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Port Houston City Docks Confirmed for Universal Africa Lines Service

Port Houston City Docks Confirmed for Universal Africa Lines Service

Port Houston’s City Docks have been officially selected by Universal Africa Lines (UAL) as part of their U.S. Gulf/Mexico to West Africa liner service following the success of the first vessel call of MV MarMalaita last week. Port of Houston was specifically selected because of the availability for project cargoes and berths, adding flexibility to the ocean carrier’s multipurpose fleet.

“Port Houston is excited about our new partnership with UAL and that they are entrusting us with their services here at the port’s city docks,” said Dominic Sun, Director of Trade Development for Port
Houston. “We look forward to working with UAL in providing them, along with their ultimate customers, with the best customer experience possible here at Port Houston.”

UAL boasts a robust fleet consisting of over 4,000 containers ranging from reefers and high cubes, to open tops and flat racks. All fully capable of providing a multitude of shipping options. Additionally, UAL currently conducts between two and three sailings monthly from Houston while focusing on the oil and gas industries and providing logistics solutions for clients shipping to hard-to-reach regions.

“UAL is grateful for the partnership we have been able to establish with Port Houston and thank everyone involved for their efforts during this transition; we are looking forward to a long-lasting
relationship that offers growth potential for UAL,” said Dianna Knight, President UAL America. “UAL America, on behalf of Universal Africa Lines, will continue to provide the paramount level of customer service that our clients have grown accustomed to; we are confident this move will help with our vessel turnaround time while operating in a safe environment.”

Source: Port of Houston

OUR TOP TEN LIST: THESE SHIPPING COMPANIES CONTROL NEARLY 75% OF THE MARKET

Container shipping continues to be a major means of cargo transportation in 2019. While there does not exist an outright monopoly by any one shipping company, there are presently 10 that control nearly 75 percent of the market, and of those 10, four that maintain over 10 percent of market share.  

APM-Maersk

With 80,000-plus employees and coming off a major reshuffle, APM-Maersk survived one of the biggest layoffs in company history roughly four years ago. A concerted effort has been made since that time to ramp up digitization and optimization changes, with the past two years especially seeing some radical changes. Søren Skou moved into a dual role as CEO of Maersk and CEO of the core Maersk business line, which are two separate entities. APM-Maersk leads the pack with a 4,058,154 shipping capacity (TEU), a 17.8 percent share of the market and sole operation of 316 ships, clearly surpassing No. 2 on the list, Mediterranean Shg Co’s 193.

Mediterranean Shg Co

The world’s second largest line, this Geneva-based company counts on Italian roots with its most important port being housed in Antwerp, Belgium. Also known as MSC, the company made news earlier this year when 291 containers plunged overboard near Borkum, a German island. Worse yet, some containers were hauling poisonous organic peroxides and ended up washing up on to Terschelling, a protected Dutch island in the UNESCO biosphere reserve. Counting on a global presence, MSC is likely not to catch APM-Maersk anytime soon but does have a respectable shipping capacity of 3,303,848 TEU.

COSCO Group

The China Ocean Shipping Group Co., commonly known as COSCO, is a state-owned concern widely considered the third largest in the world. Handling a shipping capacity of 2,782,485 TEU, COSCO commands a 12.2 percent market share, and earlier this year the Chinese firm purchased a Peruvian port, its first in South America. The $225 million deal is a strategic play to increase their share in the emerging Latin American market. But COSCO is not solely focused on Latin America as they’ve also been actively purchasing ports in Greece, the Netherlands and various Abu Dhabi terminals throughout the UAE.

CMA CGM Group

Despite global uncertainty and with U.S./China talks escalating to worrying levels, CMA CGM reported their 2018 revenues jumped more than 11 percent and 14.9 percent in the fourth quarter alone. This equated to a record $23.48 billion in revenue which is a record for the French container transportation and shipping company. However, CMA CGM is not resting on its laurels as a $1.2 billion cost-reduction plan is afoot due to geopolitical tensions. On the other end, investments in LNG-enabled vessels have been made to follow the eventual Martine Organization’s rules on emissions, set to come into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.  

Hapag-Lloyd

The world’s fifth largest shipping company with a 7.3 percent market share, Hapag-Lloyd has decided to lay low regarding the recent trend of logistics company acquisitions (something increasingly common with the leading players on this list). While most the industry is consolidating, Hapag-Lloyd has made a concerted effort to boost on-time delivery rates. Digitalization lies at the core of this strategy and Hapag-Lloyd has gone full-in to equip their control towers with the latest connections by leveraging disparate data streams in a variety and multiple formats.  

