web statisticswebsite tracking software
bradskelton.com theshippingbloke.com

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Neptune Pacific Line's South Pacific Island Shipping Dominance Grows

Neptune Pacific Line (Neptune) announced it has acquired Pacific Direct Line (PDL) from PDL’s parent holding company, Pacific International Lines (PIL) four days ago. This is further consolidation of the shipping market that I have long been saying in this blog is necessary for rate restoration and therefore financially healthy shipping services.
PDL's "Melanesian Pride"
The combined resources of Neptune and PDL will enable transport, warehousing, depots and customs services to be linked and will be another step closer toward integration of shipper's supply chains across 18 South Pacific markets.

The acquisition of PDL will strengthen Neptune’s Melanesian and Polynesian network, provide a link to Micronesia and the French territories. Global market connectivity will also be enhanced as they intend to hub cargo through ports in Fiji and New Zealand.
For PIL this divestment enables them to focus more on their key liner shipping markets in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

PDL currently operates throughout the South Pacific region and specialises in providing liner shipping services from New Zealand and Australia to the South Pacific Islands. My company, Depth Logistics , has enjoyed a close working relationship with PDL, particularly with break bulk cargo, which we believe will continue under Neptune's ownership.

Please contact me if you would like any further information or to discuss your South Pacific shipping needs.
All for now,
Brad Skelton

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Green and Sustainable RoRo Shipping

With the urgent scrutiny for the shipping industry to reshape the maritime transportation into a greener and more sustainable business, shipping providers are making every effort to explore all alternative options for zero emission powered vessels.

Making their way as a world leader in emissions-free solutions at sea, Norway, through their leading short sea RoRo operator, United European Car Carriers (UECC), and sustainable marine biofuel pioneer GoodFuel have launched a joint trial of GoodFuels Bio-Fuel Oil(BFO) on UECC’s roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel M/V Autosky.


The trial will take 3 months and will test 3,000 metric tons of sustainable biofuel on the 140-meter, 2,080-vehicle carrier. This is a significant move in advancing marine biofuel for the RoRo shipment. The bio-bunkering will take place in the Port of Rotterdam, it will be the first in a series of bunkering operations between March and May 2020. The BFO will be tested on M/V Autosky's normal route between Zeebrugge, Belgium and Santander, Spain.

UECC expects a reduction of more than 6,500 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions on a well-to-wake basis.

With scalability, sustainable marine biofuel effectively allows shipowners and operators to comply with both the 2020 0.50% sulphur cap, as well as future regulations on carbon reduction by 2030 and 2050. GoodFuels’ BFO is the first residual-fuel-equivalent biofuel, requiring no changes to marine engines.

This is an immense lead towards decarbonisation and green shipping. It is a great example for other shipping providers to continue marine biofuel uptake within the industry.

All for now,
Brad Skelton

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Piracy at Sea is Still a Reality

Piracy at sea is still a commercial reality for shipping and the pirates are going further offshore than ever. They are also more frequently kidnapping crew members to try and collect ransom.

In the past week Tianjin Xinhai International Ship Management has lost contact with it's general cargo vessel "Huanghai Glory" (pictured) after the vessel sent a piracy alert using its Ship Security Alert System (SSAS). 


An unknown number of pirates are believed to have boarded the vessel, which is currently drifting off the coast of Nigeria. The vessel’s manager has not been able to get in touch with the vessel and its 23 Chinese crew members since the initial incident alert, reports maritime security consultant Dryad Global. The Nigeria Navy has been informed and has dispatched a vessel to investigate.

The attack is the third incident off the Nigerian coast in 24 hours, with all incidents happening in close proximity of each other. Five hours earlier a tanker was boarded 45 nautical miles south of Cotonou and this incident itself followed another approach of a vessel 50 nautical miles south of Lomé.

In the first incident, the vessel reported being approached by a skiff containing 9-10 people. In the second incident, the vessel was believed to have been boarded by 5-6 people. It is highly likely that the perpetrators of all three incidents are the same group of pirates and probably originated from within Nigeria.

