Go-slow job action launched last Friday morning by some 9,000 Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) officers with enormous implications for the smooth flow of Canada-US trade fortunately lasted well under a day after marathon bargaining sessions produced a deal with the Canadian federal government. Otherwise, the conflict would have also further complicated this Monday’s planned reopening of the border to vaccinated American travelers.
After prolonged negotiations with the Treasury Board to renew a collective agreement that expired in 2018 remain deadlocked, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union served notice of coming strike action last Tuesday. The border would, nonetheless remain open since 90% of the CBSA agents were categorized as “essential workers” and the job action would be restricted to a work-to-rule approach.
Growing congestion fears in Asia are being matched by an apparent resurgence of delays at US west coast ports.
Today’s AIS data shows around 30 ships at anchor in San Pedro Bay, offshore from Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, with Maersk warning customers of severe delays.
Maersk told customers the situation in Southern California had “deteriorated”, with the number of vessels at anchorage doubling over the last few weeks.
Freight rates continue to rise globally due to several factors, such as the container shortage and the economic pull of the United States, according to the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV).
In particular, the high demand for maritime transport in combination with the lack of empty containers, the shortage of capacity and equipment, the price of fuels, the problems of co-determination, the traffic increase and the congestion in several ports of the world, are the main factors for this continued increase in the freight rates.
Air freight rates may have edged up in the past month – but forwarders are reporting that falls in capacity due to cancelled flights, combined with vast amounts of distressed sea freight, could see a “crazy” market next month.
“We cautioned last month that a cooling in rates was likely to be short-lived and, as we see a re-acceleration, particularly on US-bound routes, that may turn out to be the case,” Bruce Chan, of Stifel, told the Baltic Exchange.
Rising reefer container freight rate could have a long tail that persists even after rates for dry cargo normalise.
Reefer rates had risen by 32% over the year to the end of the second quarter, according to analysts at Drewry. By the end of the third-quarter peak season, this could increase to as much as 50%.
“In contrast to dry container freight rates which are expected to decline in 2022 as trade conditions normalise, reefer container freight rates are forecast to continue rising as price inflation feeds into north-south routes when long-term contract rates are renewed,” said Drewry head of reefer shipping research Philip Gray.
A.P. Moller Maersk A/S’s efforts to become carbon-neutral face an unusual hurdle: there isn’t enough used cooking oil to make the biofuel that powers the vessels.
“The biofuel is sourced from used cooking oil, but the problem is that the world doesn’t eat enough french fries,” said Chief Executive Officer Soren Skou. “We can’t keep scaling it. If our growth rates continue, we will run out of cooking oil in one or two years.”
Still, Skou said the Copenhagen-based carrier, which controls a fleet of more than 700 vessels, is done ordering ships that only run on fossil fuel. Maersk has pledged to cut its own carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. About 90% of the goods across the globe are transported by the shipping industry, with Maersk accounting for one-fifth of that total. The industry is responsible for roughly 2% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
MSC has rejected allegations of wrongdoing after furniture supplier MCS Industries filed a formal complaint with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), claiming that actions by MSC and COSCO Shipping had artificially inflated spot market prices.
MSC stated it was “shocked to learn of the accusations”, noting that it had received no formal complaint by MCS Industries in advance of the filing, while adding that many accusations were “vague, unsubstantiated and incorrectly targeted at MSC”.
Evergreen Marine Corporation announced on 6 August that it will buy 10,000 containers from Dong Fang International Container (Hong Kong).
The Taiwanese shipping group has been expanding its fleet of containers amid the well-documented equipment crunch, which has contributed to rocketing freight rates.
Since March 2020, Evergreen and its container leasing and warehousing subsidiary, Evergreen International Storage & Transport Corporation have ordered at least 90,000 containers, including the latest commission.
South Carolina Ports had a strong start to fiscal year 2022 with its highest July on record for containers moving through the Port of Charleston.
SC Ports handled a record-setting 244,821 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in July at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal. This is up 38% from a year ago.
SC Ports moved 137,158 pier containers, which accounts for boxes of any size, in July. This is a 38% increase year-over-year.
Within weeks the transpacific market has brightened significantly for the port of Oakland, as two carriers have launched new services from Asia.
The port authority hopes these will fare better than two runs introduced earlier this year that were impacted by congestion on its docks.
Yesterday, Wan Hai Lines launched a weekly service from Kaohsiung, Ningbo and Qingdao to Oakland and Seattle.
Operations at a terminal of the world’s largest port were suspended today following a single case of Covid-19 being detected on a 34-year-old worker.
Ningbo-Zhoushan port has started to turn ships away this morning in the wake of the positive nucleic test. The worker resides in a dormitory and tested negative on the 8th, before being retested on the 10th.
Initially, the ports authority claimed that its operating system was down early this morning before the Ningbo Municipal Health Commission came clean with the news. The infected worker was part of the workforce at Ningbo Meidong Container Terminal.