Freight transportation reports, projects and other news from outside North America


Demurrage, detention charges declined an average of 25% the past year — Container xChange report

At midyear, average demurrage and detention charges registered a year-over-year decline of 25% so far in 2023, and a 14% decrease compared with 2020 rates, according to Container xChange’s annual Demurrage and Detention Charges report in a July 7 statement.

"There are multiple factors contributing to the inability of these ports to return to normalcy,” said Drewry Director DSCA Advisory Chantal McRoberts during a webinar featuring speakers from Drewry, S&P Global and Container xChange earlier this month. “The significant increase in energy prices, coupled with higher labor costs, and escalating land expenses and port fees, have all played a part." 

The implementation of new regulations, particularly ones focused on green energy in European ports, also has “added to the financial burden,” McRoberts said. “Additionally, the introduction of rules requiring individualized shipment customs clearance, no longer consolidated under one bill of lading, has proven to be time-consuming, as seen in the case of Rotterdam.”

Added Christian Roeloffs, Container xChange’s co-founder and CEO: “Bleak expectations for a significant peak season with a substantial increase in volumes, prices, and the potential for congestion and associated charges are evident in our customers. However, a key factor in determining whether you must pay detention charges is the efficiency of your processes and monitoring. How quickly can you act and notify your agent or trucker if something goes wrong, such as a container being forgotten at the terminal. Timely communication is crucial in avoiding unnecessary charges. This holds true in any market situation.” 

Meanwhile, there are 11 ports where demurrage and detention fees remain higher as compared with 2020’s rates, according to the report: Antwerp, Jebel Ali, Ningbo, Port Kelang, Rotterdam, Shenzen, Singapore, Tianjin, Xiamen, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. 


ICTSI launches South China-Vietnam service

Subic Bay International Terminals (SBITC) — International Container Terminal Service Inc.’s (ICTSI) operation in Zambales — has launched a new service expanding the Port of Subic’s connectivity to South China and Vietnam, ICTSI announced on July 4.

The South China Vietnam Philippines (SVP) service made its inaugural call at the Port of Subic last month with the arrival of the Danum 175, a 1,200-TEU boxship operated by Emirates Shipping Line (ESL). ESL operates the SVP service with ASEAN Sea Line and Pacific International Line. 

The feeder service, which makes weekly calls to Subic, “caters to the growing trade requirements of South China and Vietnam,” ICTSI officials said. It also reflects the free trade agreement between the Philippines and other Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership members including Vietnam, they added.


India: Cyclone, Balasore accident contribute to June freight traffic decline — Indian Railways 

The Indian Railways hauled 123.056 million tons of freight in June, a 2% decline from the same 2022 period, the railway reported earlier this month, citing June’s Biparjoy cyclone and devastating Balasore train accident as factors. On June 2, three trains collided in Balasore district, in the state of Odisha in eastern India. Two-hundred and ninety-four people were killed and nearly 1,200 were injured.


South Africa: ‘Mining industry claims Transnet rail is letting them down’ — eNCA interview with Transnet exec

“The mining industry says the country's poor rail network is letting them down. They are attributing job losses to this, too. Some have even referred to Transnet freight rail’s deterioration in performance as treasonous … a lack of maintenance for trains or locomotives, copper cable theft and vandalism have disrupted the state logistics firm.” — the TV anchor’s opening line of a July 8 South African TV channel eNCA interview about Transnet’s “challenges and some of the recent successes” with Transnet Freight Rail Chief Commercial Officer Bonginkosi Mabaso. Here’s the interview:


More from South Africa: Transnet completes Mamathwane loop, boosts rail export capacity

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) completed the construction of the Mamathwane Crossing Loop in the Northern Cape 30 days ahead of schedule, TFR officials announced on July 5. The completion of the loop “will unlock several key projects, some of which will be announced in the coming weeks,” officials said.

A key benefit of the project’s completion: an increase in export manganese capacity through the enablement of a new East London service. TFR currently moves most of its export manganese through operating 104 wagon trains to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and 125 wagon trains to Saldanha, both of which conjoin on the Sishen to Hotazel line. The network section “has been the bottleneck for TFRs export manganese capacity growth,” officials said, adding that Mamathwane project “will decongest” it and enable four additional rail slots per week. 


Saudi Arabia/Russia: Exporters cut oil output for August — PFL Petroleum report

“Top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia announced a fresh round of output cuts for August,” according to the July 6 edition of PFL Petroleum Market Daily Report, issued by PFL Petroleum Ltd., an independent broker that specializes in the wholesale physical and financial over-the-counter crude and NGL markets. “The total cuts now stand at more than five million bpd, equating to 5% of global oil output. WTI traded up $.01 to close at $71.80. Brent traded $.13 or to close at $76.52.”


Germany: PSA International acquires 22% stake in Duisburg Gateway Terminal

Singapore-based PSA International Pte. Ltd. (PSA) recently signed agreements to acquire a 22% minority stake in Duisburg Gateway Terminal GmbH (DGT), PSA announced on July 5. 

Upon completion of the transaction, PSA would join Hupac, HTS and duisport as shareholders of DGT. Located in the Port of Duisburg, DGT will be the first 100% climate-neutral inland container terminal located in the European hinterlands, according to PSA.

The transaction is subject to the approval of Germany’s competition and supervisory authorities.

The 235,000-square-meters DGT will be the largest container terminal in the European hinterland when completed, PSA officials said. The first construction phase is scheduled for completion in first-quarter 2024.


The Netherlands: RWG announces terminal expansion

Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) plans to develop a deep-sea berth as part of a phased terminal expansion that also will feature a fully automatic depot, RWG officials announced on June 28.

In addition to providing additional capacity, the expansion will feature “future-oriented facilities” in which automation, sustainability and connectivity are key elements, port officials said.

The extra berth will be fully automated, CO2 neutral and offer dedicated handling facilities for all modes. The total investment is about €500 million and initially includes civil works, quay cranes, storage modules with automatic stacking cranes and electrical automatic guided vehicles.

Construction of the quay in the Amaliahaven is underway and is slated to be completed in 2024. The berth is expected to be operational at the end of 2025, with a commercial rollout in 2026, RWG officials said.