Posted on March 11, 2024
Global shipping news

Weekly Shipping & Logistics News Wrap, Week 11  

Top Highlights 

  • Air cargo carriers look towards promising 2024. 
  • ONE teases network changes. 
  • FedEx pilots near strike over contract deadlock. 
  • Hapag-Lloyd CEO underlines Gemini’s efficiency. 
  • Philadelphia port hosts largest-ever vessel. 

Let us look at the above shipping and logistics news in more detail:  

Air Cargo’s Optimistic Horizon After a Disappointing Year 

Despite facing declining revenues in 2023, major air cargo carriers like Lufthansa and Etihad look forward to a promising 2024, driven by e-commerce growth and shifting market dynamics. Lufthansa Cargo’s resilience amidst reduced earnings showcases the sector’s adaptability and optimism for recovery. Airlines Lufthansa and Etihad struggled with weak air cargo demand in 2023 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as reflected in their recently released financial results. Lufthansa Cargo’s revenue dropped significantly, falling 36% year-on-year to €2.98 billion (US$3.3 billion) in 2023 compared to €4.6 billion in 2022. The company’s profitability also took a hit, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) plunging 77% to €401 million from €1.7 billion in the previous year. With air freight volumes rebounding and yields stabilizing, the air cargo segment hints at a silver lining post-pandemic. 

Ocean Network Express Unveils 2025 Vision Amid Shifting Alliances 

In maritime news, Ocean Network Express (ONE) teased significant network changes for 2025, promising enhanced services and operational efficiency. The reintroduction of the PN3 service underscores a strategic response to evolving market demands and alliance shifts. This move coincides with the industry navigating the end of the 2M alliance and the birth of new collaborations like the Gemini Cooperation. 

FedEx Pilots Edge Closer to Strike Amid Contract Stalemate 

Freight news highlights include the escalating tensions between FedEx Express and its pilots, who seek a breakthrough in contract negotiations. The possibility of a strike looms large, signalling potential disruptions and spotlighting labour issues within the logistics sector. This development underscores the critical nature of fair labour practices in ensuring operational continuity. “While ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) has been generous in our movement on positions, FedEx’s incremental movement on some items and refusal to accept many of ALPA’s items indicate an unwillingness to ever reach an agreement,” Captain Christopher Comer and First Officer Jose Gomez, local FedEx union leaders, said Wednesday in a letter to fellow pilots.

Gemini Cooperation’s Focused Strategy: Quality Over Quantity 

In a significant declaration, Hapag-Lloyd’s CEO emphasized the Gemini Cooperation’s commitment to efficiency and reliability, leveraging a hub-and-spoke model to enhance asset utilization. This approach, focusing on strategic partnerships and infrastructure investment, marks a pivotal shift towards more sustainable and resilient shipping operations. “This is gonna be quite different than the way that some of the other cooperation’s work and if you want to make them work, then to do that with two is probably enough,” said Hapag Lloyd’s CEO Rolf Habben Jansen, on the sidelines of the TPM24 conference by S&P Global in Long Beach, California. 

Key Market Indicators Week 11

Philadelphia Port Breaks Records with Arrival of the Largest Vessel 

The Port of Philadelphia made headlines in shipping and logistics industry news by welcoming the largest container ship ever to visit the U.S. East Coast. The arrival of the CMA CGM Marco Polo not only showcases the port’s capacity but also its growing significance in global trade routes, promising substantial economic impacts and job creation. “This vessel is the manifestation of years of hard work preparing for this newer class of vessels,” Executive Director and CEO of PhilaPort Jeff Theobald said in a news release. “It has always been our goal to be able to handle these vessels which have become the workhorse of maritime trade around the world”. 

House of Shipping Insight 

This week’s developments in the shipping and logistics industry paint a picture of an industry at a crossroads, facing challenges with resilience and forward-thinking strategies. From air cargo’s hopeful rebound to strategic maritime alliances and labour disputes, the sector shows a robust adaptability to global shifts and market demands. The notable arrival at the Port of Philadelphia symbolizes not just a record but a testament to the industry’s ongoing evolution and its pivotal role in global commerce. As we navigate through these transformative times, the essence of innovation, collaboration, and sustainability becomes ever more critical in steering the shipping and logistics domain towards a brighter, more efficient future. 

Weekly Shipping & Logistics News Wrap, Week 11  

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