In a move to restore profits, shipping giant Maersk Line announced plans to cut 9 percent of its shipping capacity on the Asian to Europe route. It will take out the ships on its largest trade route by implementing a vessel-sharing contract with CMA-CGM SA.
To further offset overcapacity, Maersk said it will also consider changing time-charter agreements, laying up vessels and sailing at a lower speed.
Maersk and all other carriers on the Asia – Europe route have lost money since Q3 of 2011. Maersk shares rose up to 2.7 percent after the announcement.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, expected to become the next president of China, visited the Port of Los Angeles Thursday as a part of a five-day U.S. tour.
Governor Jerry Brown greeted Xi at the airport, taking him to the POLA to tour a China Shipping terminal. The port exported $120 billion in goods to China last year.
China Shipping, the eighth largest shipping company in the world, is doubling its size at the LA port through a $253 million expansion. Xi was given an explanation of the electric power system, which China Shipping officials say will make it one of the greenest terminals in the world.
A European Parliament environment committee approved more stringent restrictions on ship-fuel as part of a maritime clean air package that could cost the industry up to $14 billion a year.
The committee voted to set a 0.1 percent sulfur limit beginning in 2020 for all passenger ships that travel between European Union ports. Currently the sulfur limit is 1.5.
The committee also ruled that sulfur content in fuel will be restricted to 0.5 percent by 2015 and 0.1 by 2020 in all EU waters, except for the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel. They will incorporate into law an International Maritime Accord that will also lower fuel in the Baltic and North seas and the English Channel from the current 1.5 percent to 0.1 percent by 2015.
The EU is getting tougher on sulfur-dioxide emissions blamed for illnesses including asthma, bronchitis and heart disease and environmental damage such as the disintegration of buildings.
The European Commission said the new regulations would bring health benefits between 15 and 34 billion euros a year.
After violating oil pollution laws, Horizon Lines will pay a $1 million fine and donate $500,000 to environmental projects in the Bay Area.
In October, the Horizon Enterprise was inspected at the Port of Oakland, and it was found that a valve had been opened to prevent the detection of oil discharges.
Horizon Lines pled guilty to two felony charges, admitting that engineers had disabled equipment that would prevent oily waste from being dumped into the ocean, and had falsified records to cover their tracks.
The U.S. District Judge accepted the guilty plea on Thursday and sentenced the company, which is also required to adopt a plan to comply with environmental laws in the future.