Thursday, September 20, 2012
MSC puts largest capacity vessel to work on U.S.-Asia route
Medterranean Shipping Co., the second largest global container line, added a 13,800-TEU vessel to its fleet to meet growing demand in Asia. It will be the largest ship to date on a U.S. route.
Ships on the U.S.-Asia route are operating at 95 percent capacity, driving up the rates for cargo headed to the U.S. Rates for Europe-bound cargo have dropped, as ships on the Europe-Asia route are running 80 percent full, according to Credit-Suisse.
The MSC Beatrix, scheduled to arrive at Long Beach from China on Sept. 26, replaced an 11,660-TEU ship on the route, reports Alphaliner. The Beatrix previously sailed the Asia-Europe route, but was switched after volumes on the route dropped 13 percent in July.
Spot rates per-TEU fell 37 percent since May to $1218 last week, according to Shanghai Shipping Exchange, and must stay above $1200 in order for lines to cover their costs.
"Demand from Europe is weak," said Lawrence Li, an analyst at UOB Kay Hian Holdings in Shanghai. "Peak-season demand is totally below expectations."
Macquarie Group analysts forecast a 6 percent rise in 2012 trans-Pacific container volumes on recovery in the housing market and strong auto sales. Containerized imports by U.S. retailers could surge 8.5 percent this month year on year and by 12 percent next month, according to the National Retail Federation.
For more on the Bloomberg story: bloomberg.com
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