29012 members and growing – the largest networking group in the maritime industry!


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

(Photo: SC Ports)

Rail Expansion Completed at SC Ports' Inland Port Greer

South Carolina Ports Authority held a ceremony celebrating the completed rail expansion at Inland Port Greer, a logistics hub in Upstate South Carolina.The rail-served inland port facility opened in 2013, extending the Port of Charleston’s reach 212 miles inland with Norfolk Southern’s daily, overnight rail service.The site required expansion to keep up with a growing list of port customers including BMW, Michelin, Adidas, Eastman, First Solar, TTI Floorcare and Visual Comfort & Co.…

© Fly_dragonfly / Adobe Stock

Ukraine Lacks Viable Plan B to Boost Grain Exports Via Rail, Road or River

Ukraine has few viable options currently to boost grain exports by rail, road or river barge anytime soon if a United Nations-brokered deal with Moscow to export by sea runs into trouble.Ukraine is one of the world’s leading grain and oilseed exporters and a Russian blockade of its ports after Moscow invaded its southern neighbour in February triggered higher global prices for basic foods.The UN-brokered deal reached in July allowed grain shipments to resume. But Russian support for the pact has wavered in recent weeks and Moscow even temporarily withdrew at the end of October.

© Cifotart / Adobe Stock

Trucker Blockades in Brazil Could Hit Ag Exports

Roadblocks in at least 12 Brazilian states by truckers who support outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro could affect agricultural exports in one of the world's top food producers, according to the head of a key state farm lobby.Bolsonaro lost Sunday's election to leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but has yet to concede defeat to his fierce ideological rival.His complete radio silence has raised concerns about the orderly handover of power, while also adding to doubts…

Governor McMaster, elected officials, SC Ports leadership, Palmetto Railways, CSX and Norfolk Southern broke ground on SC Ports' new rail-served intermodal yard today. (Photo/SCPA/Janie Traywick)

Port of Charleston Adding Near-dock Rail

South Carolina Ports will soon have near-dock rail and an inner-harbor barge operation to ensure fluidity and capacity for the Southeast supply chain.SC Ports officials and elected officials recently gathered in North Charleston to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Navy Base Intermodal Facility. SC Ports is developing the rail-served intermodal yard to provide near-dock rail to the Port of Charleston.“This resolves the last remaining competitive disadvantage we have as a major East Coast container port,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said.

Copyright G/AdobeStock

MRS 2022: Supply Chain Challenges to the Maritime Transportation System

Inland maritime transportation systems (MTS) play major roles in domestic and international supply chains, with unique challenges related to upstream and downstream sources disruption, accessibility and shifts in commodities, as well as demand and supply imbalances. With a 20% on-time arrival statistic, the U.S. east coast serves as an example for the increasing appeal of inland waterways as a cost-effective, alternative, with Port of Cleveland traffic reportedly increasing 70% between 2020 and 2021.

© petert2 / Adobe Stock

Transnet Agrees Wage Deal with Majority Labor Union

South African state-owned logistics firm Transnet said on Monday it had agreed a three-year wage deal with the union representing the majority of its workers, ending a two-week strike that had hit commodities exports and piled up millions in losses."Transnet and the company's majority union United Transport and Allied Trade Union (UNTU) reached a three-year wage agreement today," it said in a statement, adding the deal would bring most of its employees back to work.UNTU members…

© Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock

Hungary's New Container Terminal Aims to Boost Ukrainian Grains Shipments

Europe's largest land-based container terminal started operating near Hungary's border with Ukraine on Tuesday, aiming to increase shipments of Ukrainian grains via Hungary to Adriatic ports.The East-West Gate terminal, built at a cost of about 40 billion forints ($95.65 million), allows containers to be transferred between wide and standard gauge rail tracks as well as between trains and trucks.It "will have a huge role in shipping Ukrainian grains," Hungarian Foreign Minister…

(Photo: Transnet)

Transnet Strike Costing Miners $44 Million a Day

South African miners are losing 815 million rand ($44 million) in export revenue per day due to an ongoing strike at state-owned logistics firm Transnet which has hit commodity exports, an industry body said on Thursday.Transnet's freight rail and port workers earlier said they had rejected a revised pay offer and vowed to continue the strike which started a week ago.The Minerals Council of South Africa said major mineral export harbors were currently operating at between 12% and 30% of their daily averages due to the strike.

Copyright tonyv3112/AdobeStock

Container Shipping Market: Plunging Rates and Blank Sailings

Peter Sand, the chief analyst of Xeneta discuss recent trends in the container shipping market, from plunging spot rates to blank sailings.The container shipping market has enjoyed a prolonged historic, and somewhat unexpected bull run, as COVID-induced consumer spending broadly switched from travel and entertainment to manufac-tured goods. But as COVID restrictions fade and inflation rages, the tides are changing, resulting in turmoil across many container shipping sectors.“Let’s focus on the Transpacific because that's where things are most crazy right now…

South Africa's Port Workers to Strike Over wages

Workers at South Africa's state-owned logistics firm Transnet will go on strike starting this Thursday over a wage dispute, two labor unions said, in a move that could halt the export of key minerals and other cargo.Transnet has been operating below capacity due to a shortage of locomotives, poor maintenance and vandalism and theft of its infrastructure, costing miners billions of rand in potential revenue. A strike would paralyze freight rail services and impact South Africa's ports…

Copyright JustSuper/AdobeStock

Lithium-ion Batteries: Fire Risks and Loss Prevention Measures in Shipping

About the Author: Captain Rahul Khanna is Global Head of Marine Risk Consulting at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. A marine professional with 26 years of experience within the Shipping and Maritime industry, Captain Khanna served more than 14 years on board merchant ships in all ranks, including Master of large oil tankers trading worldwide. Although shipping losses have more than halved over the past decade fires on board vessels remain among the biggest safety issues for the maritime industry.

