© Jingaiping | Dreamstime.com – Shanghai Yangshan Deepwater Port Economic FTA container terminal crane lifting towers By Mike Wackett 12/10/2018 The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), published today after a break for the Chinese Golden Week holiday, reveals a sharp contrast in fortunes for the major carriers.The decision by Asia-North Europe carriers to blank or suspend 11 headhaul voyages this month appears to have halted the slide in spot rates on the route, the SCFI component virtually unchanged at $731 per teu.However, if the 2M Alliance reactivates its AE2/Swan loop earlier than planned – on 5 December as suggested by Alphaliner – then spot rates could fall away quickly.When the loop was suspended at the end of last month, MSC said the Swan service might be resumed “towards the end of the year”, while Maersk told customers its AE2 service would “resume in line with demand pickup”, which it expected to be before Chinese New Year in February.If, however, Alphaliner is correct and the loop is reinstated in early December, during the weakest demand period in the cycle, then 11 18,300-20,600 teu ULCVs will be back in the market, hunting for cargo.Shippers The Loadstar spoke to since the Alphaliner report was released believed the 2M partners could not accept the loss of market share that would follow this month’s industry-wide voyage blankings and that MSC in particular had pushed for an earlier-than-planned service resumption.Meanwhile, for Mediterranean ports, there was a fall of 2.1% in the SCFI, compared with 28 September, to $751 per teu.Compared with a year ago, spot rates are higher on both trades: the SCFI on 13 October 2017 recorded rates of $686 and $652 per teu respectively for North Europe and the Mediterranean.However, carriers are paying around 40% more for their fuel than last year, which explains the parlous financial position they find themselves in.The container lines would normally look to begin new annual contract rate negotiations for the trade in a few weeks, by which time they need to have stability in the spot market.Meanwhile, on the transpacific, the rush to beat the hike in tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% from 1 January is artificially boosting demand for space. Spot rates between Asia and the US have soared and are now almost double the level of a year ago.Rates to the US west coast as recorded by the SCFI jumped a further 7.3% this week to $2,503 per 40ft, while east coast rates were static at $3,304 per 40ft, due to the extended transit times.Realistically, transpacific shippers that can front load more cargo only have a few more weeks to beat the duty increase, which suggests that volumes could drop significantly from December.The Trump administration has said that the staged increase in tariffs from 10% on 24 September, to 25% on 1 January, is to allow time for US companies that depend on the Chinese imports covered by the trade war duty hikes to shift their supply chains.
Nigerian politician Ibori loses appeal against UK graft conviction A man on crutches casts his vote at a polling unit at the start of voting in Apapa district in Lagos March 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kunle Ajayi Related The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Lagos State Command, Ekpedeme King, on Tuesday warned immigrants in the state not to vote in the 2019 general elections.King, who said this during a meeting with different associations of ECOWAS citizens in Lagos, urged the leaders to warn their people not to participate in the elections.King said the warning became necessary because Permanent Voter Cards were retrieved from some of the immigrants.He said, “The CG, Muhammad Babandede, has directed us to get across to you that migrants that are not Nigerians should not participate in the electoral process and today’s meeting is to interact with you to pass this information to your compatriots that they must not participate in the electoral process.“They must not allow themselves to be used to vote either by inducement or any other form. And they should not allow themselves to be used as political thugs. They must keep away from the process.”King also urged NIS officials in various local government areas to conduct themselves in a good manner during the election period.The CG, who ordered officers to educate the immigrants in the local area they are supervising, said they should also be on the lookout for PVCs among the immigrants.He said, “We had to be reminded that we are to conduct ourselves very well before, during and after the election. You as representatives of the immigration service in the local government in the state have a very big duty to perform.” MTN withdraws case against Nigerian communications regulator MTN withdraws case against Nigerian regulator
Kabila, who spent 18 years as president, has kept silent and largely avoided public appearances DR Congo Massacre FILE – This Nov. 23, 2018, file photo shows Felix Tshisekedi of Congo’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress opposition party, at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Congo’s Constitutional Court early Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, declared the election of Tshisekedi as president, rejecting challenges to the vote by runner-up Martin Fayulu, who had alleged fraud. Tshisekedi, son of the late, charismatic opposition leader Etienne, is now set to be inaugurated on Tuesday.(AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File) FILE – This Nov. 23, 2018, file photo shows Felix Tshisekedi of Congo.(AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)DR Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi has held a rare meeting with his predecessor Joseph Kabila, as officials in the fragile coalition government say the former leader could return to the political stage.Tshisekedi, who took over from Kabila in January last year, governs alongside supporters of his predecessor, who have a commanding majority in parliament and hold most positions in the government.“The two high-ranking personalities discussed the progress of the coalition,” the Common Front for Congo (FCC) — a parliamentary grouping of parties loyal to Kabila — wrote on Twitter.But the head-to-head did little to quell tension that has been rising for months, and “points of contention” remain, the two camps told AFP on Monday.With the next election due in three years, Environment Minister Claude Nyamugabo told journalists over the weekend that he was already working for the return of Kabila to office.“He is the president of my party. I can only believe in his return,” he said.Kabila’s PPRD party expressed the same sentiment on Saturday in a tweet that was quickly deleted: “The return of Joseph Kabila is not a slogan, it is a reality. He will return to power and we are working on it.”“Our officials have the right to think aloud without involving the FCC,” a party representative told AFP when asked about the tweet. DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi in Kenya for official visit Related President Kenyatta hosts DR Congo’s Tshisekedi in Nairobi