Our International Business Manager, Bob Bulmer, has just returned from a trip to Shanghai China during which time he met with quite a number of the major shipping lines.
This is his second trip in the recent weeks following up on negotiations held in early July with lines to try and finalise global contracts for our global forwarder network, IASA-International Air and Shipping Association. These negotiations are expected to lead to more advantageous rates for all GPSM clients, not only on China to Australia trade, but on all global trade lanes to Australia and the major global ports.
Because the concept we have presented is something totally new that none of the lines have ever been involved in before, the negotiations have been protracted and varied, each shipping line have their rules and regulations and varying requirements in order to finalise an agreement. There are some further requirements that we need to fulfil and we are working on those issues at present and we hope to have this new concept contract in place as soon as possible.
On a more general note, during the meetings in Shanghai, we were advised that more capacity is being introduced into the Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong to Australia trades from late September 2016 through new shipping line alliances, expected to start operating from 1st October, 2016. The new alliances have come about as lines China Shipping Line, Neptune Orient Line and American President Lines have all be taken over by larger lines, there will be new faster services from some ports and possible twice-weekly services from some major ports when all the alliances are finalised.
The general view in the market at present is that rates in the next 4-8 weeks may increase slightly as lines try and grab back some of their lost income over the past couple of years while rates have been at record all-time low levels. These slight gains may well be short-lived when more space becomes available, all the lines will be vying for whatever business they can gain in order to fill their allocations under the new alliances.
GPSM will as always, keep all clients appraised of any further news as soon as same comes to hand.