(Photo: Port Milwaukee)

New Loading Equipment Delivered to Port Milwaukee

New loading equipment was recently delivered to Port Milwaukee for The DeLong Co., Inc. agricultural maritime export facility.The Made in America ship loader traveled more than 1,500 miles by barge from New Orleans, up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Jones Island. This equipment is capable of loading 40,000 bushel/1100 ton per hour onto both vessels and barges.The ship loader, which is currently being installed on Jones Island, will serve as the heart of DeLong’s loading…

(Photo: Port of Los Angeles)

Port of Los Angeles Offering Incentives for Zero-emission Trucks

The Port of Los Angeles announced the release of $5 million in voucher incentives for zero-emission trucks to operate at the port. The move, which marks the first in a series of incentive programs that will be funded by the port’s recently enacted Clean Truck Fund (CTF), comes as the port makes continuous strides to reduce its environmental footprint.“Our port does more than drive America’s economy forward – it shows the world how environmental stewardship and economic prosperity can go hand-in-hand,” said Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Capacity And Blank Sailing: Far East to the US West Coast. Chart courtesy Xeneta

Collapsing Spot Rates, Falling Capacity define Far East to U.S. Container Trade

In its latest Container Freight Rate Update note, Xeneta covers the average capacity and blank sailings on the Far East to the US West Coast while we head into the not-so-traditional peak season.The average capacity offered from the Far East to the US West Coast has fallen to its lowest since February in the past four weeks. Over this period, an average of 275,000 TEU has left the Far East heading for the US West Coast, about 50,000 TEU less than the peak in early August.Compared to the same four weeks in 2021…

© Alan / Adobe Stock

Liverpool Dockworkers Launch Two-week Strike Over Pay Dispute

Over 500 dockworkers at the Port of Liverpool, one of Britain's largest container ports, have launched a two-week strike over pay, the Unite trade union said on Tuesday, adding to a wave of industrial unrest caused by soaring inflation.The Liverpool strike from Sept. 19 to Oct. 3, which was announced earlier this month, will overlap a second walkout by workers at Felixstowe, Britain's top container port, which starts on Sept. 27.More than 560 port operatives and maintenance engineers…

Bookshelf: Port Newark and the Origins of Container Shipping

“An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously.” –Charles KetteringJust for fun, try asking a friend a few questions. Who developed the telephone? Chances are that your friend will reply, Alexander Graham Bell. Who developed the lightbulb? That would be Thomas Edison. Who developed the telegraph? That would be Samuel F.B. Morse. Now ask, who developed containerization? Unless your friend has a background in maritime history, he is likely to draw a complete blank. The answer is a man named Malcom McLean. But who exactly was he? Was he a shipping executive?

© Andriy Blokhin / Adobe Stock

US Railroad Strike Averted

Major U.S. railroads and unions secured a tentative deal on Thursday after 20 hours of intense talks brokered by President Joe Biden's administration to avert a rail shutdown that could have hit food and fuel supplies across the country and beyond.Biden called the deal a "big win for America" and for tens of thousands of rail workers. Thanking business and labor, the Democratic president promised more worker-company agreements in the future."I'm optimistic that we can do this in other fields as well…

(Photo: PhilaPort)

Biden Administration Earmarks $20.3 Million for PhilaPort Expansion

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Biden Administration has awarded The Port of Philadelphia (PhilaPort) $20.3 million to construct a new 100,000 square-foot warehouse at the Tioga Marine Terminal, as well as safety and efficiency upgrades with the modernization of the terminal’s main gate.“A significant hub for global trade, PhilaPort is an important link in the supply chain and plays a critical role in strengthening our economy and our infrastructure, which is why I have prioritized investing in the port throughout my administration.

(Photo: Port of Antwerp-Bruges)

duisport and Port of Antwerp-Bruges Partner on Energy Transition, Infrastructure

duisport and Port of Antwerp-Bruges signed a long-term cooperation agreement establishing avenues for cooperation on energy transition, hinterland connections and infrastructure as the partners aim to help stabilize and improve supply chains between Germany and Belgium and within Europeduisport CEO Markus Bangen and Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, sealed the far-reaching partnership in the presence of Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon. North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister for the Environment…

© marchello74 / Adobe Stock

US Government Makes Contingency Plans for Rail Shutdown

President Joe Biden's administration on Tuesday made contingency plans aiming to ensure deliveries of critical goods in the event of a shutdown of the U.S. rail system while pressing railroads and unions to reach a deal to avoid a work stoppage affecting freight and passenger service.The potential shutdown, which could come as early as Friday, could freeze almost 30% of U.S. cargo shipments, stoke inflation, impede supplies of food and fuel, cost the U.S. economy about $2 billion per day and cause transportation woes.Railroads including Union Pacific…

NVOCCs Caught in the Middle of Ocean Shipping Reform Act

NVOCCs are caught in the middle of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 requirements for reporting demurrage and detention; FMC needs to pump the brakes and allow the industry to catch upThe Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, passed by Congress without industry input and signed into law on June 16, has left the industry in a difficult position regarding how to comply with the new requirements for invoicing demurrage and detention (D&D) charges.At issue is the Container Availability Date…

© Mongkolchon / Adobe Stock

Shipping Lines, Container Owners Struggle to Return Boxes to China

Shipping lines and container owners in North America (majorly in the U.S.) are finding it difficult to return containers to China. To add to the present challenges, the U.S. is also facing major trucking issues that are making cargo movement within the country difficult.The U.S. is again in the spotlight according to the monthly container logistic report published by Container xChange, a technology marketplace and operating platform for container logistic companies.“What is happening in the U.S.

