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   Vol. 15  No. 19
Monday March 7, 2016

Will Ocean Containers Add Lift?

Will Ocean Containers Add Lift?

      New container weighing rules for ocean freight that will implemented this July have the potential to give air freight demand a welcome boost if maritime supply chains are disrupted. Indeed, one leading carrier believes the introduction of the new regulations has the potential to temporarily reverse the long-term modal shift of cargo from air to ocean.
      On July 1, new container weight verification regulations will enter into force. Many predict chaos will ensue as ocean shippers around the world attempt to weigh every single box moving by sea in accordance with the complex new guidelines. But the big question is whether airlines will be the beneficiaries of any supply chain disruption at sea.
     The new rules from the International Maritime Organization come in the form of an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention’s (SOLAS) container weighing stipulations. As of July 1 shippers and their proxies will be compelled to verify the weight of packed containers before the box can be loaded onboard a vessel.
      Multiple stakeholders have predicted port congestion this summer, not least due to confusion about how lines would like to receive data on container weights. The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA) is just one of a host of organizations to call for more clarification and information about the new rules.
      Meanwhile, lines have been issuing warnings that they will not load containers unless the gross container weight has been verified.
      Container terminals around the world are now rushing to provide weighing solutions at ports, but many are not expected to be available in time for the July 1 cut-off point.
      It is clear that the new ruling has the potential to impact the entire ocean container supply chain, taking in all players from packers to forwarders, and through shippers, terminals, and shipping lines, at least on some trade lanes. But to what extent this could lead to modal shift from ocean to air is difficult to predict.
     IATA has suggested some ports could suffer backlogs and the most progressive airlines are already making preparations should a surge in demand result this summer. “We are keeping our network flexible and will do our utmost to meet any demand. Furthermore, we are of course always offering freighter charter flights,”said Andreas Pauker, Lufthansa Cargo spokesman.
     A spokesman for China Airlines was more bullish. He told FlyingTypers the new container weight regulations had the potential to temporarily reverse the long-term modal shift of many cargoes from air to ocean. “Shippers may seek alternative ways to bypass potential delays,” he said. “But it is uncertain whether this change will have the same impact on air cargo volumes/yields as did the U.S. west coast seaport strike or congestion.”
     He said China Airlines would adjust its operational and marketing strategies accordingly. “To capture potential opportunities, we will keep a close eye on markets and increase flight frequency based on air cargo demand,” he added. “Meanwhile, our global sales unit will pay more attention to developing and maintaining relationships with customers and proactively provide airfreight solutions once they have issues with ocean container movements.
     “To assist our clients in tackling the possible disruptions, China Airlines will secure extra freight capacity for the requested routes and meet their needs of charter services.”
Sky King

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 15 No. 16
Lithium Ban Enacted
All About Lithium
Beam Me Up, Scotty
Black Wings Pioneered Flight
Vol. 15 No. 17
Carmen Taylor Unplugged
Chuckles For March 1, 2016
5/20 Or Fight
A Brief Conversation With Duncan Watson

A Leap Of Faith

Vol. 15 No. 18
India Buried Under The Weight
Where Are We Now?
View From A Fish Eye
Chuckles For March 2, 2016


Over The Moon

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