Marine Link
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Coast Ports News

Mediterranean Shipping General Rate Increase

Mediterranean Shipping Company announced a General Rate Increase that will affect westbound freight moving from the USA to Asia effective January 1, 2010.

Panama Canal Expansion Could Shift US Container Traffic

Photo: SCPA

Following the Panama Canal expansion in 2016, up to 10 percent of container traffic to the U.S. from East Asia could shift from West Coast ports to East Coast ports by 2020, according to new research conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and C.H. Robinson. Rerouting that volume is equivalent to building a port roughly double the size of the ports in Savannah and Charleston. The research -- which involved extensive scenario analyses based on differing levels of demand…

Record Year for US East Coast Container Imports

Photo: Greg Trauthwein

Ports on the U.S.’ eastern coast had a very busy 2015 in terms of container traffic, with 7.9 million TEU of loaded containers entering the U.S. East Coast in 2015, a 12.6 percent increase compared to 7 million in 2014, BIMCO reports. While the U.S. East Coast ports experienced a surge in incoming traffic, labor issues and port congestion gloomed over the U.S. West Coast. The start of 2015 was dominated by the ongoing contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

Ports Operating Well Despite Rail Congestion

The nation’s major retail container ports are operating smoothly this month despite railroad congestion that is causing some delays in hauling cargo away from western ports, according to the November Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight. All West Coast ports covered by the report – Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle – were given a “medium” congestion rating this month to reflect railroad delays. Medium indicates a warning of potential for congestion rather than existing congestion. The ports themselves were operating smoothly, but railroad congestion was causing delays of up to four days for inbound and outbound rail traffic.

US West Coast Port Volumes Rebound

File photo: Port of Los Angeles

Import volumes have rebounded at U.S. West Coast ports so far this year, according to Datamyne, a provider of web-based international market intelligence. Datamyne found that imports through the port of Los Angeles have increased 36 percent from January through February of 2016 and 30 percent through the port of Long Beach, compared with the same time period in 2015. “West Coast ports have indeed made a comeback from the labor disputes and slowdowns that negatively impacted volumes in early 2015,” said Datamyne CEO, Brendan McCahill.

Port of Long Beach CEO Endorses Mediation Move

Jon Slangerup (Photo courtesy of the Port of Long Beach)

Federal mediators announced last night that they will assist in West Coast port contract talks, following a joint request from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the private terminal operators, the Pacific Maritime Association. Jon Slangerup, Port of Long Beach Chief Executive, addressed the announcement by issuing the following statement: “We congratulate the ILWU and PMA for both agreeing to mediation.

West Coast Ports Dispute and US Economy

Image by Pacific Maritime Association

A face-off between economists on the cost of West Coast port slowdown on U.S. economy. Vital shipping ports on the West Coast are closing amid a labor dispute between shipping companies and longshoremen. Will the shutdown lead to major losses for businesses and the U.S. economy as a whole? A section of economists and trade experts say that a shutdown of 29 West Coast ports closures would have very little effect on the broader U.S. economy as the trade of goods through U.S. ports represents only a fraction of the nation's total economic output.

US Retailers Urge Speedy W. Coast Labor Contract Negotiations

File photo CCL

The National Retail Federation (NRF) informs it has urged maritime management and the union representing dockworkers along the U.S. West Coast ports to expedite pending contract negotiations and reach agreement on a new deal well in advance of the expiration of the current contract this summer. NRF believes expedited negotiations would strengthen the supply chain and provide shippers and retailers the certainty they need to utilize the West Coast ports during the holiday shipping period, which begins in July.

CaroTrans Assures Seamless Transport on US West Coast

CaroTrans Logo

CaroTrans, a leading global NVOCC (non-vessel operating common carrier) and ocean freight consolidator, today announces their U.S. West Coast port readiness program to address potential supply chain disruptions. Congestion and current labor issues are impacting the flow of cargo at U.S. West Coast ports and there is the likelihood of further instability. To address this infrastructure challenge, CaroTrans has developed alternative routing solutions to lessen the impact on supply chains and reduce variable transit costs such as detention and demurrage.

Logistics Giant Urges US East Coast Labor Settlement

Lilly & Associates a multinational logistics services company headquartered in Miami, Florida,  joins shipping community in urging port labor resolution. With negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd. set to resume next week, Lilly & Associates International strongly urges a resolution of their contract agreement prior to the September 30 deadline. “A resolution between the two sides is extremely important for shippers. Without an agreement, the adverse effects on the national and global economy will be extremely dire. It is in the best interest for both parties at the negotiating table to facilitate the movement of goods at East and Gulf Coast ports prior to the holiday season…

West Coast Port Dispute Reach Tenative Deal

The longshoremen and West Coast shippers have reached a tentative pact that addresses issues relating to pension benefits and arbitration procedures, including technological advancements. The agreement will allow the introduction of technology that would improve the flow of cargo through the West Coast terminals. The entire agreement which was announced late Saturday must be approved by members of the ILWU. Negotiations were guided by Peter Hurtgen, director of the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service. In a statement, the president said: "I am very pleased that labor and management have reached an agreement concerning the West Coast Ports. This agreement is good for workers, good for employers, and it's good for America's economy.

Work Suspended for Day at Port of Oakland

Photo: Port of Oakland

All marine terminal work was suspended for the day on Thursday at the port of Oakland, California, as the dockworkers union and shippers continued talks aimed at settling a labor dispute that has disrupted cargo traffic along the West Coast waterfront for months. Union and port officials said the local chapter of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union chose to hold its monthly so-called "stop work" membership meeting during the day on Thursday, rather than at night when such sessions have traditionally been held in the past.