(Photo: Port of Los Angeles)

Port of Los Angeles Awarded $20 Million Infrastructure Grant

The Port of Los Angeles and a range of elected officials and industry leaders joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg today to celebrate the award of a $20 million federal RAISE infrastructure grant for a critical road-railway grade separation project at the Port.“We’re proud to be here marking such important progress being made, but also recognizing that there is so much more to do to fix the supply chains that were torn up by the pandemic and to make them more resilient for years to come – and right here we have a great example of that,” said U.S.

Copyright DifferR/AdobeStock

Container Prices, Leading Rates Decline

Average container prices have declined by more than half from the last year in August as China picks up containerized trade volumes more recently, according to an analysis published by Container xChange.Trade in China was impacted in the first half of the year, but the containerized trade seems to have picked up since July (2022) according to the analysis put together by Container xChange. “Shippers are once again hoping that the exports will restore in full swing as the industry prepares for the peak season.

Rollercoaster Containershipping Rates Continue, says Xeneta

South American spot rate gap set to narrow as shippers take advantage of lower Far East to West Coast ratesThe latest ocean freight rate data from Xeneta reveals that spot rates are currently $3,700 more expensive for shipping 40-ft. containers from the Far East to the South American East Coast, compared to the West Coast corridor. This huge gap – the norm is usually around a $55 East Coast premium – has opened up since 1 July. However, shippers looking to take advantage of the disparity should move quickly…

Image courtesy NYK Line

NYK Tokyo Container Terminal Begins Ops with New Transfer Cranes

NYK Line and UNI-X NCT Corporation (UNI-X) have begun operation of four state-of-the-art transfer cranes developed by Mitsui E & S Machinery Co., Ltd.The four cranes are based at the NYK Tokyo Container Terminal (NYTT), and each comes equipped with a downsized diesel engine that reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and diesel exhaust and can be replaced with a hydrogen fuel cell power supply in the future.This decarbonization initiative is in line with the carbon neutral port concept being promoted by Japan’s Ministry of Land…

© Matt Gush / Adobe Stock

US Works with Firms in Supply Chains to Ease Port Congestion

The U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) said on Wednesday a supply chain pilot data-sharing project aimed at easing bottlenecks at congested U.S. ports has begun exchanging data and doubled in size.USDOT announced the planned project in March with truckers, shippers, wholesalers, retailers and ports "to develop a digital tool that gives companies information on the condition of a node or region in the supply chain."The effort known as the Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) program included 18 initial participants including FedEx…

Copyright nespix/AdobeStock

Empty Containers in East Coast Ports enter FMC's Crosshairs

While there are many layers to the continued container shipping supply chain woes, and the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has set its sites on the nuisance of empty containers clogging traffic, on the heals of FMC Chairman Maffei's visit to the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey."In my view, the congestion emanates from the lack of accountability in moving the buildup of empty containers back into the terminals," said Carl W. Bentzel, Commissioner with FMC. "Empty containers…

(Photo: Martin Bencher Group)

Maersk to Acquire Logistics Firm Martin Bencher Group

Shipping group A.P.

© John / Adobe Stock

Rio Tinto Inks Port JV with China-backed Consortium for Guinea's Simandou

Rio Tinto's Guinea subsidiary has formed an infrastructure joint venture with Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS) and the government, paving the way for work to resume on the world's largest undeveloped iron ore project.The joint venture (JV) for the Simandou railway and port is a milestone for Rio and WCS, whose shareholders include a unit of China Hongqiao, but the firms said they must still negotiate final JV agreements, without giving a timeline.A source with direct knowledge…

Copyright namning/AdobeStock

Container Shipping Rates: Has the Peak Been Reached?

Despite another slew of rises in long-term contracted ocean freight rates across key global trade corridors, month-on-month growth is slowing - and spot rates continue to weaken – suggesting prices may have peaked. However, according to the latest Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI), which crowd-sources real-time data from the world’s leading shippers, today’s valid long-term agreements stand 112% higher than this time last year, and a massive 280% up against July 2019.“The carriers have enjoyed staggering rates rises…

© Eric BVD / Adobe Stock

Terminals at Port of Oakland Resume Regular Hours

Marine terminals at California's Port of Oakland reopened for regular weekday hours on Monday after independent truckers formally ended a week-long protest of the state's new "gig worker" law that stranded cargo on ships, docks and warehouses, worsening U.S. supply chain snarls."All of our marine terminals are open this morning and operations are normal," a port spokesman said.The law, formally known as AB5, would make it harder for businesses that rely on freelance workers, also known as gig workers…

© Eddie Cloud / Adobe Stock

More Long Delays at UK's Port of Dover

Long queues of holidaymakers and lorries built up on Saturday outside the Port of Dover, Britain's main gateway to Europe, and officials said the disruption could be worse than the logjam seen on Friday.Travelers setting out at the start of the British school summer holidays, as well as the usual flow of goods lorries, have faced long delays because of slow border checks.The Kent Resilience Forum, which brings together local councils and emergency services, declared a "major incident"…

© riderolga / Adobe Stock

Truck Blockade at Port of Oakland Stretches into Day Three

Independent truckers protesting California's new "gig worker" law blockaded California's third-busiest seaport for the third straight day on Friday, delaying shipments at the state's top agricultural export hub and adding to U.S. supply chain headaches.Truck gates at all four Port of Oakland marine terminals remain closed to truck traffic on Friday. Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT), which handles about 70% of port cargo, restarted some work on ships, a port spokesperson said.Oakland port truckers began actions against the law formally known as AB5 on Monday.

