Liner Market

Regulatory approval of the proposed Ocean Alliance has met delays with the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) this week. The alliance of CMA-CGM, China COSCO Shipping, Evergreen and OOCL had submitted plans to the FMC in mid-July and hoped to receive clearance by 29th August. The FMC has requested further information from the group, and once provided, the 45 day review period will be re-started. The alliance is scheduled to start operations in April 2017, subject to approval by competition authorities. • UASC reportedly made an operating loss of $132m in 1H 2016, with a negative operating margin of 9%. These results were amongst the weakest of the major containership operators, although many lines have suffered financially from the weak freight market environment. According to the SCFI, the spot freight rate on the peak leg Far East-Europe route marginally rose w-o-w to $695/TEU this week, still a historically depressed level.