ON THE KHYBER ROAD
When the Pulitzer Center agreed with Foreign Policy to co-publish a series of e-books on borderlands, we hoped to send great writers to explore some of the more contested regions of the world and let them use the longer-form platform of e-books to tell their stories in a deeper, more compelling way. Matthieu Aikins has done just that in Bird of Chaman, Flower of the Khyber: Riding Shotgun from Karachi to Kabul in a Pakistani Truck1, a mesmerizing account of a single trip through the Kyber Pass that somehow encapsulates the whole harrowing story of America s decade-long engagement in that region.
COMBATING FAKE DRUGS
The flood of fake drugs is an increasing threat to public health, and a subject of continuing interest to the Pulitzer Center. Grantee Esha Chhabra, writing for the Guardian2, reports on a promising new weapon in the fight to beat back the fakes: the use of mobile-phone technology to authenticate drugs. The India-based initiative is aimed at coding drugs so that consumers, even those with basic phones, can verify that what they are buying is real. The stakes are high: The experts Esha quotes say that fake drugs lead to 100,000 deaths per year.
THE FIRST 1,000 DAYS
Grantee Roger Thurow s previous book, The Last Hunger Season3, was a novel-like story about the extraordinary challenges faced by small-scale farmers in western Kenya, and the difference that new agricultural techniques and inputs were making in their lives. Roger has just launched an equally exciting project, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center, that will track the impact of better nutrition and health practices for children in the critical first 1,000 days after conception, with ground-level reporting from Uganda, India, Guatemala and the United States. This week we feature the first of many dispatches4 as we follow Roger on this journey.
CHINA IN ZAMBIA, GOOD AND BAD
Grantee Alexis Okeowo s first report from Zambia is an eye-opening account5 of China s rapidly increasing presence in that country, and across Africa. China is making real improvements, from health care to government buildings and jobs, a local watchdog tells her, but there are also incidents of labor abuse and the sense among many Zambians that they are losing control of their own economy.
FROM BOSTON TO DAGESTAN
The alleged bombers of the Boston Marathon have family roots in the Russian region of Chechyna and one of them spent several months last year in nearby Dagestan. In an Untold Story6 our guest writer James V. Wertsch, vice chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis and a specialist on the Caucasus, says that what we don t know about the Tsarnaevs shouldn t keep us from absorbing what we do know or should about the tangled history of their native land. Washington University is one of our Campus Consortium7 partners.
- ^ Bird of Chaman, Flower of the Khyber: Riding Shotgun from Karachi to Kabul in a Pakistani Truck (pulitzercenter.org)
- ^ the Guardian (pulitzercenter.org)
- ^ The Last Hunger Season (www.amazon.com)
- ^ first of many dispatches (pulitzercenter.org)
- ^ an eye-opening account (pulitzercenter.org)
- ^ Untold Story (pulitzercenter.org)
- ^ Campus Consortium (pulitzercenter.org)
The for-hire trucking industry added 11,700 jobs in April, according to preliminary data released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the largest month to month increase since February 2012, when the industry added 12,700 jobs.
The report comes on the heels of March s 6,300 job cuts in trucking. However, employment in April found somewhat of a footing, as national unemployment dropped to 7.5 percent, riding a gain of 165,000 jobs in April and a gain of 138,000 jobs in March.
That unemployment rate is the lowest since December 2008.
The for-hire trucking industry employed about 1.368 million workers in April, a 3.5 percent jump 45,300 jobs from the same month in 2012. Trucking employment has been increasing steadily since March 2010 s bottom and is 151,600 jobs above that number. However, the 1.368 million jobs is still 67,800 jobs below January 2007 s peak.
Aiming to quell community concern, the company behind a controversial 33-acre trucking and distribution center on the Los Alamitos-Cypress border plans to cut the number truck bays at the planned site, a spokesman said.
Industrial developer Prologis1 will to drop some of the 129 truck bays originally proposed for the planned facility at Katella Avenue and Enterprise Drive in Cypress, according to Atle Erlingsson, vice president of Prologis corporate communications.
Our ultimate goals here is to develop a property that s welcomed, said Erlingsson, who announced the company’s new proposal Monday. Erlingsson said it was in response to community feedback.
We re looking to make a considerable decrease in the number of truck bays, he said.