© sheilaf2002 / Adobe Stock

Protests Halt Cargo Movement at Port of Oakland

Protesting truckers stopped traffic on Wednesday at a Northern California port, one of the busiest in the United States, as they demonstrated against a new state labor law that makes it harder for independent truckers to operate.Drivers picketed gates and blocked other truckers from hauling cargo in and out of the port. The protests in Oakland began on Monday and have grown larger and more disruptive with each passing day.Late on Wednesday, Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny…

© William A. Morgan / MarineTraffic.com

Rail Cargo Backups Threaten New Logjam -Los Angeles Port Chief

Railroads and importers must remove cargo that is stacking up at the nation's busiest seaport in Los Angeles to avoid exacerbating supply chain congestion, the port chief said on Wednesday."We must take action on this issue immediately to avoid a nationwide logjam," Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said on a media call.Rail service disruptions are slowing U.S. cargo flows and helping to stoke inflation, which is at a 40-year high.Resulting backlogs at the Port…

© frimufilms / Adobe Stock

FMC Reveals Plans to Aid Shippers and Improve Supply Chains

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) said it is establishing three new initiatives that will provide enhanced assistance to shippers, continue to improve legal and regulatory compliance of regulated entities, and focus on remedies to supply chain problems.At the direction of Chairman Daniel Maffei, the Commission will establish a new and permanent International Ocean Shipping Supply Chain Program, re-establish the Export Rapid Response Team, and take the steps necessary for carriers…

Copyright olrat/AdobeStock

FMC Approves $2 Million Settlement Agreement with Hapag-Lloyd

The Federal Maritime Commission approved a settlement agreement reached between its Bureau of Enforcement (BoE) and Hapag-Lloyd AG (Hapag-Lloyd) where the ocean carrier will pay a $2 million civil penalty to address alleged violations related to their detention and demurrage practices.“To restore full confidence in our ocean freight system, vigorous enforcement of FMC rules is necessary. Specifically, we must ensure powerful ocean carriers obey the Shipping Act when dealing with American importers and exporters.

Photo courtesy Wilhelmsen Port Services

Wilhelmsen Port Services Established

On June 7, 2022 Wilhelmsen launched its Port Services, according to the company setting a unique course for the future of the ships agency industry and the entire port ecosystem. One of the key steps taken already is to establish and internal incubator for new innovations and solutions, building on their reliable network and heritage, expanding far beyond agency.“With the establishment of Wilhelmsen Port Services we are taking a long and hard look at the port value chain to see where we can play a bigger role…

© Betty Sederquist / Adobe Stock

MARAD Designates Four New Marine Highway Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today announced the immediate designation of four new Marine Highway Projects as part of the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP). Projects in North Carolina, Alaska, and Puerto Rico will receive these designations. They can now apply for record levels of funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help address supply chain challenges.A Marine Highway Project is a planned service, or expansion of an existing service, on a designated Marine Highway Route.

(Photo: MDOT Maryland Port Administration—Port of Baltimore)

Port of Baltimore Gets Federal Funding to Improve Rail Infrastructure

The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore will receive $15.6 million from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Consolidated Rail and Infrastructure Safety Improvements (CRISI) program for its Rail Capacity Modernization Project. The Project will reconstruct and update the Seagirt Marine Terminal’s intermodal rail yard infrastructure and support increased demand for double stacked trains of containerized cargo to markets across the country.“This funding will support the continued growth of Maryland’s Port of Baltimore,” said Governor Larry Hogan.

Copyright Travel mania/AdobeStock

Containershipping's Long-term Reefer Rates Soar to All-time Highs, says Xeneta

According to the latest crowd-sourced data from Xeneta, long-term rates for reefer containers on the key US West Coast to Far East route soared almost 60% in April.In its report Xeneta notes a surge in rates of around $2000 per 40-ft. unit after the latest 12-month contracts came to a close. The average contracted rate recorded on 15 May stood at $5850 per container, while the average for new agreements running from Q2 2022 to the end of Q1 2023 was even higher, at $5945 per 40-ft. reefer.“This is an almighty increase, pushing prices to an all-time high” said Patrik Berglund, Xeneta CEO.

© harvepino / Adobe Stock

DB Schenker Opens New Terminal in Finland

Logistics company DB Schenker said it has opened a new, highly sustainable cargo terminal in Finland for the Tampere region. With this terminal, which is located in nearby Lempäälä, DB Schenker is expanding its green distribution services in Finland. Five fully electric trucks will soon begin operating in Lempäälä and serve Tampere’s city center. Except in winter, the energy needed to recharge the vehicles in the fleet will be provided by the company's own solar power plant.“The new Tampere terminal underscores our leadership role in making logistics more and more environmentally friendly…

© Hor / Adobe Stock

Startups Apply Artificial Intelligence to Supply Chain Disruptions

Over the last two years a series of unexpected events has scrambled global supply chains. Coronavirus, war in Ukraine, Brexit and a container ship wedged in the Suez Canal have combined to delay deliveries of everything from bicycles to pet food.In response, a growing group of startups and established logistics firms has created a multi-billion dollar industry applying the latest technology to help businesses minimize the disruption.Interos Inc, Fero Labs, KlearNow Corp and others…

