Tag Archives: economics

Maersk’s forwarder move could be abuse of its dominant position, says Clecat

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks Maersk is staking out a monopoly position, discriminating against forwarders.

I think Maersk and others are in danger of killing off forwarders, and also customers. Larger customers will look at private transport. Small customers will mistrust Maersk’s platform, and evaluate its performance against the others out there, such as DP World’s. So it better work lots better than the others, not likely an advantage that can be sustained for long, nor for every type of customer. Many forwarders have end-to-end booking platforms.

I bet even large forwarders will start chartering ships if current price conditions for container shipments continue for long, like till Spring 2023.

And actually, I did not have to wait long. IN THE SAME LOADSTAR, on 10/22/2021, I found the second article.

By Nick Savvides 22/10/2021

Maersk’s forwarder move could be abuse of its dominant position, says Clecat – The Loadstar

UK forwarder turns the tide on container lines with direct China-UK service – The Loadstar


Blanking voyages masks real impact of Covid

Spot rates for container shipping are staying up, but only because ocean carriers continue to blank voyages big time.

If you were shipping and you feared your voyage would be blanked, what would you do?  You would be prepared to buy some shipping at spot, to be sure you can get on the ship.   Your ratio of long-term (and possibly delayed) contracting for shipments and your short-term purchases would change in favor of the short term.  And that would keep short term demand up in spite of a long-term need going down.  That’s what’s happening now.

With COVID-19 out there, and no certainty about international trade, it seems certain that conditions are much worse than are being reported based on shipments. At some point the other shoe will drop, and all prices will go down.  We need not to trust the BIMCO spot prices for future predictions right now.



via Blanking voyages holds ocean rates steady, but masks the real impact of Covid – The Loadstar


Transpacific trade volumes set for further decline

Transpacific trade won’t recover for at least a couple of years, says an article in the Loadstar.

Most of the tariffs remain in place. And much trade has shifted from China to other Southeast Asia countries, like Vietnam, rather than returning to China.  US container imports from China are off by more than 8% compared with last year.  Vietnam was up 33%, to 1.4m teu; Thailand was up 18%, to 570k teu,  and Malaysia was up 27%, to 335k teu.  But total trade from the region is down.

And US consumers have already overpaid by $38 billion for goods from February of 2018 to September of 2019.  That is the typical story in trade wars; the consumer pays for the war through increased prices for purchases.  It’s a premise of trade economics; when trade is restricted, the consumer must buy at higher prices because they can’t get them from the lower-cost location.

And it’s not clear at all that the trade deal between the US and China will change that trend away from China, and down in general.  Of course, we don’t know what is really in the deal yet, or which things will actually happen.  And we know there’s been little advance on the intellectual property front, and the US has ceded the opportunity to gain support for dumping claims through the WTO.

Not a pretty picture for the Transpac trade.

logo via Transpac volumes set for further decline, despite US-China trade pact – The Loadstar