Freight Shipping News



Giant containership Emma Maersk is heading to Fincantieri's repair yard in Palermo, Sicily, for repairs after a crack in a stern thruster flooded its engine room

The company has opted to use a yard rather than attempt the repairs in a terminal berth as it will need to discharge up to 13,000cu meters of contaminated seawater that is flooding the engine room.

The 2006-built, 15,500teu vessel is being towed from Suez Canal Container Terminal where it berthed following an accident that occurred as it prepared to enter the canal southbound two weeks ago

Asia-Europe spot rates have taken a concerted dip following the pre-Chinese New Year rush, the main indexes show, raising questions on how successful the carriers' 15 March GRI is likely to be

While minor erosion in spot rates has been a feature across head haul routes in recent weeks, including the transpacific, the WCI's Shanghai-Rotterdam component was down 3.3%, the fourth consecutive week it had lost ground. At US$2,362 per feu, it is now below the level which preceded the mid-January GRI.

American Airlines and US Airways have announced plans to merge, in a deal that would form the world's biggest airline

The move had been widely touted after the two boards were said to have met on Wednesday and marks the conclusion of talks that started last August. The lion's share of the new company will be owned by American Airlines' bankruptcy creditors, who will have 72% of the company.

The carrier will be run under the American Airlines brand, but the chief executive will be the current US Airways boss, Doug Parker

Maersk Line has suspended its Asia-North Europe AE-9 loop less than two months after reactivating the service as load factors for carriers continue to disappoint

The fate of the seven 4,500-7,500teu ships deployed on the loop is uncertain; however it is most likely that they will be added to the fleet of laid-up container tonnage. Back in November 2012 Maersk topped the idled tonnage list which it attributed at the time to the temporary removal of its AE-9 service. Maersk's action in pulling the AE-9 loop suggests that forward booking prospects after the Chinese New Year are much softer than anticipated.

French container shipping giant CMA CGM has positioned itself for an eventual initial public offering following the conclusion of debt restructuring negotiations with bankers and the promise of fresh capital injections

Agreement on a new financial package brings to a close a long process that formally started a year ago but dates back much further, with the company's ballooning debt seen as a real threat at times to the viability of the world's third largest containership operator.

Equity injections worth $150 million from the French sovereign wealth fund and $100 million from Turkey's Yildirim Group have also been finalized.