© Ed Metz / Adobe Stock

Suggestions for Making America’s Marine Highway Program More Effective

The America’s Marine Highways Program is one of several grant programs administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to promote more effective use of the nation’s navigable waterways. This particular program was established by Congress in 2007 to provide grants for projects that would promote water-borne alternatives to available landside transportation services, especially for freight carried by trucks.Consistent with this specific goal, the program’s statutory authority…

© ProMicroStockRAW / Adobe Stock

Ports Seek Clarity on Next Stage of Brexit Border Processes

The British Ports Association said it is calling for clarity following recent speculation that the introduction of physical Brexit border checks on EU food and animal product imports will be delayed again.Sanitary and phytosanitary inspections at specially prepared borders infrastructure are due to be introduced in July, but there is an increasing expectation of some type of delay, said BPA, the trade body representing U.K. ports that facilitate 86% of seaborne trade and most of the ports that have built Border Control Posts.Richard Ballantyne…

© Charles Baker / Adobe Stock

Durban Port Functional After Flood Devastation

South Africa's major port of Durban, where operations were disrupted by severe flooding last week, is now functional and a backlog of thousands of containers will be cleared within five to six days, the public enterprises minister said on Tuesday.The floods caused extensive damage to roads leading to Durban port, one of the busiest shipping terminals in Africa and a key hub for exports like metals and agricultural commodities and imports like fuel.Scientists believe the southeastern…

Copyrigt zhu difeng/AdobeStock

The Supply Chain: As Empty Containers Stack Up in the U.S., Challenges Persist

According to a recent analysis by Container xChange, one of the many challenges for the supply chain now is the overflowing container depots in the U.S. and the pileup of empties that will push the container prices further downwards in the mid-term. The analysis shows that container prices are declining in the U.S. by as much as 30% in the past two months across the east and the west coast and more than halved at some ports from 2021 prices. Bigger carriers, as per a report by CNBC recently, are shipping empty containers back to Asia from the U.S.

Source: Xeneta

Reefer Rates Offer First Signs of Easing, says Xeneta

Despite months of softening on the backhaul North Europe to Far East trade, with rates on the spot market closing in on $1,000 per FEU for normal-dry containers, spot rates for reefer containers on this trade have been stable since early 2021, averaging $5,300 per 40’ reefer on April 11, 2022, according to a recent research note published by Xeneta.The long-term market, on the other hand, has shown its first signs of easing this year, dropping between Q1 and Q2, though only by $200 per reefer…

Governor Tom Wolf (Photo: Office of Governor Tom Wolf)

Pennsylvania Extends Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program for Ocean Carriers

Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania’s Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program (PICGIP), which aims to increase cargo activity by incentivizing shippers to move cargo through Pennsylvania ports, will be extended until July 2023. The program was previously slated to end in June of this year.“Pennsylvania’s ports are more vital than ever and are continuing to increase the volume of essential goods and strengthen the supply chain,” Gov. Wolf said. “Increasing shipping…

© Sebastian / Adobe Stock

CMA CGM to Buy Auto Logistics Firm Gefco

Shipping group CMA CGM is set to buy auto transport company Gefco, French paper Les Echos reported on Friday, citing sources close to the matter.CMA CGM declined to comment.Gefco, in which French-Italian carmaker Stellantis holds a 25% stake, will be valued at 450 to 500 million euros in the deal, the paper said.Auto transport company Gefco, co-owned by French-Italian carmaker Stellantis, said on Friday it will buy back the 75% of its shares that are held by Russian Railways (RZD) after it was placed under western sanctions.(Reuters - Reporting by Tassilo HummelEditing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

© StockStudio / AdobeStock

ZIM Strikes Deal to Charter Six 5,500 TEU Newbuilds

Israeli shipping company ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (NYSE: ZIM) on Wednesday announced a new charter transaction with a group of investors initiated by MPC Capital AG, according to which ZIM will charter a total of up to six 5,500 TEU wide beam newbuild vessels for a period of seven years and total charter hire consideration of approximately up to $600 million.The vessels will be constructed at Korean-based shipyard, HJ Shipbuilding & Construction (formerly known as Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co.) and are scheduled to be delivered between May 2023 and February 2024.

Copyright Sunday Stock/AdobeStock

Russia Resumes LPG exports from Sea of Azov

Russia is set to resume supplies of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from a Sea of Azov port on Tuesday for the first time since Moscow started its military operation in Ukraine, data from the port and Refinitiv Eikon showed.Supplies of LPG had been halted from the Temryuk terminal since Feb. 24 following a ban on shipments in the region imposed by the Russian sea and river transport regulator.According to the port data, there are plans to load a gas tanker called Premier on Tuesday under the flag of the Comoro Islands.

(Image: Höegh Autoliners)

MacGregor Wins Supply Contract for Four Höegh Autoliners PCTCs

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, was selected to supply comprehensive packages of RoRo equipment for four Aurora class pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) to be built by China Merchant Heavy Industries (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. for Höegh Autoliners.The order has a value of more than $15 million, with the first two vessels scheduled for delivery during the second half of 2024 and the next two in the first half of 2025. Höegh Autoliners also has options for a further four plus four vessels.Designed by the China Merchants Industries owned ship designer…

Copyright namning/AdobeStock

Most Containership Spot Rates Tower Above Long Term Contracts - Xeneta

The Far East to South American East Coast trade is the only front haul trade where the long term is lower than the average spot rate among Xeneta's top 13 trades. Long-term rates on this trade are still below their October highs, but they have been steadily rising since 2022. As of 15 March, long term contracts from the past three months were $800 per FEU above the spot market, at $10,400. In comparison, spot market rates have declined since November 2021, falling from $13,000 to $9…

