Transpac leads spot rate collapse as consumer spending reaches 'tipping point'
Container spot rates are tumbling – and there are no signs of the usual pre-peak ...
There is clearly something in the air for liner shipping executives. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency is today reporting that Hyundai Merchant Marine, fresh from signing its deepsea slot sharing agreement with the 2M partners of Maersk and MSC – it might not have been the full partnership status that its creditors were originally after, but hey, it’s better than nothing – is now expecting to improve profitability in the first quarter of next year. It appears to be part of a shift in confidence among shipping lines – freight rates are on the up, and appear to be staying there, and volumes are holding. The wave of consolidation, long overdue though it may be, has finally arrived. HMM is even talking about ordering five new box ships and appears to determined to take over Hanjin’s terminal in Long Beach – although it is not entirely clear why either move is necessary.
But Business Korea reports a slightly different set of comments from chief executive Yoo Chang-keun, who accuses Maersk, principally, of “playing the media” over HMM’s junior status in the arrangement prior to the transpacific negotiation season kicking off in February.