China launches largest e-container ship / Godfather of German logistics reaches for Hamburg port operations / Freight rates continue to erode
The global recycling mania is taking on ever more absurd forms. Huge quantities of PET recyclate are now being shipped from Vietnam to Europe so that brand-name companies can have rPET printed on their packaging and thus give their customers the feeling that they are doing something good for the environment when buying their products. Nobody is questioning the climate impact of this transportation madness.

Meanwhile, as a consolation, the world’s largest fully electric ship has been launched in China – 120 m long and 24 m wide, the maritime gigastromer can transport 700 TEU (20-foot equivalent units) containers. Thirty-six replaceable container batteries are to ensure that the ship’s two electric motors do not run out of juice on their tours. However, the (locally) emission-free steamer will not make it to Europe; its radius is initially limited to 1,000 km with battery replacement.

So, before the first electric freighter from overseas lands in the port of Hamburg, quite a bit of water is likely to flow down the Elbe. Perhaps it’s better that way, because the listed operating company HHLA has enough to do at the moment. The port’s infrastructure is cracking and creaking in the woodwork, the order situation is as manageable as the North Sea at low tide, part of the workforce is to be put on short-time working – and to make matters worse, the Godfather of the German logistics industry, billionaire Klaus-Michael Kühne, who has long lived in tax-friendly Switzerland, announced in a newspaper interview that he could well imagine taking a stake in HHLA.

The shipping mogul still lacks a port terminal in his collection, which so far includes major shareholder stakes in Lufthansa and Hapag-Lloyd. In any case, the old guard in Hamburg’s city government have already reacted to Kühne’s request with an appropriately panicked rejection.

Meanwhile, freight rates have already ended the short phase of their upswing. The hoped-for “peak season” of Christmas business that usually starts around August-September has been cancelled for the time being. Traders around the globe are sitting on full stocks because inflation-ridden consumers are clinging to their wallets to prevent money from slipping out. For prices this means – at best stagnation, but probably further erosion.   

Freight rates for the week of 4 – 10 September 2023
Price for a 40-foot container with change from prior week:

China – US West Coast: unchanged at USD 2,200 (EUR 2,028)

China – US East Coast: unchanged at USD 3,500

China – Northern Europe: down 3% to USD 1,600

Northern Europe – China: unchanged at USD 550

China – Southern Europe: down 2.4% to USD 2,000

Southern Europe – China: unchanged at USD 550

US East Coast – Northern Europe: down 6.3% to USD 750

Northern Europe – US East Coast: unchanged at USD 1,550
07.09.2023 Plasteurope.com [253530-0]
Published on 07.09.2023
Logistik: Klaus-Michael Kühne greift nach dem Hamburger HafenGerman version of this article...

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