© yaniv / Adobe Stock

White House Aims to Boost Supply Chain Information Sharing

The White House on Tuesday unveiled a new pilot effort to help clear supply chain bottlenecks at congested U.S. ports by getting truckers, shippers, wholesalers, retailers and other businesses to share information.U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese launched the Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), an information sharing initiative "to pilot key freight information exchange between parts of the goods movement…

Photo courtesy ZIM

ZIM Announces Record Financial Year in 2021

Net Income of $4.65 Billion, Adjusted EBITDA  of $6.60 billion, and Adjusted EBIT of $5.82 billionAs the containershipping industry enjoys its greatest boom of a generation, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE: ZIM) announced its consolidated results for the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2021.Net income for the fourth quarter was $1.71 billion (compared to $366 million in the fourth quarter of 2020), a year-over-year increase of 366%, or $14.17 per diluted share…

Photo courtesy Valenciaport

Containershipping: VCFI Index Falls for First Time in nearly Two Years

Russia's war in the Ukraine and spiraling oil and marine fuel prices have conspired to drive the VCFI indes to its first loss in 18 months.Change of trend in the indicators that measure the evolution of container transport costs. Valencia Containerized Freight Index (VCFI) fell by 0.19% in February compared to the previous month. After a year and a half of increases, the VCFI breaks its upward dynamic and contracts slightly, in line with the behaviour recorded in recent weeks by other benchmark indices.

© eyewave / Adobe Stock

A New Onassis? Italy's Sea Captain Swoops on Reborn Alitalia

Sixty-five years after Aristotle Onassis founded Greece's Olympic Airways, another shipping entrepreneur is planning to take to the skies - this time in Italy, where Gianluigi Aponte's MSC has its sights on the successor company to Alitalia.The 81-year-old, known as "the captain" after building his shipping empire from a single vessel, is hoping to forge an air freight and passenger business to dovetail with MSC's sea cargo and cruise operations.But there are big challenges.Alitalia stumbled for years…

MV Charlie, dship’s newest F-500 vessel providing reduced fuel consumption. Image courtesy dship Carriers

MV Charlie delivered to dship; Fourth "Eco-friendly" Newbuild

dship Carriers took delivery of number four of four newbuilds, the MV Charlie, the latest generation eco-friendly F-500 vessel type. The quartet of new ships enhances dship's capabilities in the multi-purpose heavy lift market during a time when cargo slots are rare and the market is tight.dship ordered the four eco-friendly F-500 multipurpose heavy lift vessels—MV Mick, MV Keith, MV Ronnie and MV Charlie—as part of its fleetexpansion program initiated back in 2018. All ships were developed to reduce fuel consumption while increasing stowage flexibility.

P-MAX vessel Stena Polaris. Photo: Michael Cooper

Concordia Explores Converting Tankers to Container Carriers

As the tanker market languishes and the containershipping sector drives full speed ahead, Concordia Maritime announced it has embarked on a technical design study on the feasibility of converting several of its tankers to container carriers.Concordia Maritime launched the study together with Stena Teknik and a German consulting company specializing in ship design. The aim is to investigate the feasibility of converting and adapting a P-MAX vessel for container transportation.

© Idanupong / Adobe Stock

Global Container Flows Struggle to Pick Up Speed, Data Shows

Efforts to speed up the movement of goods around the world have yet to solve the supply chain bottlenecks caused by surging demand for retail goods and pandemic-related lockdowns, the latest shipping data shows.Delays at U.S. major ports have been particularly severe, but knock-on effects have also been felt around the world.This week's Lunar New Year holiday in China and across Asia is also expected to aggravate delays.The journey time from China's northern Dalian port to the…

© BigBlues / Adobe Stock

Loadsmart Valuation Hits Over $1 Billion After Funding Round

Freight tech firm Loadsmart Inc said on Tuesday it was valued at $1.3 billion in its latest funding round, led by SoftBank Latin America Fund and funds managed by BlackRock Inc.The company raised $200 million in the Series D funding round from investors including Janus Henderson Group and rail operator CSX Corp.Chicago-based Loadsmart, which helps shipping and trucking companies connect with customers through its platform, plans to use the proceeds to rapidly expand its technology offerings and increase supply chain efficiencies.Founded in 2014, Loadsmart said its carrier network has grown to

© zhu difeng / Adobe Stock

New Intermodal Facility Coming to Port of Mobile

The Alabama Port Authority board of directors recently approved a $2.042 million purchase of 272 acres in Montgomery, Ala., to construct an inland container intermodal transfer (ICTF) facility. The project will extend intermodal rail service from the Port Authority’s container intermodal terminal at the Port of Mobile in support of Alabama regional growth in manufacturing, retail, distribution, and agribusiness sectors.“This project will provide our shippers cost-competitive transportation services to and from one of the nation’s fastest growth containerized cargo gateways,” said John C.

