United Airlines Suspends HKG-ORD And Drops HKG-GUM…

Chicago-based United Airlines (UA) has announced that their HKG-ORD flight will be suspended effective Tuesday, September 10. The airline blames low passenger volumes and the current political climate in Hong Kong for the suspension. The flight had been operated daily with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The airline also announced it had forwarded the termination date of its HKG-GUM service to October 14. The airline previously announced that the HKG-GUM flight, operated with a Boeing 737, would be terminated later in the year.

The airline will still operate daily B777 service on the HKG-SFO and HKG-EWR routes. The HKG-SFO will be operated twice daily later this year. It is unclear if the HKG-ORD flight will return or if the current situation in Hong Kong was just an excuse to axe the flight. There have been rumors that the flight was under-performing for some time.

Kuehne & Nagel Expands Perishable Division In Canada

Swiss global logistics giant Keuhne & Nagel (K+N) has acquired Worldwide Perishable Canada (WWP) further expanding its perishables division. WWP, headquartered in Nova Scotia, is a leading seafood logistics provider specializing in tuna in particular.

The companies’ combined volumes account for more than 17,000 tonnes of perishable air exports out of Canada each year. K+N has previously stated that perishables has been one of their strongest growth divisions. Perishables are often seen as low margin, but provide a consistent and regular flow of traffic.

Port of Rotterdam Breaks Its Own Record

For the first half of 2019, the Port of Rotterdam handled a record 240 million tonnes of cargo. The increase in volumes is attributed to an rise in imports and trans-shipments within the European Union. Containers from Asian origins also rose, indicating there is still strong European demand.

Growth may be short lived as the Port expects a weakening in the second half of the year due to global uncertainties.

OOCL Rolls Out More Blank Sailings On Asia-Europe Routes

Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has announced additional blank sailings over the next two months on the Asia to Europe tradelanes due to soft demand.

Asia-North Europe Service “Loop 4” – Westbound: ETA Xingang on August 15 in Week 33 and Eastbound: ETA Southampton on September 22 in Week 38.

Asia-West Mediterranean Service “WM1” – Westbound: ETA Qingdao on August 12 in Week 33 and Eastbound: ETA La Spezia on September 13 in Week 37.

Asia-East Mediterranean and Black Sea Service “EM2” – Westbound: ETA Qingdao on August 29 in Week 35 and Eastbound: ETA Ashdod on September 24 in Week 39 / Westbound: ETA Qingdao on September 12 in Week 37 and Eastbound: ETA Ashdod on October 8 in Week 41.

“OOCL Hong Kong” Berths At Its Namesake Port For The First Time

The “OOCL Hong Kong”, Orient Overseas Container Line’s (OOCL) Hong Kong namesake container ship, berthed at Hong Kong’s Kwai Tsing Port on July 18 for the first time. The “OOCL Hong Kong” is the third-largest container ship in the world, able to carry 21,413 TEUs. The ship, operated by COSCO’s OOCL subsidiary, is plying the carrier’s Germany to Shanghai Loop 1 (LL1).

The “OOCL Hong Kong” measures almost 400m long and 60m wide and was built in 2017.

King Abdullah Port’s New Cranes To Help Boost Capacity

King Abdullah Port, located approximately 100 km north of Jeddah, recently took delivery of 28 state-of-the-art cranes to allow for the start of an expansion program aimed at boosting capacity to 5 million TEUs. The expansion is considered the largest commercial operation of its kind in Saudi Arabia’s history. In 2018, Alphaliner ranked the King Abdullah port the second fastest growing port in the world.

The cranes, supplied by Liebherr, include 20 gantry cranes and 8 ship-to-shore (STS) cranes. The cranes have an outreach of 70 meters and a working load of 65 tonnes.

Water Levels On The Rhine River Fall Due To The Hot European Summer

Suffering from a prolonged dry summer, water levels on the historic and economically vital Rhine River have fallen affecting loading capacity. Water levels recorded at three (3) key gauge locations – Kaub, Duisburg-Ruhrort and Emmerich – are all expected to continue falling in the coming days. Predictions are that the Kaub gauge is expected to fall below the 130cm watermark, triggering additional low water surcharges that are already in place. Ruhrort is expected to fall under 270cm, the water level that triggers low water surcharges there. Emmerich is not expected to fall below the 70cm trigger level yet.

China Plans To Hurt American Companies Involved In Arms Sales To Taiwan

China’s Foreign Ministry said it would impose sanctions on U.S. companies that are involved in arms sales to Taiwan adding to the already strained China-U.S. relationship. In June, the U.S. announced it had completed a deal to sell more than US$2.2 billion worth of tanks, missiles and related support equipment to the island. China views the self-ruling Taiwan as a “renegade” province of China.

Flexport And Western Global Airlines In Court Over Aircraft Service Failures

Flexport Logistics is suing Western Global Airlines (KD), a cargo aircraft charter provider, claiming service failures resulting in loss of business. Flexport had contracted with WGA for ACMI cargo charters using a Boeing 747-400(F) converted freighter. The cargo charter period, from April 2018 through March 2021, covered cargo flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Los Angeles (LAX). Flexport claims that from the beginning of the charter period, the aircraft was plagued with mechanical delays. The B747 went “AOG” for up to three months. As a result, WGA substituted a smaller McDonnell Douglas MD-11F with less payload capacity. Flexport claims that the MD-11F was not an equal replacement for the B747, but was forced to accept. The MD-11F also suffered from mechanical issues causing delays and cancellations. The contract between Flexport and WGA allowed for cancellation (after 60 days notice) if the carrier failed to meet a defined operational reliability performance level of 80% during a rolling 2-month period. The logistics company claims WGA’s performance dipped as low as 66.1% in March 2019.

While this case continues in the courts, Flexport has since signed with Atlas Air (5Y) to provide replacement ACMI cargo charters. This time, the aircraft provided is a purpose-built B747-400F with nose-door loading capability. Atlas started the charters July 8 between HKG and LAX twice a week and HKG and ORD once a week.