>> Transpacific - port coverage from April 1st.more.

>> Are direct services becoming less attractive for shipping lines?. more.

>> What happens to the small ships post Panama Canal expansion?. more.

>> Maersk to acquire Hamburg-Sud and reinforce its presence on the Latin America routes. more.

>>£0.5 trillion of trade passes through UK ports. More.

>> The future of rail freight and private investment. More.

>> The Northern Freight and Logistics report. More. 

>> Oxford Cambridge Expressway Study. More.

>> The potential impact of Brexit on trade. More.

>> India - the impact of shipping lines’ consolidation and the cabotage rule change. More.

>> Iran – changes in maritime services post-sanctions. more.

>> 'India: The only way is up' say MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> Hanjin’s collapse - A wake-up call to the industry? More.

>> Peak season 2016: could the seemingly more rational shipping lines restore stability to the market?. More.

>> Panama Canal Expansion: the major announcements so far have been made by the CKYHE Alliance and G6 Alliance: each have indicated the upsizing of some of their vessels on the services passing through the Panama Canal as shown in MDS Transmodal's analysis. More.

>> CMA-CGM’s acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines and Cosco’s merger with China Shipping Container Line (CSCL), prompted the need for a few changes in the current capacity-sharing agreements amongst the shipping lines. More.

>> MDST has been appointed by Transport for the North (TfN), in partnership with York Aviation and Regeneris Consulting, to carry out a review of international passenger connectivity in the North of England. More.

>> Chris Rowland, Managing Director of MDST, presented the draft conclusions from the Transport for the North (TfN) Freight & Logistics Strategy at the Freight in the City Conference in Manchester on 3 March 2016. More.

>> With 22 maritime services, Iran is expected to see an increase of around 250% in the capacity of container shipping passing through its ports in spring 2016, as shipping lines seek to benefit from the removal of sanctions. More.

>> MDST Chairman, Mike Garratt, wrote to the editor of RAIL magazine in March about the future of rail freight in Great Britain. More.

>> MDST has examined the evidence for Chinese ‘dumping’ of steel on the global and UK markets using its World Cargo Database, which allows it to monitor world trade by both volume and value and for detailed commodities. More.

>> East Asia export box trade sees growth of 1.7% in 2015, says MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has published road traffic forecasts which used MDST’s GB Freight Model (GBFM) to develop forecasts to 2040 for HGV traffic on the British road network. More.

>> Ports should be at the centre of distribution chains says MDST. More.

>> Based on its analysis of Eurostat port statistics and its own World Cargo Database, MDS Transmodal has concluded that ports handled 640 million tonnes in 2014, a market share of 40%. More.

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Iran – changes in maritime services post-sanctions*

With 25 maritime services, Iran is expected to see an increase of approximately 40% in the level of container ship capacity passing through its ports in November, up from c. 3m TEU estimated in April last year (see Figure 1). This level of capacity, achieved thanks to the lifting of international sanctions, shows tangible evidence of shipping lines’  interest in serving the Iranian (and its hinterland) market more directly.

On the presumption, now international sanctions have been removed, that Iran could reach the level of economic development currently experienced by similar countries (in terms of GDP and population), we estimate that Iran could achieve a level of 0.050 of TEU per capita in 2040 (up from 0.017 in 2014). This translates into Iran’s imports potentially growing at a rate of some 6% p.a. instead of an annual 3% in the case of the sanctions still being in place.

Shipping lines are expected to adjust their strategies for the deepsea services as well as shortsea services. Calling directly at Iranian ports instead of feedering the Iranian market through neighbouring countries’ could equate to a saving in the region of $200/TEU for a shipping line on the Far East-Gulf route.

Thirteen of the twenty-five maritime services scheduled to call at Iranian ports in November are intra-Gulf services, three of which are new entrants compared to the same month last year. These new services have contributed to boosting the level of capacity deployed on the services operating within the intra-Gulf market by 40% compared to last year; now estimated to exceed a level of 1m TEU. Looking at the scheduled services for this month, Iranian ports are expected to overtake some surrounding competitor ports as shown in Figure 2.

With no sanctions to stop the Iranian ports competing with their competitors in the Gulf, the landscape within the Gulf market will likely change. Big names have already made their return to Iranian ports with Maersk now slotting on a weekly service calling at Iran and UAE. Although the service serves only the intra-regional market and the vessels deployed on this service are relatively small (1,720 TEU), Maersk coming back to Iran after five years marks a change in the role that Iran can play in the Gulf & ISC market.

Figure 1: Deployed annual capacity (mTEU), all services passing through the Gulf Source: MDS Transmodal, Containership Databank November 2016

Figure 2: Deployed annual capacity (mTEU), intra-Gulf services Source: MDS Transmodal, Containership Databank November 2016

* For this analysis we have taken into account full-container and semi-container ships of at least 1,000 TEU