Piracy off the coasts of Nigeria, Benin and Togo have increased sharply in recent years with more incidents being reported further out at sea.
It is imperative that the shippers always take out marine insurance on each and every shipment to protect themselves from piracy risks.
All for now
Brad Skelton

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Coronavirus Update - China Returns to Work Slowly & Shipping Services Normalising

China is making slow but steady progress to return to work and fight back with their economy. Shipping services should start normalising soon as a consequence.

Industrial and manufacturing activities seem to be picking up with the eastern provinces mainly back to work. As some internal restrictions are still in force, most of the manufacturers are still not operating normally at this stage due to staff shortages. Despite this it is still good news for China's and the world's economy they are gradually ramping up again.

Here are some of the latest updates on the progress of what is actually happening in China, according to logistics sources I have there.
  • Most of the eastern provinces such as Zhejiang, JiangSu, Fujian, Guangdong, Shanghai, Shangdong are back to work. Henan province has announced 16 March as the return to work date
  • Most state owned manufacturers are at 80% productivity and logistics companies back to running around 95%
  • Zhejiang 99% of companies and manufacturers are back to work. However, the productivity is around 50% and forecast to pick up to about 80% by late March
  • Guangdong 99% companies and manufacturers are back to work. Productivity for many companies is around 50% and expected in increase to about 80% by late March. However the top 300 companies there are running at 91% productivity. The province is using high speed trains and charter flights to get workers back from inner Chinese provinces where there are still some restrictions.
  • The furniture industry in Guangdong province is now back to 80% productivity and the car parts industry in Shangdong province has been fully operational since mid February.
  • The textile industry in Zhejiang province is now back to 80% productivity since 29/02/2020. 
  • In Jiangsu province 78.7% companies and factories are back to work, worker numbers are at approx. 6.25 million which is 76% of the normal number.
  • The Chinese government is encouraging the use of trains to carry containers rather than rely on trucks between cities and provinces.
  • Most provinces have reduced their control restriction from level one to level two, this means other provinces’ workers, if fit and well, are able to travel into most of the provinces. 

Hong Kong, China, City, Urban, Skyline, Buildings

Please don't hesitate to contact my team at Depth Logistics or I if you need advice about your own shipping situation.
All for now,
Brad Skelton

Thursday, 27 February 2020

List of the Top 10 Container Ports in the World

Being the world's second largest economy, and its rapid growth in manufacturing and infrastructure developments, China, has dominated the world's shipping markets. It is no surprise that 6 of the world's largest container ports in the world are located in China.

Forbes have listed the top 10 container ports in the world, according to the data from the World Shipping Council.
  1. Port of Shanghai, China.
    It handled 33.62 million TEUs of cargo in 2013, up from 32.53 million in 2012 and the 31.74 million TEUs reported in 2011.

  2. Singapore.
    It is no longer No. 1, but container traffic remains strong.  Last year, the port recorded 32.63 million TEUs compared with the 31.65 million in 2012 and 29.94 million TEUs in 2011.
    Cargo Ship Near Port

  3. Shenzhen, China.
    Shenzhen is now the second largest Chinese port. Last year it handled 23.28 million TEUs, up from 22.94 million in 2012 and 22.57 million TEUs in 2011, according to the World Shipping Council.
    Assorted-color Trailer Boxes


  4. Hong Kong.
    The port of Hong Kong used to be the biggest of all Chinese ports, but not anymore.  Last year, Hong Kong continued to handle a dwindling number of containers as more and more ships head north to the mainland instead.  The Hong Kong container port terminal handled 22.35 million TEUs in 2013, down from 23.12 million in 2012 and 24.38 million TEUs in 2011.
    Port, Hong Kong, Skyline, China

  5. Busan Port, South Korea.
    Continued growth in shipping at Busan. Last year saw 17.69 million TEUs go through the port, up from the 17.04 million in 2012 and 16.18 million in 2011.
    Seaport during Golden Hour

  6. Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, China.
    The Ningbo-Zhoushan Port handled 17.33 million TEUs in 2013, up from the 16.83 million in 2012 and the 14.72 million TEUs in 2011.
    Intermodal Container Stacked on Port