Erlingsson said it would be several weeks before he would know the exact number of truck bays would decrease.
The project has been a contentious issue for a number of residents in Garden Grove, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and Cypress, who say the plan would intensify traffic, damage streets and increase pollution posing health risks, especially for children.
Erlingsson said that the facility would be a boon to the local business community and would be LEED certified2. He added there was much misinformation about the project, including its economic, social and environmental impacts and even the projects description: it s a distribution center, he said, and not a truck depot.
We should point back to our track record, Erlingsson said. (We build) all high-quality, class-A facilities. We only build the best of the best.
Recently the Los Alamitos City Council voted 5-0 to oppose the development.3 Officials, also told the city manager and the city attorney to begin taking actions to protect the city” from the proposed development.
Cypress officials did not respond to calls for comment Monday afternoon.
Los Alamitos Councilman Richard Murphy said didn t he know if the proposed change in the site plan would change his opposition to the project.
It would have to be a dramatic decrease, Murphy said. (And) I m not sure that that (Prologis statement about truck bays) gives us any guarantee of reduction in the amount of trucks going in.
Murphy said he wants more information, which won t be forthcoming until Cypress releases the results of its report on the possible effects of the project on the surrounding community.
We re going to wait and see until the environmental impact report comes out, Murphy said. I imagine when that comes out, there s going to be feathers flying everywhere.
Lois Waddle, a resident of Los Alamitos Carrier Row just across the street from the planned facility, is one of the activists protesting the project.
To the 40-year Los Alamitos local said even one truck bay is too many.
No trucks. No commercial trucking. No bays, said Waddle, a retired realtor and teacher.
Waddle, who hopes Cypress will turn the area into a park with recreation or community centers, said she doesn t want to see the traffic, pollution and noise the project would generate.
I just can t see that they would intentionally destroy this land when it could be something so beautiful, Waddle said.
She said that locals can check out more about protests against the project at OC4us.com
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS: What do you think of the project?
Stay Patched in! Check out some of Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and Seal Beach’s other top stories here. | Like Los Alamitos Patch on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and sign up for the daily email with links to the latest local news.78910
- ^ Prologis (www.prologis.com)
- ^ LEED certified (www.usgbc.org)
- ^ Council voted 5-0 to oppose the development. (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ The Rossmoor Homeowner s Association has opposed the plan (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ recent scoping meeting (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ Cypress City Council meeting. (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ other top stories here (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
- ^ Twitter (twitter.com)
- ^ daily email (losalamitos.patch.com)
OLATHE, Kan. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says an Olathe trucking company at the center of a 41 Action News investigation on chameleon carriers will not be allowed back on the road.
The agency denied Freight, Inc. owner Binder Singh s appeal of their cease operations order that was issued in January.
Singh s company was the focus of a 41 Action News investigation into chameleon carriers. That is the term the trucking industry uses to describe companies that rack up safety violations, then shut down and reopen under new names and new Department of Transportation numbers. Chameleon carriers employ the strategy to avoid action by federal safety regulators.
The 41 Action News investigators uncovered safety regulators had given Freight, Inc a poor safety rating.2 The investigators also uncovered the Missouri Highway Patrol had stopped and issued citations to Singh s trucks seven times in 2012. On three separate occasions, troopers cited trucks owned by Singh for having breaks that were not operating correctly.
In 2008, the FMCSA had issued Singh an order to cease operations due to safety violations. However, Singh had found a way around the system.
Each time violations started stacking up against his company, documents show Singh opened a new company under a different family member s name and applied for a new DOT number. In all, four companies were linked to Singh.
All of the companies had one thing in common: Singh s home address in Olathe.
FMCSA reviewed our findings and issued a cease operations order against Singh.
Singh appealed that order. In interviews with FMCSA, Singh told the agencies all four companies were owned by different people and not to avoid compliance issues or hide anything.
FMCSA disagreed saying Singh did all of the hiring, firing and management of all of the companies in question. On Thursday, they once again ordered Singh to stop operating.
In a statement issued to 41 Action News on Thursday, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said: Today s action is another step toward raising the bar for commercial and roadway safety. It sends a strong and important message that companies that attempt to evade safety regulations by reincarnating will be found and removed from the road.
