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The Valencia containerised freight index rises by 5.09% in April



The Valencia containerised freight index rises by 5.09% in April. Image: Port Authority of Valencia
The Valencia containerised freight index rises by 5.09% in April. Image: Port Authority of Valencia
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The Valencia Containerised Freight Index -VCFI in April has increased by 5.09% compared to the previous month. In the last year, the Index has doubled from 2,314.89 points in the fourth month of 2021 to 4,653.85 points in April 2022. Compared to the beginning of the historical series in January 2018, the VCFI has accumulated a growth of 365.39%. The current economic situation, marked by extreme volatility, is affecting the behaviour of the market and, thus, the supply-demand pairing for maritime transport. In addition, it is worth noting the downward revisions in world economic growth, already predicted by some of the international reference organisations.

In this respect, the energy market situation has been marked by the war in Ukraine and the drop-in activity in China because of the restrictions imposed by the new outbreaks of COVID-19. Thus, the price of Brent crude oil has reversed its upward trend, decreasing by 5% compared to the previous month to $100.8. As far as marine fuels are concerned, according to the price of bunkering (refuelling of ships at sea) in the 20 main ports of the world, according to the data provided by Ship&Bunker, a certain containment is also observed. Thus, the price of VLSFO fuel has gone from 915.50$ in March to 924.50$ in April, representing an increase of only 0.98%.

As far as capacity on offer is concerned, and as noted by Alphaliner, the commercially inactive fleet has remained at a minimum. Thus, in mid-April, a total of 55 vessels were idle, with a total of 180,653 TEU (standard 20-foot container), representing 0.7% of the total active fleet, showing a drop with respect to March, with a total of 59 idle vessels and 204,977 TEU, representing 0.8% of the total active fleet.

As far as transport demand is concerned, there is less demand due to the fall in international trade. According to the latest data provided by the consulting firm Linerlytica, a significant decline in port traffic volume is observed compared to the previous month, mainly due to the fall in Chinese traffic due to closures because of the zero COVID-19 policy, which has severely affected port performance in Shanghai. At the same time, the impact on European port traffic due to the sanction packages against Russia, as well as the fall in confidence levels and consequently consumer consumption, remains a constant.

Another problem faced by the maritime industry and which has been present during the month of April is the high levels of port congestion. In this line, according to data provided by Linerlytica, global port congestion increased by 1.4% during April, with 3.4M TEU representing 13.4% of the total fleet. The main regions affected include North America (30%), North Asia (29%) and Northern Europe (11%). As is evident, the reasons behind these levels have been the pull of import demand from North America together with the closure of Chinese ports due to the new outbreak of COVID-19, which has doubled waiting times.

As for the analysis of the different areas that make up the VCFI, the increase is the general trend except for Latin America Atlantic, which has decreased by 0.94%. As far as increases are concerned, it is worth highlighting the increase in freight rates in the USA and Canada (9.82%), due to the boost in import demand, as well as East Coast Africa (8.14%), as a direct consequence of the serious flooding caused by heavy rains, which has forced port activity to come to a standstill, leading to the accumulation of large quantities of containers.

VCFI Western Mediterranean

As for the Western Mediterranean sub-index, an increase of 6.29% is observed with respect to the previous month, standing at 2,333.88 points, and accumulating a growth of 133.39% since the beginning of the series in 2018. However, and at the same time, about traffic from Valenciaport, there is a decrease in traffic to Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria compared to the previous month, a transitory situation, given the complex situation now.

VCFI Far East

In the Far East area and preceded by a decrease in the month of March, an increase of 3.58% is observed, reaching 3,771.91 points and thus accumulating a growth of 277.19% with respect to the beginning of the series in January 2018.In this line, a decrease in Valenciaport‘s export flows with China, its main trading partner, stands out. Again, this could be a one-off situation given the current context, marked by the port congestion in the main Chinese ports, which is causing disruptions in transport and supply chains while also fuelling inflation.

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Container Terminal

APM Terminals Mobile to expand by 32 acres



APM Terminals Mobile to expand by 32 acres. Image: APM Terminals
APM Terminals Mobile to expand by 32 acres. Image: APM Terminals
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APM Terminals Mobile has signed an agreement with the Alabama State Port Authority to add 32 acres to the current 134 acre container terminal yard to keep pace with future demand, creating one million TEU throughput capacity that is approved to handle 14,000 TEU ships. This represents the third expansion in the last six years as importers expand their volumes to meet regional consumer demand and tap into rail service to the Midwest U.S. market.

The $104 million terminal expansion will begin later this year. The first 19 acres are expected to be completed in 2023 and the remaining 13 acres by early 2025. As part of the expansion, APM Terminals will purchase two, new super post-panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes and related support equipment for crane operations which will complement the current four gantry cranes. In 2020, the berth was expanded to allow two x 8000 TEU vessels alongside. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently dredging the Mobile Harbor channel to reach 50 feet by late 2024.

APM Terminals Mobile now ranks as second largest U.S. Gulf port of container imports. April 2022 container volumes through the port showed a 39.7% increase over April 2021 volumes. The port’s intermodal container transfer facility posted 112.6% growth during the same period. Refrigerated cargo also maintained its double-digit growth, posting a 57.9% gain over the same period.

APM Terminals Mobile’s operational performance and inland access is driving the growth in services:

  • Port: Port productivity of 35 crane moves per hour berth productivity.
  • Ocean: Five weekly services from Asia, one North Europe service, one Intra-Americas service.
  • Rail: Daily rail departures to U.S. Midwest markets via Five Class I railroads serving the port (2.5 day direct doublestack service to Chicago). Two new cranes were added to the near dock, Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) in August 2021. In 2024, more rail infrastructure will be added in Montgomery, Alabama when the Alabama Port Authority and CSX build an intermodal container transfer facility to serve expanding port volumes.
  • Truck: High productivity truck gates. 52 minute turntimes, including 83% dual transactions (where truckers optimize their route, bringing in export containers or empty containers and picking up a full import container).
  • Logistics: Five major logistics parks nearby.
  • Air freight: Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley is adjacent to port for ecommerce/parcel/aerospace.
  • Cold chain: CN refrigerated packs available for northbound rail cargoes. New cold storage facility opened October 2021.

