Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Shipping: COSCO Says Several Trans-Arctic Shipments Coming Up This Year

I forget if COSCO is the third or fourth largest container line with the contender being France's CMA CGM. I suppose it depends on what you're measuring: number of ships or total TEU capacity which raises an interesting point, they both have larger ships than #2 MSC or #1 APM Maersk. As noted back in March:
Container Shipping: "MAN Hired for World’s First Megaship Conversion to LNG Fuel"
I am not familiar with this "Megaship" nomenclature. ULCS or ULCV but not the "Megaship.

Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line is currently running the largest capacity container ships at 21,400 TEU with a couple of COSCO's ships also over 21,000 TEU.
CMA CGM's flagship, the Antoine de Saint Exupery clocks in with  capacity of 20,950 TEU and Maersk has a fleet over 20,000 TEUs.
Those might be "Megaships". And the 23,350 TEU behemoths that MSC has on order definitely would have to be....
Be all that as it may be, here's the headline story from The Barents Observer, still deplatformed by Russia the last time I checked:

The Chinese shipping company confirms readiness to increase transit shipments on the Northern Sea Route.
«Our development strategy is to serve the Polar Silk Road and international trade between the North Atlantic region and the far east,» Chen Feng, General Director of COSCO Marketing and Sales, said during a conference in Shanghai. «It is smooth and quick,» the company representative said about the Arctic shipping route.

Chen did not want to specify the number of planned voyages, but made clear that there would be «several of them», both eastbound and westbound. Much depends on weather and ice conditions, as well as customs demands, he said in a speech delivered at the Arctic Circle China conference.
Time is the essence, the general director made clear. «It is possible to save ten days on a shipment between Asia and Europe when choosing the Northern Sea Route, and that means saving of costs.» He also underlined that the shorter shipping distance can help the company reduce fuel energy which is beneficial for environment and also the that Arctic Route means no pirate problems like on the southern route through the Suez Canal.

The west-bound shipments will be made mainly from China but possibly also from South Korea and Japan. «We are also ready offer services from the North Atlantic region, including European North America side to far east through he Arctic Ocean, the Northeast passage.»

COSCO has over the past five years been the leading company in transit shipments along the shipping route through Russian Arctic waters. The first two shipments were made in 2013 and in 2018 a total of eight voyages were made....MORE