BDP Trendwatch: West Coast dockworkers extend labor talks without contract; Major European ports are experiencing congestion challenges; Frankfurt the latest to face flight cuts as staff shortage hits

Cargo inspection

West Coast dockworkers extend labor talks without contract

The union representing about 22,000 West Coast dockworkers and their employers are continuing negotiations for a new labor contract past the July 1 expiration of their previous pact and said the ports - among them the U.S.’s busiest - will keep functioning.

“While there will be no contract extension, cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will continue at the ports until an agreement can be reached between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union,” the parties said in a joint statement Friday.

Supply Chain Brain, Bloomberg

Major European ports are experiencing congestion challenges

While congestion maybe easing at key ports in US, the problem is far from over in ports in other parts of the world, especially Europe.

In a market update last week, Hapag Lloyd indicated that it would introduce congestion surcharges at two French ports.

“The congestion at Le Havre and Fos- Sur- Mer has reached critical levels. Therefore, a congestion surcharge is coming into effect, applicable for all import and export truck carrier haulage moves, for all container types,” read a statement by Hapag Lloyd.

The Maritime Executive

Frankfurt the latest to face flight cuts as staff shortage hits

Both passenger and freighter airlines are cancelling flights to and from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) as staff shortages affect operations at the hub.

In a statement, airport operator Fraport said demand for travel was returning and at the same time it is experiencing staff shortages for some services along the travel chain.

“To remedy this situation, some airlines are pro-actively cancelling individual passenger and cargo flights to and from FRA, or rescheduling flights in advance to periods when traffic volumes are lower,” Fraport said.

AirCargo News

China’s Liu discusses tariffs with Yellen as US looks to ease

China’s Vice Premier Liu He discussed US economic sanctions and tariffs in a call with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen amid reports the Biden administration is close to rolling back some trade levies.

The lifting of tariffs and sanctions and the fair treatment of Chinese enterprises are areas of great interest to China, Liu said in the video call with Yellen on Tuesday, according to a statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce.

AJOT, Bloomberg

California ports piling up again: Too many containers sitting too long

At the height of last year’s “will Christmas be canceled?” supply chain freak-out, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach - with the Biden administration’s backing - proposed a highly controversial fee on import containers that sat too long in terminal yards.

The mere threat of this fee, announced on Oct. 25 for implementation Nov. 15, seemed to initially chase more boxes out the gates, as designed. Every week since then, like clockwork, the ports have cited progress and announced that the fee enforcement would be postponed until the following week.

Freightwaves, American Shipper

HHLA and EUROGATE postpone cooperation talks

The two German terminal operators, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and EUROGATE, have announced they will delay cooperation talks due to the current war situation in Ukraine.

In a joint statement, the two logistics providers said that "Against the background of the current geopolitical situation with hitherto unforeseeable effects, the two terminal companies HHLA and EUROGATE have agreed to postpone their talks about a cooperation between their terminal companies until the general conditions for a successful continuation are stable enough again."

Container News

MSC eyes Vietnamese megaport project

Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is involved in plans to develop Vietnam’s largest box port complex. Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), MSC’s port subsidiary, has tied up with Vietnam National Shipping Lines and Saigon Port, to press ahead with a massive transhipment hub in Can Gio, to the south of Ho Chi Minh City.

The port proposal has been sent to Pham Minh Chinh, Vietnam’s prime minister, with local media suggesting the concept has been greeted favourably.

Splash 24/7

Port Houston achieves busiest month in its history

Record-breaking activity continues at Port of Houston public terminals. According to Port Houston executive director, Roger Guenther, business remains strong for container and general cargo terminals, with 21.6 million tonnes handled through May.

In particular, the container activity continues at record levels for the year and was 20% higher through May. “In fact, the 335,866 TEU total represents the best month in Port Houston history,” pointed out Guenther, who added, “There are really no signs of imports backing off, and exports – especially resins – are beginning to rebound.”

Container News