  7. Qingdao, China.
    Qingdao handled 15.52 million TEUs last year, up again from the 14.5 million in 2012 and the 13.02 million TEUs recorded in 2011. Not bad for a country supposedly going through a hard landing.
    Photo of Ships on Port

  8. Guangzhou Harbor, China.
    Despite a slowdown in exports out of China, the Guangzhou port continues to handle more cargo.  In 2013 it handled 15.31 million TEUs of cargo, up from 14.74 million in 2012 and 14.42 million in 2011.
    port with cranes

  9. Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, U.A.E.
    This Dubai port handled 13.64 million TEUs last year, up from 13.3 million in 2012 and 13 million TEUs in 2011, according to the World Shipping Council.  The U.A.E. has successfully positioned itself as the hub between East and West shipping lanes, with more capacity currently being built out at the Khalifa Port outside of Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E. capital.
    Golden Hour

  10. Tianjin, China.
    The Tianjin port in China recorded 13.01 million TEUs in 2013, up from 12.3 million in 2012 and 11.59 million in 2011. TEU stands for "twenty-foot equivalent units". A standard cargo carrier equals two TEUs.
    Haikou, China, City, Bay, Harbor, Water, Ships, Boats
All for now,

Brad Skelton


Thursday, 20 February 2020

World's Greatest Shave 2020

Today, blood cancer is an immensely big problem in Australia. It is one of the leading causes of death by cancer in Australia. Every day another 35 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer. That's one Aussie every 41 minutes. Although research is improving survival, sadly an Australian loses their life to blood cancer every two hours.

There are 110,000 Australians living with blood cancer or related diseases, and unfortunately, my brother in law is one of them and sadly not the first person I know who has been affected by this awful disease. He has been fighting leukaemia for about six months now and with the support of a wonderful medical team and the Leukaemia Foundation he has it on the run. He and my sister are setting wonderful examples of resilience and determination. I am very proud of them and love them both and am confident this health challenge will soon be overcome completely.

In support of my Brother in law, this year, I have joined the 2020 World’s Greatest Shave campaign to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation on 13th March 2020. Please join us in the fundraiser, no amount is too small to give, every cent helps. Your donation will help the Leukaemia Foundation care for families like mine facing blood cancer and research in advancements in diagnosis, treatments, and ultimately a cure. Please donate here: http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/bradskelton

Being the only national organisation that represents the needs of all people living with any blood cancer in Australia, the Leukaemia Foundation have set a bold new goal to create real change for people living with blood cancer: Zero Lives Lost to Blood Cancer by 2035. This is an incredibly powerful and bold goal that all of us should get behind.

Thank you for your generosity and for joining us in this great cause, together we can beat cancer.



All for now,

Brad Skelton

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Coronavirus Impacts on Shipping

The coronavirus outbreak in China is now playing havoc with global supply chains and is worsening. Many carriers ex China are cancelling sailings and the handful that did depart have left about ten percent full.

As the number of deaths is now in excess of 1,300 and confirmed cases rising over 63,000, some provinces and cities in China have extended movement restrictions until 1 March. This means that most supply chains in China are grinding to a halt.

This week one vessel that is capable of carrying 23,000 TEU departed from China to North Europe with less than 2,000 TEU so the freight contribution is too small to make the voyage profitable. Carriers simply cannot carry on much longer like this and some have begun anchoring their biggest vessels and deploying smaller ships with lower operating costs.


Cargo that is able to be delivered to the port is often not able to be uplifted reliably as shipping line schedules are in increasing turmoil.
Initially there was some discounting of rates but the reality is there is virtually no cargo there so in effect for cargo to travel shippers should really be forced to pay a premium in freight to prevent huge losses on the voyages by the carriers.
Rate levels have become fairly immaterial to most shippers as they just desperately need their cargo shipped to sustain their businesses. Many of them are giving up on China for the time being and trying to source their goods from other countries that are not currently badly affected by the virus.
I predict that as the Coronavirus crisis passes that there will be an unprecedented spike in demand so my team at Depth Logistics and I are proactively trying to lock in rate agreements with carriers for clients now. There will certainly be "peak season" like surcharges carriers will be charging.
All for now,
Brad Skelton