BDP Trendwatch: Shanghai port congestion returns to normal; South Korean truckers begin unlimited national strike action; Chittagong depot fire extinguished after 61 hours

Shanghai port congestion returns to normal

As Shanghai springs back to life after two months of lockdown, congestion at the port is almost back to normal, according to the latest data from VesselsValue.

At the height of reported Omicron cases, average waiting times for tankers, bulkers and container ships at Shanghai stretched to 66 hours in late April. But, as shown in Figure 1 below, waiting times have now shortened to 28 hours, just an hour longer than the top end of the range seen at this time of year over the past three years.

Container News

South Korean truckers begin unlimited national strike action

Truck drivers in South Korea have begun today (7 June) unlimited strike action, according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which said the impact of this action is already being felt at ports, petrochemical complexes, and other logistics hubs of the country, where freight transport has slowed or stopped.

The ITF-affiliated Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union Cargo Truckers’ Solidarity Division (KPTU-TruckSol) estimates that 15,000 members participated in strike rallies held in 16 locations across South Korea and several thousand more drivers, both members and non-members, joined the strike in solidarity.

Container News

Chittagong depot fire extinguished after 61 hours

The devastating Chittagong depot fire could finally be extinguished on 7 June at noon, approximately 61 hours after the fire broke out on Saturday at 9.00 PM (local time).

The firefighters found two more bodies which rose the death toll to 43 from the fire incident at the BM Container Depot Ltd, located some 40 kilometres away from the port city of Chittagong.

“The fire is now under full control. There is no possibility of further spread of fire,” confirmed Lieutenant Colonel Ariful Islam Himel.

Container News

As Shanghai opens up, Western ports prepare for cargo avalanche

As Shanghai, home to the world’s busiest harbour, returns from a two-month COVID-19 shutdown, California port officials expect imports to climb. According to them and other analysts, the concern is whether the release of pent-up goods will once again flood West Coast ports that have recently recovered from the pandemic’s big cargo wave.

Despite the fact that the Shanghai Port was operational throughout the city’s lockdown, cargo flows slowed. Factories in the area that produce everything from Tesla electric automobiles to Apple computers ran out of parts, causing some truckers to be stranded.

Maritime Gateway

IMO takes up the decarbonization challenge once more at MEPC 78

The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee is conducting a virtual meeting this week to consider what could be a significant set of proposals on carbon pricing for marine fuel. Binding decarbonization commitments have yet to emerge from IMO; the agency's initiatives have been overtaken by the efforts of European regulators, who are working on stringent carbon-trading requirements for shipping on domestic and international voyages. A new, ambitious set of emissions regulations at this week's MEPC meeting could put IMO back in the driver's seat and head off the prospect of a region-by-region regulatory patchwork.

The Maritime Executive

LNG carrier completes first autonomous ocean crossing by large vessel

An LNG carrier completed what is being called the world’s first transoceanic voyage of a large merchant ship employing autonomous navigation technologies. The voyage was carried out as the first demonstration of the advanced technology navigating the 97,500 dwt vessel for roughly half its voyage across the Pacific, or approximately 5,400 nautical miles avoiding over 100 ships and optimizing the voyage.

The Maritime Executive