ONE (Ocean Network Express)

If there’s one record that the shipping industry respects, it’s the amount of cargo stowed. More cargo stored equates to a higher marginal return. ONE did just that in February, narrowly edging the previous record set by Maersk (19,038 TEU) in August of 2018. The Japanese company successfully carried 19,100 TEU on the MOL Tribute, a vessel with a total capacity of 20,146 TEU. In fact, prior to this record the MOL Trust and MOL Tradition also recorded record stows. ONE operates in conjunction with Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Marine Transport Corp., forming what is known as The Alliance. ONE controls 6.6 percent market share and has been climbing up the ranks as of late.

Evergreen Line

Evergreen Line is not a line at all, but rather a group composed of Evergreen Marine Corp., Italia Marittima SpA, Evergreen Marine Ltd. and Evergreen Marin (Hong Kong) Ltd. Established in 2007 in response to growing demand for a more global presence on behalf of all four founding members, in 2009 Evergreen Marine (Singapore) Pte Ltd. jumped on board, which now gives the group a 5.2 percent share of the market and a shipping capacity of 1,185,257 TEU. In February, the company welcomed in a new president, Jeffrey Chang, who is rumored to be an out-of-the-box thinker with radical, yet proven ideas. 

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp.

Based out of Keelung, Taiwan, despite a rather recent founding (1972) this group traces its roots back to the Qing Dynasty with shipping links associated with the China Merchants Steam Navigation Co., which later became Yang Ming via a merger. With a fleet of 84 container ships and 17 bulk carriers, Yang Ming controls roughly 2.9 percent of the shipping market with a shipping capacity of 653,996 TEU. Recently, Yang Ming announced the launch of two more 14,000 TEU box-ships alongside plans to deploy 10, 2,800 TEU container vessels coupled with 14 chartered-in 11,000 TEU containerships, all by 2020-22.

Hyundai M.M.

When Maersk CEO Søren Skou called for an end to shipping company government subsidies, many carriers, namely Cosco Shipping (Chinese state-run) and Hyundai M.M. remained hush-hush. China and South Korea are keen on maintaining a competitive advantage over the likes of Maersk and Mediterranean Shg. They are right there, but to keep the momentum many advocates of financial benefits and subsidies in China and South Korea see these as mandatory measures to keep the competition lively. Hyundai M.M. joined the G6, the world’s largest shipping alliance, and now counts on 1.9 percent of the market. Not a lot, but still in the Top 10 and climbing. South Korea as a nation wants to see that percentage grow.

PIL (Pacific Int. Line)

Rounding out the Top 10 is PIL, a Singapore-based company founded by Chang Yun Chung, a Chinese entrepreneur worth approximately $2.2 billion. When Chung first made a splash, it was back in 1967 with PIL commandeering just two, second-hand ships. Counting on more than 150 vessels currently, Chang handed over power to his son, Teo Siong Seng, last year. In 2017, PIL entered into a historic partnership with COSCO, which will enable both to share vessels during peak demand throughout the year. PIL hopes this will provide some leverage to move up the ranks into the No. 5 position by 2030.

An ever-evolving list, these maritime companies are responsible for the bulk of delivery over sea. It is nice to see the variety (nationalities) and cooperation between all ten.   

Ocean Logistics 2019: Digitization Continues to Lead Trends

Ocean logistics in 2019 are demanding advanced, comprehensive and reliable information to cohesively support logistics needs, especially in an era when technology solutions are becoming the standard to successful operations. The continuation of digitization is a trend that industry players are not only prepared for this year but eagerly anticipating and implementing with each new solution that presents itself. Digitization continues to make its mark in the logistics and supply chain management sectors as a whole, but when it comes to ocean logistics specifically, the stakes are higher, and the solutions require careful consideration before a hasty implementation occurs.

Recently, Avantida announced Maersk’s implementation offering Container Triangulation for the Canadian and U.S. platforms, enabling communication between dispatchers and planners almost instantly. The automated process will take place on Avantida’s platform, providing an opportunity for the company to penetrate the market regions.

“Both shipping lines and transporters continue to look for agile, cost-saving tools that can optimize their planning, and our platform has a proven track record of improving efficiency,” said Luc De Clerck, CEO, Avantida. “The platform has changed the way shipping lines in Europe are doing business, and after our launch in Mexico, it was a natural next step to introduce Avantida to the United States and Canada.”

Leading companies, such as global shipping lines leader Maersk, continue to make strides to eliminate manual processes and replace them with seamless management systems that remove time-consuming and error-prone tasks, specifically with administration. Consider implementing strategies that support refreshed approaches to operations.