.S. exports totaled 3.1 million TEUs, declining 2.7 percent year-over-year. Individual carrier results were mixed, with year-over-year declines at 22 of the JOC Top 40 Export carriers. Q: HOW BIG IS the global container fleet? As of July 14, research analyst Alphaliner calculated active global capacity at 18.4 million TEUs on 5,956 ships, including 17.9 million TEUs of capacity on 4,997 fully cellular ships. That's an overall capacity increase of 2.5 percent from early April with a net gain of five ships to the global fleet. The Top 50 container ship operators account for 93.1 percent of the current global fleet and have 301 ships on order, total- ing nearly 2.8 million TEUs and representing 16.1 percent of their existing fleet capacity. Maersk Group, MSC and CMA CGM Group were the three largest container fleet operators in Alphaliner's capac- ity rankings, with a combined 37.2 percent market share as of July 14. Maersk Group, which includes Maersk Line, Safma- rine, MCC-Transport, Seago and Mercosul, held a 15 percent share of the global fleet with nearly 2.8 million TEUs. MSC was second, with nearly 2.5 million TEUs and a 13.5 per- cent share. CMA CGM Group had 1.6 million TEUs and an 8.6 percent share. The three carriers have a total of 91 ships on order amounting to more than 1 million TEUs, or 14.9 percent of their combined existing global fleet as of July 14, according to Alphaliner. Other container fleet operators have more than 1.7 million TEUs of capacity on order, seven with orderbooks of more than 100,000 TEUs each, led by United Arab Shipping with 262,726 TEUs, Yang Ming Line with 224,646 TEUs and Evergreen Line with 223,964 TEUs. JOC Contact Marsha Salisbury at and follow her on Twitter: @MarshSalisbury. PIERS data results for this article and the accompanying charts are as of July 3 and may be subject to revision. By Marsha Salisbury 2M CARRIERS TOP THE CHARTS

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