The number of container ships headed for the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach -- a traffic jam that once symbolized American consumer vigor during the pandemic -- declined to the lowest level since the bottleneck started to build two years ago.
Eight vessels were in the official queue as of late Monday, according to data from the Marine Exchange of Southern California & Vessel Traffic Service Los Angeles and Long Beach. That’s an all-time low, officials said in a statement, down from a record of 109 set in January and about 40 lined up a year ago.
LA-Long Beach’s bottleneck became one of the most enduring images of the supply-and-demand imbalances triggered by Covid-19 lockdowns. The backlog forced ships to wait two weeks or more, contributing to record-high ocean freight rates that helped ignite inflation now afflicting economies from the US to Europe.
Covid lockdowns are ticking up in China again with neighbourhoods in key port cities such as Shenzhen and Dalian forced back home this week, and mass testing underway at other important maritime gateways including Tianjin.
There is no let up in the government’s zero-covid policy, which has stretched global supply chains a great deal this year. The difference today is that while outbreaks have been getting more widespread in the last fortnight, lockdowns are pursued neighbourhood by neighbourhood rather than city-wide, and quarantine times have been cut back since the middle of June, according to analysis from research firm Gavekal Dragonomics.
The Belledune Port Authority (BPA), which manages the infrastructure and assets of the Port of Belledune in northern New Brunswick, Canada, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Niedersachsen Ports in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, to collaborate on the movement of dry and liquid bulk commodities, as well as manufactured products, between Canada and Germany, with a focus on clean fuels and green products.
The MOU will support the recently signed MOU between the Governments of Canada and Germany to establish an energy partnership aimed at achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 through a transition to safe, secure, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy.
A group of large US freight railroads has reached tentative agreements with unions representing more than 15,000 workers, a step to avoid a widespread strike after years of failed labor talks.
The deals with three of the 12 rail unions come several weeks after a mediation board appointed by the White House issued recommendations including wage increases and expanded health coverage. Railroads including BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Corp. said the terms reflect the board’s recommendations, including a 24% wage increase through 2024, with a 14.1% increase effective immediately, according to a statement Monday by the National Carriers’ Conference Committee.
Green fuels and new engines to consume them could help limit climate-warming emissions from giant ships that keep the world economy moving.
The shipping industry emitted a record 936 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2021, according to data from BloombergNEF. That’s less than 3% of global CO2 emissions, but still more than what Germany — Europe’s biggest industrial economy — produces in a year.
The shipping capacity squeeze is moving from the water to land, warns The Wall Street Journal. Logistics executives say sea containers and the steel trailers needed to ferry goods on trucks are in short supply, as efforts to cope with steep inventory imbalances send new backups rippling across supply chains.
Logistics executives say sea containers and the steel trailers needed to ferry goods on trucks are being tied up for weeks at a time while companies store goods on the equipment because warehouses are brimming to capacity.
Congress has been under intense pressure to release $52 billion in subsidies to U.S. semiconductor manufacturers, to strengthen the nation’s competitive stance and self-reliance in an industry that’s essential to our economic and national security.
The U.S. and other countries have been heavily reliant on one main source for microchips, found in everything from washing machines to smartphones to credit cards. The impact of the chip shortage has been felt across all industries.