BDP Trendwatch: 2 Port Houston terminals remain closed due to hardware failure; As liftings fall, ocean carriers still earning more bucks with less bang; Shanghai mega-ports shuttered as Typhoon In-Fa slams East China

2 Port Houston terminals remain closed due to hardware failure 

Port Houston halted operations Tuesday at its two main public container terminals due to a major hardware failure, officials said. 

The issues at the Bayport and Barbours Cut terminals were first reported Tuesday, just before the gates were set to open at about 7 a.m. 

In a letter posted on the port’s website on Wednesday, Port of Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther said the port experienced a “major failure of the storage devices that support all applications used to operate both Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals” prior to the opening. 


Thailand mulls launch of national liner operator to tackle soaring freight rates 

The government has told Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) to establish a national liner operator by mid-2022 to overcome high freight rates and see more exports transported by local carriers. 

Transport minister Saksayam Chidchob has formed a Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of the National Shipping Line (literal translation) and is its chairman. 

The Loadstar

EU pauses both Brexit lawsuits against the UK 

The European Commission said it would freeze two separate lawsuits against the U.K. "at this stage" as it wants to "continue constructive discussions" with London over trade arrangements in Northern Ireland. 

Brussels launched a twin-track legal action against London in March after the British government unilaterally delayed the introduction of post-Brexit checks for certain goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The dispute relates to the Protocol on Northern Ireland, part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement agreed by the two sides in 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that the protocol is "unsustainable" and called for a renegotiation — an appeal that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen immediately rejected. 


As liftings fall, ocean carriers still earning more bucks with less bang 

Port congestion and other network disruptions mean ocean carriers now need more ships to transport the same amount of cargo than they did pre-pandemic. 

However, despite the significant extra costs of the additional tonnage, net earnings for shipping lines continue to be turbo-charged by soaring freight rates, a consequence of tight supply and demand growth. 

The Loadstar

Lufthansa Cargo reduces freighter flights as voluntary pilot 'pandemic overtime' ends 

Lufthansa Cargo has had to cut between 3% and 5% of its freighter flights after a temporary agreement with pilots ended. 

The carrier said Asian destinations were particularly affected, citing Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Incheon, Chennai and Tashkent, while there have also been fewer frequencies to Brazil (Sao Paulo and Recife). 

“Recently, we had to reschedule individual rotations. There have been no changes concerning the belly loading capacities,” explained a spokesperson. 

The Loadstar

Canada border officers vote to strike, warn of supply chain disruption 

Thousands of Canada Border Services Agency personnel have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike – something that could throw a wrench into port, cross-border trucking, airfreight and international parcel operations.  

The strike could happen as early as Aug. 6, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and its Customs and Immigration Union said on Tuesday. The union represents some 8,500 CBSA employees, including officers serving at ports of entry across the country.  

The threat of a strike comes as Canada prepares to reopen its land border to nonessential travel for the first time since March 2020. The timing wasn’t lost on the union, which warned that a strike could lead to “significant disruption to the flow of goods.” 


Shanghai mega-ports shuttered as Typhoon In-Fa slams East China 

Typhoon In-Fa, the powerful storm battering regions around Shanghai, has forced some of the world’s biggest shipping ports to halt operations until at least Tuesday. 

All of Shanghai’s ports and some in neighboring regions remain shut after closing over the weekend due to the extreme weather, according to people familiar with the situation. The idled ports include Yangshan, part of the world’s biggest cluster of container terminals, which sits offshore to the south of Shanghai.