The agency has been making an effort to identify and get chameleon carriers off the road following a report by the Government Accountability Office. It red-flagged more than a thousand companies auditors felt had chameleon attributes like similar officer names, addresses and phone numbers.
The report also found companies with those characteristics were three times more likely to be involved in a severe accident.
The 41 Action News investigators contacted Singh about the decision. He told us he has no comment.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
By Christine Harvey
Exports of diesel fuel from the U.S. Gulf Coast are poised to climb as refineries returning from maintenance boost production, widening the price gap between the Gulf and Europe while freight rates hover near a six-month low.
Plants are ramping up after planned work in the first quarter that took 1.13 million barrels a day of capacity offline, 45 percent above the five-year average, according to IIR Energy. The rate to book a vessel from the Gulf to Europe dropped 33 percent to a 2012 low on March 20, Baltic Exchange data show.
Refineries including Motiva Enterprises LLC s Port Arthur, Texas, plant and Chevron Corp. (CVR) s Pascagoula, Mississippi, site are expected to complete work next month, boosting output at a time when European maintenance may peak. Shipments to Europe and Latin America may keep the so-called arbitrage open, sustaining profit margins for refiners even as domestic demand slides.
There are increasing runs in the Gulf Coast, lower runs in Europe and demand increasing from the Southern Hemisphere, Tom Finlon, director of Energy Analytics Group Ltd., said in a phone interview on March 22 from Jupiter, Florida. Low freight rates help the arbitrage opportunity in the Gulf.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel swaps2 that settle based on prices in the Gulf Coast spot market slipped to $3.0054 a gallon ($919.65 per metric ton) yesterday, according to fair-value data compiled by Bloomberg. Swaps for diesel cargoes delivered in Northwest Europe were $949.63 a ton.
Including freight costs, the profit to buy diesel and ship it to Northwest Europe was $9.33 per metric ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That doesn t include additional expense to blend the fuel to European specifications.
The arb to Europe is going to be open for a while, certainly through the month of April, Finlon said.
Crude and other feedstocks processed by Gulf Coast refiners jumped to 7.84 million barrels a day last week, the highest level for this time of year in Energy Information Administration data back to 1993.
Across the U.S., plant rates rose to 85.7 percent in the week ended March 22 from 81 percent as of March 8, the lowest level since September 2011, EIA data show.
The boost in refinery production comes as U.S. consumption has yet to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, encouraging refiners to export excess fuel to Europe, where plant capacity is declining. Distillate demand in December was 8.4 percent lower than a year earlier.
IIR, an energy information provider based in Sugar Land, Texas, estimates maintenance from April to June will slide to an average of 676,000 barrels a day.
We ve had very heavy maintenance and now we re going to see these refineries start to come back on, Carl Larry, broker with Atlas Commodities LLC, said in a phone interview from Houston. As long as U.S. demand stays low and Europe is in turnaround, we re probably going to ship there.
Traders and oil companies will hire eight tankers to load diesel fuel for the Gulf Coast-Europe voyage in the two weeks to April 3, according to the median estimate in a survey of five shipbrokers who specialize in arranging diesel cargoes. The number of ships seeking charters will be 32, up from 31 in early March. The survey is based on a so-called single voyage, or spot, charters.
Six European refineries with a total capacity of about 1.51 million barrels a day are expected to conduct maintenance during the month of April, according to Emirates National Oil Company. Among the biggest plants are Total SA s Antwerp, Belgium, refinery, PCK Raffinerie GmbH s Schwedt, Germany, site, and TNK- BP Ltd. s Ryazan, Russia, facility.
The market is currently well supplied, with normal demand seen in the U.K., Germany and France, an mid-March ENOC report showed. April maintenance is expected to lower production in Germany, Poland and Italy.
Motiva s 600,000-barrel-a-day Port Arthur refinery, the largest in the U.S., began 38 days of work on a sulfur recovery unit, delayed coker and pipestill No. 2 around Feb. 14. Chevron s Pascagoula plant was conducting a turnaround on a crude distillation unit, vacuum distillation unit, coker and hydrotreater this month.
Cargoes will also head to Latin America, where the EIA forecast fuel consumption will grow 4 percent to 7.01 million barrels a day in the second quarter from a year earlier.