© eyewave / Adobe Stock

CMA CGM to Buy Majority Stake in Delivery Firm Colis Prive

French shipping giant CMA CGM said it had struck a preliminary agreement to acquire a majority stake in French delivery firm Colis Prive, as it continues to build up its logistics business.CMA CGM is to buy 51% of Colis Prive from current owner Hopps Group and will have an option of increasing its stake further. The value of the planned transaction was not disclosed.Marseille-based CMA CGM has been investing in non-maritime services, similar to its container shipping rivals. After buying Swiss logistics group CEVA Logistics in 2019…

Hans Augusteijn was appointed President, Stolt Tank Containers (STC), effective February 1, 2022. Photo courtesy STC

Augusteijn Takes the Helm at Stolt Tank Containers

Stolt-Nielsen Limited appointed Hans Augusteijn as President, Stolt Tank Containers (STC), effective February 1, 2022.Augusteijn succeeds Michael W. Kramer, who will assume the role of Executive Vice President, Marketing and Business Development at Stolt-Nielsen Limited.Augusteijn spent 17 years at Maersk in various leadership roles related to container shipping and logistics before joining Stolt Tankers as Director of Strategy in 2019. In his current role, he has been instrumental in developing and implementing Stolt Tankers’ overall strategy. He holds a degree in Logistics and Transport

Copyright namning/AdobeStock

Container Shipping: Rates Dip in January, Fundamentals Strong says Xeneta

Long-term contracted ocean freight rates fell 3.6% in January, according to the latest Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI) Public Indices, the second consecutive monthly rates decline following 14 straight months of increases. Despite the recent stumble, contracted rates stand 98.1% up year-on-year.“The logistics chain remains stressed,” said Patrik Berglund, CEO of Oslo-based Xeneta, “with demand outstripping supply, port congestion, a lack of equipment and the ongoing pandemic impacting across key global trades.

© MichaelVi / Adobe Stock

FMC Addresses Detention and Demurrage, and Data Initiatives

The Federal Maritime Commission met in both open and closed session today to be briefed on efforts to address detention and demurrage, improve supply chain data transparency, and an ongoing investigation of Canadian government regulations that affect U.S. flag Great Lakes shipping. The Commission was also advised of the work its Area Representatives are doing at locations key to shipping around the Nation.Lucille Marvin, the Commission’s Managing Director is leading both the Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (VOCC) Audit Program and VOCC Audit Team…

© helivideo / Adobe Stock

FMC Takes Action on Container Charges

On January 6, the Federal Maritime Commission announced an “Order of Investigation and Hearing” against Wan Hai Lines, Ltd, a vessel-operated common carrier (VOCC). The order charges that Wan Hai failed to “establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to its assessment of charges on containers when return locations with corresponding appointments were unavailable.”For FMC, a core issue is that some companies may be taking advantage of U.S. port congestion because established VOCC-truck operations are not working.

The first LHM 420 powered by HVO diesel was delivered to the Swedish port city of Södertälje. Image courtesy Liebherr

Heavy Lift: Liebherr logs a strong 2021; All-Electric Trend is "Clear"

Liebherr reports that it had a record year in 2021 in its maritime mobile harbor crane business, logging an order intake volume of 80+ new units, a record level for the company.Including additional sales of used units, Liebherr mobile harbor cranes were ordered from 31 different countries. The company reports stronggrowth in the Middle East and West Africa regions and stable core markets in Europe as well as North and South America. As in previous years, the LHM 550 is the most popular crane, closely followed by the LHM 420.

(Photo: Konecranes)

Port of Virginia Orders Three More Rail-mounted Gantry Cranes

The Port of Virginia in the USA has ordered three Konecranes Rail-Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes for its Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) facility. The cranes will be delivered by the end of 2023.The order was booked in November 2021, and follows on the successful deployment of four Konecranes RMGs of a similar design at the Virginia International Gateway (VIG).The Port of Virginia has a fleet of 116 Konecranes Automated RMG (ARMG) cranes working at its Norfolk International (NIT) and Virginia International (VIG) container terminals.

© Mariusz / Adobe Stock

Major POLB Rail Project Still In Check

Whatever happened to the $820 million Port of Long Beach “Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility Project?” Well, as a concept, it’s still out there. You can get something of an update from the federal Permitting Dashboard but the project documents to move this forward might as well be hidden among those stacks of containers stuck in San Pedro Bay.The Pier B project would reconfigure the pier’s layout from mostly truck service to an expanded rail infrastructure, facilitating a long-term Port goal that 30 to 35% of containers would be handled by on-dock rail.

© Hor / Adobe Stock

The Big Challenges for Supply Chains in 2022

In the run-up to Christmas, there was considerable anxiety about shortages of festive food and gifts. Trade friction was already at the core of the Brexit debate, and supply chain issues have been made much worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.For example, a computer chip shortage had a knock-on effect across many industries. Concerns have also been raised about everything from lithium supply for electric vehicle batteries to restaurant food supplies to even coffee shortages.Never has the issue of supply chain management been so prominent.

© David A Litman / Adobe Stock

Supply Chain Snarls Clog US Online Holiday Sales Growth

U.S. consumer spending on online shopping during the holiday season was weaker than expected, Adobe Analytics data showed, as supply chain issues caused product shortages and delayed deliveries.Consumers spent a record $204.5 billion online over the 2021 holiday season, an increase of 8.6% from a year earlier, Adobe Analytics said in a report on Wednesday.But the figure was lower than the $207 billion expected by Adobe and marked the smallest rise since the company started tracking holiday spending data in 2014.Congested ports…

(Photo: DP World)

OASIS Group to Set up Logistics Park at London Gateway

DP World on Tuesday announced that OASIS Group has become the latest business to locate at its port-centric logistics park at London Gateway in the U.K.The 108,973 sq ft warehouse will be taken on a long-term lease by OASIS Group, which provides information management services to clients across the U.K. and Europe.Ernst Schulze, UK Chief Executive of DP World, said, “We are delighted to welcome OASIS Group to our port-centric logistics park at London Gateway which is home to supply chain solutions, high-quality warehousing and light manufacturing.

