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Market update on ocean freight

Going into a 2018, DSV would like to inform our customers on general trade topics and an overview of the current ocean freight market.

Acquisitions and merges

2017 saw further ocean consolidation with the merger of Hapag Lloyd and UASC, Cosco taking over OOCL, as well as Maersk closing the acquisition of Hamburg Sud towards the end of the year. Maersk Line and Hamburg will together have a total container capacity of 4.15 million TEU and a 19.3% global fleet capacity share (Alphaliner, 27th Nov, 2017). 105 Hamburg Sud vessels will be integrated into the fleet of Maersk, and the combined fleet will include 773 vessels, both owned and charted (Maersk, 30th Nov, 2017). 

On April 1st 2018 the 3 independent Japanese carriers K-Line, MOL and NYK will merge together and become Ocean Network Express (ONE) with a fleet size of 1.4 million TEU.

2M, which includes Maersk, MSC and Hyundai, has recently announced that they will no longer call direct at Southampton port. Services to Felixstowe will not be affected. 

Financial results and rate increases

Carrier results positively improved in 2017, however recent years have seen generally negative financial results since 2009. The current oil price is slowly increasing and are now reporting at a 3-year high. The carrier capacity is set to increase between 5 – 6% during 2018, with expected volume growth slightly lower. 

The market freight rates remain towards the low end of the spread and DSV expect that a majority of carriers will aim to increase rates at the start of February.  DSV will fight to get the best possible deal, in order to continue to move our customers freight competitively and in a timely manner. Local DSV sales contact will update our customers specific freight rates as soon as possible. 

DSV have an updated list of consortiums and direct services to the United Kingdom, which includes port-to-port transit times, available for our customers’ information. Please contact your local DSV office for more information. 

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