Latin American refinery throughput is expected to average 5.9 million barrels a day in 2013, about 70,000 barrels more than a year earlier, according to data compiled by Energy Security Analysis, Inc. The increase is a result of fewer refinery disruptions and the expectation for a full return of Petroleos de Venezuela SA s 645,000-barrel-a-day Amuay plant in the second half of the year, Christopher Barber, a senior analyst at Energy Security Analysis, Inc., said by phone.
Economic analysts: Gulf Coast refineries good place for Canadian crude4
Amuay, part of PDVSA s 955,000-barrel-a-day Paraguana complex, which shut twice since February, is processing about 352,000 barrels a day, according to a company statement. The refinery has been operating at reduced rates since an August explosion.
It s not that we ll see runs increase but they won t fall off as much, said Barber, who is based in Boston. That should keep a steady flow of exports to Latin America.
Booking rates for the voyage rallied to 86.43 Worldscale points yesterday from 60.54 March 20 as demand for cargoes to service the U.S. Gulf Coast increased, according to George P. Los, shipping analyst with Charles R. Weber Co. They fell to 60.54 on March 20, the lowest since Sept. 13, 2012.
The Worldscale points indicate what percentage of a dollars-a-ton flat rate set for various shipping routes once a year by the Worldscale Association that traders booking tankers are paying.
The activity strength can be attributed to the fact that the Gulf Coast refineries are preparing for an end to a strong seasonal maintenance period, said Los, who is based in Stamford, Connecticut.
The fixture of medium-range tankers in the Gulf rose to 28 last week from 16 in the week-earlier period, a weekly report from the company showed. Nine ships were bound for points in Europe, while eight headed for Latin America and five were sent to the Caribbean, according to the report.
Shipping is still relatively inexpensive, said Bill Day, a San Antonio, Texas-based spokesman for Valero (VLO) Energy Corp. Keep in mind that the U.S. has been importing much less crude oil and refined product in recent months, so there are ships available. Valero watches the arbs closely.
The European turnaround season is definitely a good sign, said Barber. The capacity to produce diesel is huge now on the Gulf and Europe is always short. It creates a bigger export market and it s a strategic move for Gulf refiners.
- ^ Gulf Coast refineries will increase diesel production (fuelfix.com)
- ^ Ultra-low-sulfur diesel swaps (fuelfix.com)
- ^ Barclays calls refineries top stocks for 2013 (fuelfix.com)
- ^ Gulf Coast refineries good place for Canadian crude, IHS analysts say (fuelfix.com)
The for-hire trucking industry added another 5,600 jobs in February, said numbers last Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economy as whole in February added 236,000 jobs, which dropped national unemployment to its lowest mark since Dec. 2008 7.7 percent.
The 5,600 trucking jobs comes on the heels of January s 6,500 increase. Since October, for-hire trucking has added 21,200 jobs.
Payroll employment in the industry has been steadily climbing since March 2010 and totalled 1.375 million jobs in February a 42,000-job increase from February 2012. That number, however, is still 70,500 jobs below January 2007 s peak a 4.9 percent difference.
The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reflects employment in for-hire trucking, but excludes trucking jobs in other industries. Moreover, the numbers do not reflect the number of employees paid in a pay period in the month, meaning that high turnover could cause the number of jobs to be slightly higher than they actually are.
FTR Associates released last week data that showed Class 8 orders in February rose 4 percent from January of this year and 4 percent from February of last year. Class 8 orders have been above 20,000 a month since October. FTR says the positive development in Class 8 sales stems from a modestly robust freight environment. Click here to see Overdrive sister site CCJ s story on FTR s report.1
This week, ACT Research unveiled similar numbers showing that Class 8 units in February were one of the top months in the previous year, and that because orders outpaced expectations, the number of backlogged orders will more than likely rise. Click here to see CCJ s report on ACT s data. 2
- ^ Click here to see Overdrive sister site CCJ s story on FTR s report. (www.ccjdigital.com)
- ^ Click here to see CCJ s report on ACT s data. (www.ccjdigital.com)
The trucking industry added 5,600 jobs in February as U.S. payrolls jumped by 236,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, the Labor Department reported Friday.
January s trucking-jobs gain was revised up to 6,500 jobs from a previously reported 5,000, according to the figures from the department s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The jobs gain across all sectors was well above analysts forecasts of 165,000, Bloomberg News reported. January s employment increase was revised down to 119,000 jobs from an originally reported 157,000.
