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Global Container Services

MOL Comfort – Update 15th July

As previously reported, the MOL Comfort ruptured on 17th June whilst en route from Singapore to Jeddah with over 4,000 containers on board. Shortly afterwards, the vessel split in two and the stern section sank after drifting for 10 days.

After encountering numerous problems with recovery of the remaining section, it has now been reported that a fire broke out on 13th July and teams of firefighters are attempting to put out the blaze which could affect the remaining 2,600 containers on board.

This vessel was only build in 2008, with 8,110 TEU capacity, and investigators will try to establish the reasons for the original break. It is possible that the vessel was not loaded correctly, or that cargo weights were under declared.

It looks increasingly likely that almost all containers on board will be lost,  this does highlight the need for shippers/importers to have adequate insurance. If you do not currently insure your cargo, please contact us for a quotation. Please note that your goods are not automatically insured by us, unless we have previously received standard instructions in writing.


Far East Rates Update - 15th July

The freight rate increases imposed by all carriers on this trade lane from 1st July appears to have succeeded. There are good reasons for this;

  1. The carriers are disciplined to return to profitability, as long term periods of low rates are unsustainable.
  2. The rush of bookings to ship prior to the increase of 1st July, has meant that vessels were full and cargo was rolled into July, causing much of July to be at full capacity also.
  3. Traditional July/August peak period for moving Christmas orders has started, and has had an effect on the amount of bookings / cargo movements.

Since the 10th July, carriers have started publishing a further round of general rate increases, due to take effect from 1st August at a level of USD 500 per TEU. It is of course too early to say whether this increase will go ahead in full, part or at all, and we are unlikely to know until we have finished our negotiation towards the end of this month.

We would recommend that if you can bring your orders forward to ship in July instead of August, then to do so.

Although most vessels are full and space is tight, Global Container’s do have protected space allowances at key loading ports, so unless we exceed our weekly forecast quota, we can guarantee space going forward.

We will continue to monitor the market closely and work with our main carriers to ensure that any increases are kept to a minimum.

As usual, customer contracts will be updated with rates from 1st August as soon as they are confirmed.

China / Far East rates update (20th May)

At the start of 2013, the freight rate level was already below the long term average with the carriers looking at ways to push rates upwards.

Despite carriers announcing increases from mid-April and the start of June, these have failed, and the only GRI which succeeded this year was the increase from 15th March, and this was only short-lived.


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