“Supply chain leaders are looking to expand their routing options in 2022 to add more flexibility and fulfillment speed to serve consumer demand. We’re working with customers to deliver high port productivity, more port space and more inland logistics connectivity to address the market demand,” said Brian Harold, Managing Director of APM Terminals Mobile.

New Central America service added

Sealand – A Maersk Company has added a new service called the Bonita Express with the inaugural call at APM Terminals Mobile on May 18th. The new, direct all-water service links Mobile in the U.S.
Gulf to the key Central American ports of Puerto Cortes in Honduras and Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala (with connectivity to multiple inland locations including to/from Nicaragua and El Salvador).

Alabama as a site selection

Major companies already in Alabama are Hyundai, AM/NS Calvert, Outokumpu, Northrop Grumman, Mercedes Benz, Honda, Airbus, Amazon, Walmart, BendPak and Bella + Canvas have selected the Port
of Mobile and the state of Alabama as a hub for global logistics supply and distribution as well as manufacturing.

Alabama business incentives and customs tax packages are designed to attract new and expand existing industries. A variety of jobs and investment credits are available for qualifying projects. Other business incentives include tax credits for cargo owners on incremental cargo volumes.

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Break Bulk

“K” LINE Group’s Yokohama Daikoku C-4 Terminal starts operation



“K” LINE Group’s Yokohama Daikoku C-4 Terminal starts operation. Image: "K" LINE
“K” LINE Group’s Yokohama Daikoku C-4 Terminal starts operation. Image: "K" LINE
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Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. – “K” LINE and Daito Corporation have started operation of “K” LINE Group’s first dedicated finished vehicle terminal in Japan, at Yokohama Daikoku C-4 Terminal from April 2022. In April, “IVORY ARROW” operated by “K” LINE, a pure car and truck carrier, made its first call at the terminal. A safety prayer ceremony with the terminal operators and an opening ceremony with the attendance of many related parties was held.

The terminal is used not only as an export and transshipment base for finished vehicles but also handle a wide variety of vehicles such as break-bulk cargoes by utilizing work facility with large roof in terminal in order to meet a variety of needs.

In addition, the terminal will use electric power generated from renewable energy sources with virtually zero CO2 emissions. The terminal will procure 100% wind-generated renewable energy from blockchain-based electricity traceability service (a service for specifying the power plants from which electricity is procured) of “Minna-Denryoku”, operated by UPDATER Corporation.

In last November, “K” LINE has revised a part of our long term environmental guideline “K”LINE Environmental Vision 2050” and set our new target for 2050 as “The challenge of Achieving Net-Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions”. The company strives to enhance their corporate value by contributing to the sustainable development of the economy and society, while protecting the environment through our business activities.

<Terminal Overview>

Name : Yokohama Daikoku C-4 Terminal
Location : Daikoku Futo 22&24, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Japan
Business : Finished-vehicle logistics
Pier length : 350 m (1 berth)
Sea depth : 15 m
Total yard area : Approx. 153,500 m2 (including berth area)
Parking slots : Approx. 8,000 units


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Container Shipping Lines

Damietta Alliance developing and operating a new container terminal in Damietta, Egypt



Damietta Alliance developing and operating a new container terminal in Damietta, Egypt. Image: Hapag Lloyd
Damietta Alliance developing and operating a new container terminal in Damietta, Egypt. Image: Hapag Lloyd
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A new terminal will be built in the port of Damietta/Egypt. For this purpose, a Joint Venture was founded to develop and operate the new “Terminal 2” in the port. The Joint Venture “Damietta Alliance Container Terminal S.A.E.” consists of three core shareholders which are Hapag-Lloyd Damietta GmbH, Eurogate Damietta GmbH and Contship Damietta Srl. Two other partners, Middle East Logistics & Consultants Group and Ship & C.R.E.W. Egypt S.A.E., will each hold 1%.

The new Terminal 2 at the port of Damietta is expected to start operations by 2024. It will have a final total operational capacity of 3.3 mio TEU and serve as Hapag-Lloyd´s dedicated strategic transshipment hub in the East Mediterranean.

“With the new terminal Hapag-Lloyd will significantly improve its transshipment operation in the East Mediterranean market as well as access to the local Egyptian trade”, said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

Thomas H. Eckelmann, Chairman of the EUROGATE Group Management Board, stated: “With the Terminal 2 being operational in 2024, Hapag-Lloyd and its partners will be able to use a state-of-the-art terminal with sufficient capacity, high productivity and a dense feeder network.”

Cecilia Eckelmann-Battistello, Chairman of the Board of Contship Italia, added: “We feel privileged and are extremely grateful for the support of the Egyptian government. The concession to operate the facility is granted to the Joint Venture for 30 years. This gives us and our respective customers a long-term perspective in the port of Damietta.”

The Egyptian Minister of Transport, Lieutenant-General Eng. Kamel Al-Wazir, commented: “This is a very encouraging, well planned partnership of international and Egyptian private sector in order to position Egypt as a global hub for logistics and trade. In this first phase we will establish the port of Damietta as an integrated logistics hub for containers, which will then be followed by the establishment of logistic corridors reaching to different manufacturing areas in Egypt by railway network.”

The final signing of the concession agreement has taken place today in Cairo, Egypt.

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