The unemployment rate was forecast to hold at 7.9%, Bloomberg reported.
Construction jobs jumped by 48,000, the most in almost six years, and factories added 14,000 workers.
Earnings for Medium Range tankers carrying 315,000 barrels of gasoline and diesel will climb 11 percent to $14,375 a day in 2013, according to the average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Monaco-based Scorpio Tankers Inc. (STNG) will advance 22 percent in 12 months in New York trading and Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. in Athens will gain 47 percent, the averages of 12 analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg show.
Production of condensate from shale will reach almost 1 million barrels a day this year, 66 percent more than in 2010 and about 14 percent of total domestic oil output, according to RBN Energy LLC, an energy consultant in Houston. Exports of most crude grades are banned under 1970s laws and Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) are building refineries to process shale into products that can be shipped.
This is going to give a fillip to demand, said Simon Newman, head of tanker research inLondon at ICAP Shipping International Ltd. Extra supply like this is bullish for the product-tanker market.
The U.S. will export the most refined oil on a net basis since at least 1983 this year, theDepartment of Energy estimates. Scorpio operates 32 product tankers while Tsakos (TNP) has 26 among its fleet of 48 vessels. Their steel storage tanks are coated to allow for easier cleaning between cargoes to avoid contamination, according to Fearnley Consultants A/S, an Oslo- based shipping researcher.
Shares of Scorpio jumped 30 percent in the past year, compared with a 28 percent slump in the 11-member Russell 2000 Shipping Index. (RGUSPSSH) The stock will reach $10.29 in 12 months, from $8.42 now, the average of eight analysts estimates show. The company will report net income of $14.4 million this year and $42.6 million in 2014, according to the forecasts.
Tsakos, the largest publicly traded Greek owner, will reach $5.35 in 12 months, from $3.64 now, the average of four forecasts shows. The company will narrow its loss to $1.5 million this year, from $35.2 million in 2012, according to the median of three estimates. Tsakos also owns crude-oil carriers and a vessel hauling liquefied natural gas, its website shows.
Kinder Morgan is building a 50,000 barrel-a-day plant on the Houston Ship Channel that is scheduled to open in the first quarter of next year. It then plans to add the same capacity again. Valero has said it will build an extra 90,000 barrels of daily capacity by 2015. Every additional 100,000 barrels of processing increases global demand for product tankers by 0.4 percent, assuming the refined fuels are sent to Asia, according to RS Platou Markets AS, an Oslo-based investment bank.
Net U.S. exports of refined fuel will rise about 7 percent to 1.07 million barrels a day this year, the Energy Department estimated Feb. 12. The additional cargoes of refined condensate would add $500 a day to rates for Medium Range tankers and $1,000 for bigger Long-Range vessels, Platou estimated in a Feb. 28 report. The larger tankers will make $15,500 a day this year, according to estimates from five analysts compiled by Bloomberg.
This development of ultra-light shale oil, refined for U.S. exports, is a huge positive, Scorpio President Robert Bugbee said in an e-mail Feb. 28.
U.S. refining and exports are a very important game- changing development going forward, Tsakos Chief Executive Officer Nikolas Tsakos said by phone yesterday.
The U.S. has had laws since the 1920s curbing crude exports and almost all overseas sales are prohibited by the laws from the 1970s. The new plants are being built because existing ones in the Gulf of Mexico, home to more than 40 percent of the nation s processing capacity, were mostly developed to handle heavier crude grades, according to ICAP Shipping.
The additional cargoes could be curbed because the 17- nation euro region will keep contracting through at least the third quarter, according to 23 economist forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.Europe accounted for 15 percent of global consumption of refined fuels in 2011, BP Plc (BP/)estimates.
Owners are still coping with a fleet that expanded faster than cargoes in seven of the past eight years, according to Clarkson (CKN) Plc, the world s largest shipbroker. The combined capacity of the vessels gained 74 percent since 2004, while seaborne trade in fuels rose 36 percent.