One of the Liebherr automated RMGs at the CSX Carolina Connector Intermodal Terminal (CCX) in Rocky Mount,
North Carolina. Photo courtesy Liebherr

CSX Intermodal NC get Crane Upgrade

Liebherr Container Cranes delivered three fully automated rail mounted gantry cranes to the CSX Carolina Connector Intermodal Terminal (CCX) in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, 'cabin-less' units that feature  Liebherr Remote operator Stations (ROS) for supervised moves and exception handling.The widespan RMGs have a span of 165 ft. (50.292 m), a lift height over rail of 50 ft. (15.24 m) and cantilevered outreaches both sides with a safe working load of 40 long tons. Within the span…

© Caio / Adobe Stock

Dry Bulk: Heavy Rains Disrupt Shipping in Southeast Brazil

Heavy rainfall in southeastern Brazil has prompted miners including Vale SA to suspend some operations, they said on Monday, after downpours caused deadly floods in the northeast and threatened to delay harvests in the midwest.Rainfall is expected to remain heavy this week in most of top mining state Minas Gerais, after runoff closed roads and railways.The rains may also have contributed to the dramatic collapse of a canyon rock face in the state on Saturday, killing 10 people visiting a waterfall on boats.In the northeastern state of Bahia…

Japanese customers will have to settle for a small serving of McDonald's fries for the next month or so after the fast-food chain said it was limiting portions due to shipping problems. Copyright mehaniq41/AdobeStock

The Latest Supply Chain Snafu: Shortage of McDonalds French Fries in Japan

While the supply chain mess has left consumer globally wanting for everthing from cars to treadmills, the latest hit is arguably the worst: a shortage of McDonalds french fries in Japan's roughly 2900 branches!Japanese customers will have to settle for a small serving of McDonald's fries for the next month or so after the fast-food chain said it was limiting portions due to shipping problems.

© Kirk Wester / Adobe Stock

Global Supply Pressures May Be Nearing Peak

The historically high pressures on global supply chain networks that have contributed to shortages of key goods and materials and a surge in inflation may have peaked, according to a new index released by the New York Federal Reserve on Tuesday.The Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI) surged early in the pandemic when China imposed lockdown measures. Pressures eased as production resumed but picked back up during the winter of 2020 as COVID-19 infections jumped."More recently…

Copyright: Idanupong/AdobeStock

2022 & Beyond: Will the Container Carrier Debacle Ever End?

When the global supply chain runs smoothly, it’s like a well-choreographed dance. Everything comes together elegantly and effortlessly. But when someone misses a step, the show can quickly turn into a disaster. And that’s what’s currently unfolding before our eyes, headline after headline.Those of us in the supply chain industry know it takes a Herculean effort to keep the wheels of commerce turning without so much as a squeak or rattle. And it’s going to take just that to get…

© aerial-drone / Adobe Stock

Christmas Supply Chain Crisis Averted, Biden Says

President Joe Biden said U.S. actions to eliminate supply-chain snarls have staved off a pre-Christmas crisis, ahead of a meeting with U.S. officials and private-sector companies, including FedEx, on Wednesday.Biden created a task force in June to address high prices and shortages of consumer goods and crucial components, thanks to pandemic-related labor and demand issues.After pushing for round-the-clock port operations, new transport rules and enlisting the help of big retailers including Walmart Inc.

SeaTac Marine Welcomes First International Lumber Shipment

SeaTac Marine Services announced it has welcomed its first shipment of international lumber and wood products as a result of their recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection FIRMS code approval.Nearly 1,600 short ton of wood products were offloaded at the SeaTac Marine Services facility in Seattle and transshipped via rail and truck.SeaTac Marine Services is one of the few private pier facilities in Seattle with onsite rail access.

© Mariusz / Adobe Stock

LA, Long Beach Container Dwell Fee on Pause Until December 20

The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach announced Monday that consideration of the “Container Dwell Fee” would be held off another week, until December 20.Since the fee was announced on October 25, the twin ports have seen a combined decline of 47% in aging cargo on the docks. The executive directors of both ports will reassess fee implementation after another week of monitoring data.Under the temporary policy approved October 29 by the Harbor Commissions of both ports…

© MichaelVi / Adobe Stock

US Retail Imports Grow at Record Pace Despite Pandemic

Imports at the United States’ major retail container ports are expected to end 2021 with both the largest volume and fastest growth on record despite supply chain disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.“This has been an unprecedented year,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy. “We’ve seen more disruption than ever before because of issues along every step of the supply chain and continued strong consumer demand…

The Stena Line ferry Urd. Photo courtesy Stena Line

Stena Line to Open New Daily Route to Finland

Stena Line plans to enter the Finnish market with a new daily route from Hanko in Finland to Swedish Nynäshamn, a step in the carrier's ambition to strengthen its position in the Baltic Sea. Starting with one ferry in February, the new route will be served with two vessels with daily departures from each port as of May 2022.”With our new daily route between Hanko and Nynäshamn, we heavily expand and strengthen our position in the Baltic Sea. Growing with our customers, we are…

Copyright Freshidea/AdobeStock

Insurance Insights: WTW Launches Forum to Mitigate Growing Port, Terminal Risk

Ports and terminal operators are entering a new era where the operational threats they face – both old and new – will make a return to ‘business as usual’ increasingly unlikely, even once the pandemic finally subsides.Transition to new technologies and digitally enabled systems, addressing the impact of climate change, defending against cyberattacks and shifting geopolitics will couple with traditional supply chain and operational risks to change the face of the sector.According to Global Port Trends 2030…