Welcome to our weekly deep dive into the maritime industry. This edition sails through pivotal developments such as the Panama Canal drought, Greece's enduring maritime dominance, Vizion’s new innovative Intermodal Rail Tracking feature, recent advancements in maritime electrification, and the evolving dynamics of the Asia-North Europe shipping corridor. Let’s set sail and chart these currents.
Shipping ‘Traffic Jam’ at Panama Canal: Crisis or Hot Air?
The Panama Canal, which connects 2,000 ports across 170 countries and handles 40% of Asia-to-Europe traffic and $270 billion in U.S. imports, faces a historic drought. While the media suggests a looming crisis, do the statistics offer another perspective?
Monthly Transit Stats: A Reality Check
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) presents a different narrative from the widespread belief about canal congestion. For instance, daily Neopanamax ships transiting in the last month averaged 9.9 per day, higher than July 2022 and 2021 figures. Furthermore, the total number of vessels transiting in July was around 33.4, consistent with the previous two years' monthly average.
Wait Times: A Comparative Analysis
According to ACP data, the canal's current queue has 119 vessels waiting to transit, just 30% above the usual 90-ship queue. While it's true that overall ship waiting times have risen, with averages of 6.2 days in July and 6.9 days in August, container ships see less impact., with average wait time remaining below a day. On the other hand, general cargo ships and tankers feel the brunt of the drought most and experience longer waiting periods.
Greek Shipping: Leading the Global Tonnage Race
Greece saw its world-renowned maritime activities contribute a record-high $23 billion to its 2022 GDP. The newly released numbers from the Union of Greek Shipowners' (UGS) 2022-2023 report add further context to this maritime dominance.
A Decade of Growth
The Greek merchant fleet, now boasting 5,520 ships, has witnessed a 50% surge over the past decade. With a 21% share of the global merchant fleet by deadweight tonnage, Greece is unrivaled as the world's premier shipowning nation. Greece’s dominance of European waters is even more pronounced, with a staggering 60% of the EU-controlled fleet dwarfing Germany's 12%.
From Tankers to Sustainability: Greece's Expanding Influence
The Greek maritime sector's presence is evident across various vessel categories. Though they represent just 8% of the world's container ships, their stronghold in other segments is undeniable:
- Global oil tankers: 31%
- Bulk carriers: 25%
- LNG ships: 22%
Furthermore, Greece's commitment to sustainable shipping is taking shape. The past year saw a 40% surge in orders for 241 eco-friendly vessels.
Vizion Introduces Intermodal Rail Tracking for Enhanced Visibility
Vizion proudly unveiled its latest Intermodal Rail Tracking feature. A long-time leading provider of supply chain visibility solutions, this new tool will complement its core container tracking product and bolster supply chain transparency.
Bridging Maritime and Inland Movements
Historically, the transition of containers from ships to inland destinations often remained a blind spot. Now, with Vizion's rail visibility feature, shippers and logistics providers can gain insights into pivotal events as container shipments move further inland via rail-based events via Vizion's connectivity to Class I railways in North America.
Simplified Tracking and Integration
By integrating rail and ocean tracking, Vizion users edge towards complete supply chain visibility and transparency. A notable feature simplifies tracking by removing the authorization letter requirement for each container update. Moreover, Vizion's single login flawlessly synchronizes with leading transportation management systems such as SAP, Oracle, and Descartes, delivering instant visibility.
Corvus Selected to Power World's Premier Electric Ro-Pax Ferry
In a notable leap for maritime electrification, Corvus Energy is set to equip the planet's largest all-electric Ro-Pax ferry with groundbreaking battery systems.
A Record-Breaking Electric Marvel
The ferry, Incat's latest creation for Buquebus, isn't just an ordinary boat—it's a trailblazer. As South America's first all-electric vessel, it sets records with the longest zero-emission voyage and at the fastest speed. Its powerful 40 MWh battery quadruples the size of the maritime sector's previous largest. Plus, its energy needs are well-covered with access to the globe's top-tier chargers.
High-tech Features and Timelines
Wärtsilä, awarded the propulsion contract, contributes an extensive suite of equipment, from an energy management system to eight state-of-the-art electric motors. The 130m ferry will accommodate 2100 passengers, 225 vehicles, and even a 2000 square meter Duty-Free Shop. Using Corvus' innovative Dolphin NextGen battery technology, deliveries are anticipated by 2024's end, with operations commencing in 2025 between Argentina and Uruguay.
Asia-North Europe Shipping Rates Drop: GRIs Lose Momentum
The Asia-North Europe shipping corridor is experiencing dynamic shifts. While discounts are counterbalancing recent surges, the numbers tell quite the story.
Rate Shifts and Market Dynamics
Until mid-October, major carriers have unveiled enticing rate offers from China to major European hubs - Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Hamburg - all below the $1,000 threshold for a 40ft container. Rates for UK ports have dipped even further. Although spot rate indices might seem slow to catch up, Xeneta's XSI Asia-North Europe index reported a notable 7% weekly decrease, settling at $1,585 per 40ft.
Root Causes and Market Forecasts
MSI's August Horizon report points to a looming "supply influx" from new ultra-large container vessels as a primary culprit for the waning rates. Carriers must strategize with an average rate drop of $1,186 per 40ft on specific transatlantic routes and an anticipated decline in cargo volumes. Doing so may involve ramping up scrapping by up to 9%, considering blank sailings, and even mulling over vessel idling in the next two to three quarters.
Capitalizing on Maritime Insights: Stay in the Know with Vizion API
The maritime world is constantly evolving, and recent news stories are par for the course. But with hurricane season coming up, more disruptions and uncertainties are inevitable. As a trusted supply chain solutions provider, Vizion offers comprehensive visibility tools to operate confidently and efficiently no matter what.
- Intermodal Rail Tracking: Seamlessly track cargo on pivotal Class I railways, ensuring your shipments never remain in the blind spot.
- One-Request Tracking: Eliminate the hassle of multiple transactions with Vizion’s single-request tracking, covering both ocean and rail.
- Optimized Inland Events: Stay ahead with crucial inland events like Last Free Date and Available for Pickup, drastically reducing unforeseen charges.
- Gap-Free Visibility: Ensure your containers never get lost between the sea and rail, eliminating unexpected fees and streamlining operations.
- Direct Connections to Class I Railways: Instantly access real-time location updates for rail-bound containers without delay or uncertainty.
- Integrated Data Systems: With Vizion, seamlessly push events to your existing software infrastructure, enhancing operational efficiency.
Ready to elevate your maritime tracking game? Book a demo with Vizion API and see for yourself the benefits of a transparent and efficient supply chain.