Newsletter – October 4, 2021
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
New shock for importers as shipping lines cut box free-time, despite haulier shortage
Ocean carriers are ramping up the pressure on beleaguered shippers by reducing the amount of import container free-time at North European ports.
Millions of dollars in extra detention and demurrage (D&D) charges at the busiest box hubs will go straight to the balance sheets of carriers’ that currently enjoy billion-dollar profits on a quarterly basis. Read more here.
Port of Vancouver ‘Gridlock’
A CIFFA freight forwarder member provided an update on the Port of Vancouver, as follows:
“Congestion and delays are now severely impacting the Port of Vancouver’s operations. Increased demand to Vancouver by forwarders looking to bypass the congestion occurring at U.S. West Coast ports has resulted in increased vessel delays, bunching and an increase in overall volume, as well as the challenges of returning empty containers, creating an overall chassis shortage. This has dramatically increased the demand on the ports, warehouses, and local drayage carriers throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
“Every trucking company involved in container drayage is overbooked and not able to handle their current orders. Ocean carriers are also making it difficult for the truckers to return empty containers at off-dock terminals. This is resulting in chassis being tied up with empty equipment.”
Three and a half Hanjins: today’s global liner congestion in context
Analysts at Copenhagen-based Sea-Intelligence have put the worsening liner congestion picture into greater context, pointing out that today’s global capacity removal thanks to vessel delays is slightly greater that the entire fleet of either Cosco or CMA CGM, or – to rewind the container dial five years – equivalent to three and a half times the fallout from the Hanjin bankruptcy. Read more here.
Despite exodus of empty containers, US exports are hitting new highs
“Our largest export commodity continues to be air” is a frequent saying of Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. That’s certainly true at his port, where exports are containerized. Far more empty boxes leave than full ones, so they can be reloaded quickly in Asia.
But look at the big picture and U.S. exports are actually rising — and on track for a record year. It’s just that more exports are being loaded aboard tankers and dry cargo vessels as opposed to container ships. Read more here.
Delays soak up more than a tenth of boxship capacity
Containership capacity equivalent to 12.5% of the global fleet is unavailable due to delays caused by congestion in ports, despite the huge increase in the amount of deployed tonnage.
An analysis of vessel delays and capacity deployments by Sea-Intelligence showed that the amount of additional capacity required to meet demand is being outstripped by the amount of capacity being held up out of service as it awaits berthing slots. Read more here.
GROUND AND RAIL FREIGHT UPDATES
CN’s abrupt end to freight forwarding surprises shippers
Canadian National Railway is wasting no time transforming itself into a leaner and more profitable railway company, following its failed bid to acquire American rail carrier Kansas City Southern.
According to sources, CN has initiated a process aimed at downsizing or terminating freight forwarding services offered by CN Worldwide, the company’s international freight management division. Read more here.