Survey Says: Shippers Diverting Cargo, Increase Stocks, Against More Port Shutdowns

U.S. shippers, uncertain over timely settlement of the West Coast ports dispute, are making contingency plans against additional service disruptions, according to a nationwide survey by logistics specialist BDP International (BDP). Currently favored actions, reported by 74 percent of supply-chain managers surveyed, include cargo diversions to East Coast ports, favored by almost 52% percent; increases in safety stocks, 34%; alternate sourcing, 29%; and diversions to Gulf Coast ports, 29%. Shippers also anticipate long-term changes in supply-chain management, to be prepared for similar disruptions in the future. West Coast ports reopened Oct. 9, after the Bush administration imposed an 80-day cooling-off period under the Taft-Hartley Act.

US East & Gulf Ports Labor Talks Make Progress

Concluding three of four days of scheduled negotiations, the two sides announced agreement in principle on issues involving the introduction of new technology and automation and maintenance and repair of chassis within marine terminals and at off-pier facilities at the East and Gulf Coast ports. "We had a productive session in Florida," ILA president Harold J. Daggett and USMX chairman and CEO James A. Capo said in a joint statement. "The East and Gulf Coasts ports are crucial to the health of the nation's economy and we take seriously our responsibility to reaching an agreement without any disruption in the supply chain and operation of the 14 ports," they said. Capo and Daggett also directed management and ILA locals to begin bargaining on local port issues.

Retailers Call on Union and Ports for Long-Term Stability

Matt Shay (Photo: NRF)

The National Retail Federation called on the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance to seek long-term stability at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports following last week’s strike at the Port of New York and New Jersey. “The threat of potential or ongoing labor disruptions will force retailers and other stakeholders to reevaluate supply chain options for their cargo,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. Shay’s comments came in a letter to union and port management executives following an unexpected January 29 strike that resulted in serious backups of cargo.

U.S. Ports Congestion All-time High, Shippers Seeks Action

Image: European Shippers' Council

The American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) call upon all parties involved to reach an agreement as soon as possible to overcome congestion in ports across the United States West Coast which seems to be at an all-time high. According to ESC press release, hundreds of long shore workers are suspending vessel loading and unloading operations at U.S. ports, beginning on January 13th, because employers said they wanted to clear cargo from congested yards.

Imports Rising as West Coast Ports Work on Backlog

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise an unusually high 16.9 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo that built up during just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.24 million TEUs in January, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available.

Panama Canal, Maryland Port Forge Ties

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement to increase economic growth and commercial activity between the two entities. Signed by ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta and MPA Executive Director James J. White, the MOU will help spur trade, facilitate information sharing and promote the use of the “All-Water Route,” a shipping route to Asia from the U.S. East Coast via the Canal. The MPA oversees the six public marine terminals of the Port of Baltimore. As part of the MOU, the ACP and MPA will conduct joint activities and share best practices. Specific areas of focus will include marketing, research and data interchange, technical advancements and personnel training programs.

Pacific Ports Agreement Clears FMC Review

Photo: Port of Los Angeles

The Pacific Ports Operational Improvements Agreement (FMC Agreement No. 201227) is set to become effective on April 17, 2015 after the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voted unanimously for its approval. The commission said its review included evaluation of information received from the agreement parties in response to questions raised by staff and commissioners during the review period; removal of agreement authority to address commission concerns, including proposed authority to impose fees and charges on third parties; as well as consideration of public comments submitted on the agreement.

PMA Credits Lawsuit with Encouraging Spirit of Cooperation Environment with ILWU

Following a significant reduction in West Coast work stoppages by the International Longshore Warehouse Union (ILWU), the U.S. District Court issued a minute order tentatively dismissing the existing complaint filed by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). The suit, filed Sept. 4, 1998, sought to curtail ILWU work stoppages on West Coast ports. The PMA reluctantly filed the lawsuit against the ILWU after more than 150 work stoppages occurred at West Coast ports since the last negotiated contract in July 1996. A committee, comprised of PMA and ILWU representatives, has recently been formed with the objective to regularly discuss how developing technology can be implemented on the waterfront to provide improved customer service.

Asia/US East Coast Shipments Continue to Rise

Graph credit Drewry Maritime Research, derived from CTS

The surprising surge in cargo volumes from Asia to the East Coast of North America since July remained strong in September, and even appears to have continued in October says a Drewry Maritime Research analysis. Shipments from Asia to the East Coast of North America (ECNA) continued to grow impressively in September, reaching 382,000 teu. It brought the total for the peak season quarter up to 1.14 million teu, a startling 18% increase over the same period last year. In turn, this took the year-to-date increase up to 10%, which was significantly better than the West Coast’s 3%.

Rochford Lauds Decision to Move Ahead on Channel Deepening Project

Governors Ed Rendell and Jon Corzine are to be commended for reaching an agreement to move forward on the Delaware River Main Channel (45-ft.) Deepening Project. This accomplishment is expected to propel regional port development and allow all Delaware River port facilities to competitively attract the emerging class of larger cargo vessels. Because of growing congestion problems experienced by West Coast ports, the reality today is that ocean carriers operating in the trans-pacific route are diverting larger cargo vessels through the Suez Canal to East Coast ports. The proposed Philadelphia Regional Port Authority Southport Project…

Cargo Loading Suspended at US West Coast Ports

Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles

Shippers suspend weekend cargo loading at U.S. Cargo freighter loading and unloading operations will be suspended at U.S. West Coast Ports this weekend due to continuing chronic slowdowns that shippers and terminal operators have blamed on the dockworkers' union, the companies' representative said on Friday. However, the Pacific Maritime Association said terminal yard, rail and gate operations at the ports, which handle nearly half of U.S. maritime trade and more than 70 percent of imports from Asia, would go on at the discretion of terminal operators through the weekend, the group said.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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