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‘Global container trade to increase by 5.7 % in 2014’

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UNITED Kingdom-based shipping consultant, Drewry Maritime, has predicted that the global container trade will increase by 4.7 per cent in 2013 and 5.7 per cent in 2014, reaching 684 million teu by the end of 2014.

According to Drewry’s latest forecasts, port capacity is expected to reach 994 million teu by 2014, increasing at Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.9 per cent since 2011, while average utilisation will rise to about 69 per cent in 2014, from 67 per cent in 2011.

The company’s forecast predicts that there will be significant regional variation, which will lead to very different utilisation levels in different areas.

In 2014, Drewry anticipates that ports in emerging regions such as the Far East and South-East Asia are expected to see higher average usage rates of about 75 per cent, while there will be an average utilisation of 57 per cent in Western Europe due to flagging demand.

In early 2013, a rise of 6.4 per cent was recorded in the share prices of the major port companies under Drewry’s coverage

During the period, regional economic differences led to diverging share prices, with DP World and ICTSI up by 34 per cent and 22 per cent respectively, while Dalian Port and Hamburg Hafen and Logistik (HHLA) have seen decreases of eight per cent and six per cent respectively.

According to the research, companies such as Cosco Pacific and HHLA will see a rise in their shares in 2013.

Cosco Pacific is expected to take advantage of its stable revenues from container leasing, its operation in the Bohai Rim and the recovery of global trade.

HHLA is expected to benefit from its presence in hinterland traffic, growth in trans-shipment in the Baltic Sea, as well as the Eibe River dredging project.

The consultant also covers International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) and South American container handling firm Santos Brasil, which expects to start operations at new terminals including BTP and Embraport in 2013.

On an average, Drewry expects the 12 ports under coverage to deliver 8.4 per cent growth in sales, 10.8 per cent growth in EBITDA and net income growth of 14.3 per cent in 2013.

Meanwhile, UK-based maritime trainer, Warsash Maritime Academy (WMA), will unveil a new scaled container ship model to extend its training capability for seafaring pilots, masters and ships officers.

Following its launch on May 16, 2013 at Southampton Solent University’s Ship Handling Centre, the new model vessel will be the first container ship to join WMA’s existing fleet.

WMA’s Director, Andrew Hair, explained that because the models handle the same way as a real ship does, they give experienced seafarers the opportunity to train around slow speed control, practising complex and potentially hazardous manoeuvres.

“The training builds understanding of the behaviour of ships, which is essential to develop skills in their everyday work situation,” Hair said.

“With 95 per cent of the world’s trade moved by sea, ships are getting larger and waterways and ports more crowded, so scale model training is more important than ever.”

The new vessel has been modelled on a real 13,000teu, 365m-long container ship, most widely used by major shipping companies including CMA CGM, Maersk and MSC.

The 1:25 scaled model is 14.62m long, weighs 12.5t and is equipped with operational power anchors, electric hydraulic steering, bow thrust and main propulsion controls.

It also features transferrable water ballast, which allows the scaled ship to operate in light or loaded conditions.

Additionally, WMA is in the process of building a sister ship to the Panamax vessel to be named ‘Intrepid’, which is scheduled to be operational in 2013.

The Ship Handling Centre offers a training platform for pilots, masters and ships officers, using several manned models, accurately scaled to that of a real ship.-Guardian

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