The Baltic Exchange s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Wednesday, helped by stronger demand for panamaxes and smaller vessels. The overall index that gauges the cost of shipping cargoes including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, was up 10 points, or 2.73 percent, to 376 points. The panamax index rose 25 points, or, 5.92 percent to 447 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, climbed $200 to $3,593. Among smaller vessels, the supramax index gained 13 points to 399 points, and the handysize index was up three points at 243 points. The capesize index, which had recovered a little on Tuesday after hitting a record low of 161 points on Monday, slipped 2 points, or 1.11 percent, to 178 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes, fell $34 to $2,252 on Wednesday. Iron ore shipments account for around a third of seaborne volumes on the larger capesizes.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru)
The Coordinating Council for cargo transportation has submitted a project of regulations to the government of Azerbaijan for determining tariffs for providing transit cargo transportation services. This was announced by Sahil Babayev, Deputy Economy and Industry Minister during the presentation of the electronic portal of the Coordinating Council. He said that the project of regulations for determining the tariffs for providing transit cargo transportation services and discounts to these tariffs is under the consideration of the government and it is expected that it will be approved soon.
These regulations will ensure transparency and creation of profitable opportunities for cargo transportation, Babayev added.
Last year, the Coordinating Council adopted the upper limit of tariffs for the services of oil and petroleum products transit by railway and handling via sea terminals.
Under the decision of the Coordinating Council, expenditures for services on transit and transshipment of oil and petroleum products are calculated by two percent surcharge to the approved tariffs.
The cost of contracts should not exceed the approved tariffs and transit and transshipment expenditures. New tariffs entered into force since December 3, 2015. Babayev noted that as a result of setting upper limit of tariffs for transportation of oil and oil products, the effectiveness of cargo transportation through Azerbaijan has increased and the transportation of these products in the country has grown.
He said over 1,500 trucks were sent to Central Asia from Turkey through Azerbaijan in January-February 2016, or 7.3 times more than in the same period of 2015. He also said that 215 freight wagons were sent via the Baku-Aktau-Baku route in January-February 2015.
It became possible as a result of simplifying the rules of cargo transportation through Azerbaijan, in particular, reducing the transportation costs by 40 percent, the deputy minister said adding that the basic agreement with Georgia on single tariffs also increases the attractiveness and competitiveness of the corridor and the work in this field will continue.
Single tariffs for cargo transportation via Trans-Caspian route
Touching upon the Trans-Caspian international route, Babayev said that Azerbaijan intends to set single tariffs for cargo transportation with the countries through which the Trans-Caspian route runs.
The country has already reached a preliminary agreement with Georgia on this issue.
Negotiations on the single tariff are underway with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Turkey. If these plans are realized, the competitiveness of the Trans-Caspian corridor will increase significantly, Babayev believes.
The Trans-Caspian route connects China with Europe via the territory of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. This is a multimodal corridor which uses railway, maritime and road transport for transportation of goods. The Trans-Caspian route enjoys an opportunity to become attractive and profitable for consignors from European countries. This route will transport approximately 300,000-400,000 containers by 2020. Three test container trains have already been sent from China to Europe via this corridor. This project, being very profitable, has involved even Ukraine, the territory of which will make the delivery of goods to customers even faster.
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Ukraine have signed a protocol on setting preferential tariffs for cargo transportation via this route. Signing of this document will likely lead to full commercial operation of the Trans-Caspian route in the near future.
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have agreed to establish an international railway consortium to organize and develop regular container traffic through the Trans-Caspian route. This consortium will include KTZ Express (a subsidiary of Kazakhstan Railways), the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company, Azerbaijani Karvan Logistics and Trans Caucasus Terminals (a subsidiary of Georgian Railway).
USAID to help expand functionality of Coordinating Council e-portal
Later, Babayev told journalists that the U.S. Agency for International Development will provide expert assistance to the Coordinating Council on Transit Freight of Azerbaijan in expanding the functionality of the e-portal of the council.
He said that the expansion of the functionality of the electronic portal (transit.az) is included in the plans of the Coordinating Council.
We held discussions with the USAID on this issue, and it will provide expert assistance in expanding the functionality of the web site. The web site can turn into a single large portal with the participation of all the countries participating in the Trans-Caspian corridor, he added.
Australia passed legislation to enable the longterm lease of its largest shipping container terminal, the Port of Melbourne, freeing up privatisation plans to move ahead after months of political headwinds. Investors from China to Qatar are flocking to Australian infrastructure because it is seen as well-regulated and predictable, offering a reprieve from volatility in commodity and equity markets.
The Labor government has negotiated in good faith to reach agreement on a bill that delivers a strong offering to the market and a positive economic benefit for all Victorians, state treasurer Tim Pallas said in a statement, announcing passage of the law. The sale is part of the Australian government s ambitious A$100-billion privatisation plan to cut debt and upgrade the country s infrastructure.
In the statement, the government said it would set up a new A$200-million agriculture infrastructure and jobs fund to drive regional economic growth and boost exports from the farmers to the port. The Port of Melbourne handles about 2.6 million containers each year. The sale was first proposed in March 2014 by the conservative Liberal government then ruling the state. Victoria has since had a change of government and a lengthy public inquiry into the divestment.
In November, the state of New South Wales sold an electricity network to a global consortium for A$10.3 billion, and last month it received strong indicative bids for another electricity distributor.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Swati Pandey Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)