Refineries that can process ultra-light U.S. oil are getting deeper price discounts for the feedstock. U.S. condensate sold for a record average of $26.47 a barrel less than Brent crude oil in the fourth quarter, compared with an average of $6.70 in the same quarter of 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The U.S. is a low-cost refined products producer as our refineries benefit from low input costs, said David Beard, an analyst at Iberia Capital Partners LLC in New Orleans, who has covered the maritime industry for about 15 years. Product tanker-centric companies benefit.
Rates may keep advancing because the pace of new vessel construction is slowing. The global fleet of product tankers will expand 2.3 percent in 2013 as trade gains 4.2 percent, Clarkson estimates.
Excess vessel supply is hurting other shipping markets. The ClarkSea Index, an industry-wide measure of earnings, plunged to the lowest monthly average in February since at least 1994, according to Clarkson.
The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of the cost of hauling coal and iron ore, slumped 60 percent last year and the Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, reflecting rates for ships carrying crude oil, lost 18 percent.
Combined U.S. exports of refined fuels derived from all crude grades reached a record 2.6 million barrels a day last year, according to Energy Department data. The nation imported 12 percent less crude from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last year, compared with 2010. Its petroleum deficit, or the difference between the cost of its hydrocarbon imports and exports, fell to $18.7 billion, the lowest since 2004, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The exporting of shale refined into product cargoes will get around the restrictions of crude exports, said Jonathan Chappell, a New York-based analyst at Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR) This glut of shale spurring more refined cargoes is going to be a positive development for Medium Range tankers.
mars 5th, 2013
As a result of increased demand on some markets in Europe, which was announced in the Volvo Group s report for the fourth quarter of 2012, the production will be increased during the spring of 2013.
In Ume , about 90 people will be offered jobs. The increase in demand is due to a more optimistic view of the economic development among truck customers in these markets, combined with a pent-up need to renew truck fleets.
However, there is still uncertainty about the economic development of other regions, particularly in southern Europe. Where demand remains weak.
- We are delighted to see an increase in sales of our products in Europe, while it feels good to be able to offer new jobs in Ume , especially now that we have launched the world s best truck, says Mona Edstr m Frohm, site manager at Volvo s Truck plant in Ume .
For more information, please visit:
GLOBAL container freight rates have stabilised recently as the short term revival in east-west pricing has faded in the face of weak headhaul demand and rising fleet capacity, says London shipping consultant Drewry in its Global Freight Rate Index.
The Drewry index, a weighted average across all main trades excluding intra-Asia, consolidated the gains of December with a two per cent increase in January to US$2,513 per TEU. This brought the index up to its highest level since August 2012 and just four per cent off last year s peak month of June.
The Global Freight Rate Index is published in Drewry s Container Freight Rate Insight, along with freight rates covering over 600 different trade routes and several other aggregated indexes.
Trades contributing to the index s rise were the transpacific eastbound; Middle East exports to both Europe and North America and imports from Asia as well as South American, African and Oceania northbound exports.
Routes experiencing falling rates in January included the westbound transpacific backhaul trade, South Asian exports to Europe and imports from Asia, eastbound transatlantic and Asian imports to South America and Africa.
Rates on the latter had been rising strongly through 2012, but slipped in January. For instance, Drewry s benchmark rate from South China (Shenzhen-Yantian) to Brazil (Santos) had reached its highest level in two and a half years by December 2012 but slipped three per cent in January to $4,380 per TEU.
A number of other trades remained stable, including both legs of the Asia-Europe trade; the transatlantic westbound; Asian imports into Oceania and the regional trade of intra-Europe.
Pricing on the intra-Asia trade (not included in Drewry s Global Freight Rate Index) stabilised following two successive months of declines. Drewry s Intra-Asia Freight Rate Index edged up just 0.5 per cent in January.
Despite another year of excess capacity growth, Drewry expects global freight rates to rise through 2013. This is because the majority of new ship deployments are destined for already overburdened east-west trades where pricing is expected to come under pressure.
While carriers also remain challenged by capacity growth on north-south trades, the stronger demand growth will help buoy rates, so lifting average global container freight pricing.
Against this background, Drewry is forecasting a modest increase of four per cent in average global freight rates in 2013, with variations between different routes. Freight rate volatility will continue as carriers grapple with increasing overcapacity and resort to their preferred short-term measures of sailing suspensions and frequent general rate increases.
Importers and exporters should prepare themselves for a choppy ride through 2013, Drewry said.