Measures against supply chain crisis and issues in LA/LB ports
The US President said terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach would eliminate fees when truck drivers come into the port to collect containers if they do so at night or on weekends when roads are less congested. However, FMC commissioner Carl Bentzel said the temporary amendment to the PierPass program would not do much to promote 24/7 operations.
CMA CGM plans to offer incentives to importers to remove containers from terminals at Los Angeles and Long Beach from December 1 and lasting 90 days. The French carrier said it would give the incentive of $100 per container for daytime collection and $200 at night and on weekends to importers to offset costs incurred by “tensions” on their supply chains. According to the trucking industry, “the biggest issue” facing most truckers and shippers is empty containers taking up limited yard space and chassis.
A new set of fees at APM Terminals’ Pier 400 facility in the Port of Los Angeles aims to reduce the number of missed drayage appointments, but harbor truckers say the fees would punish them for conditions outside of their control.
The Port of Long Beach will increase its annual throughput capacity by 1 million TEU when Long Beach Container Terminal fully opens a third vessel berth in mid-December.
Outlook for congestion in LA/LB ports
Trans-Pacific carriers are slowing their vessels heading for Los Angeles–Long Beach, but the reduction in vessels at anchor does not mean cargo volumes have in any way diminished.
In the coming months, a factor pointing to continued congestion in Los Angeles-Long Beach is the “structural” blank sailings in the eastbound trans-Pacific. The structural blank sailing occurs because a vessel scheduled to depart an Asian port is stuck in another location because of port congestion and vessel bunching at Asian and North American ports.
ILWU rejected the extension of the US labor contract
The US west coast dockworkers union (International Longshore & Warehouse Union: ILWU) rejected a request by the Pacific Maritime Association to extend the current labor contract for a year. It dismissed fears that negotiations would adversely impact an already stressed supply chain. The two sides are supposed to begin negotiations for a new labor contract in the coming year, with a deadline of July 1 next year.
Despite ILWU leadership pledging to support the Biden administration’s efforts to decongest ports in Southern California, insiders remain worried the national spotlight on ports will not prevent labor disruption on the docks next year.
Business expansion of a terminal operator and shipping lines
PSA International said it has agreed to acquire all equity stakes in US supply chain firm BDP International as the Singaporean port operator strives to expand its logistics solution beyond just handling services. BDP, which has 133 offices worldwide, specializes in managing the end-to-end movement of shipments covering a range of industries, such as chemicals, industrial, healthcare, consumer, and retail customers.
PSA International’s first significant move into building an end-to-end logistics capability takes it down a path well-trodden by rival terminal operator DP World and some major liner companies.
COSCO was coy on developing its relationship with SF Holdings, which has an extensive domestic air express cargo and ground transportation network and is growing its international operation.
CMA CGM is making a significant investment in its air cargo division, placing its second direct order for new freighter aircraft.
China relaxes cabotage rules for foreign carries
China partly opened its cabotage container shipping to non-mainland Chinese carriers, which could help ease the current capacity crunch snarling the global supply chain. Chinese Government allowed “qualified” shipping lines of foreign nations, Hong Kong and Macao, to haul international-trading cargo between four large Chinese ports, Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, and Shanghai’s Yangshan. The routes connect Yangshan as the transshipment hub with Dalian, Tianjin, and Qingdao in the northern part of China.
Carriers are welcoming moves by China to ease coastal cabotage rules that allow liners to transship containers between the four key ports via Yangshan Port.
While details remain sketchy about the program’s implementation, it started on November 18 and will last until December 31, 2024, according to a State Council statement.
Suspension of South China feeder service before Chinese New Year
Shippers and cargo owners face weeks of disruption to their shipments from south China starting in December as feeder and barge operators suspend services between Hong Kong and ports in the nearby Pearl River Delta ahead of Chinese New Year in February.
The suspension of feeder services raised concerns the Pearl River Delta could see the same chaotic cargo situation before and during Chinese New Year as last January when the region was gridlocked after feeders stopped operating.
Read more: JOC
Omicron impact on container shipping hinges on the political response
You will find the impact of the Omicron variant on the operational aspects of the container shipping sector in the political responses, and the variant holds more operational risk for origin ports in Asia. The risk to the supply chains is conceptually the same. But if Omicron is more virulent, then the likelihood of further disruptions is higher across an extensive range of countries vital to the global supply chain.
Read more: JOC
IMO Discussions on zero-emission resolution and Green R&D fund
Members of the European Union joined developing countries in rejecting an IMO resolution on the importance of reaching zero emissions from shipping by 2050. EU argued that the 2050 target should be set to revise IMO’s greenhouse gas strategy by 2023. On the other hand, the US, Canada, UK, Japan, New Zealand, Ukraine, and Vanuatu supported the resolution.
Shipping’s proposal for a $5bn green research and development fund drew support from several countries at the IMO despite questions over its effectiveness, governance, and fairness to developing countries.
Cyprus, Panama, Mexico, Australia, Jamaica, and South Korea supported setting up an International Maritime Research Fund, funded by a $2-a-tonne tax on fuel and administered by a board run by the IMO.
But countries largely skirted around the details of the stricter market-based measures on the agenda, such as the Marshall Islands’ $100-a-tonne carbon levy and Norway’s cap-and-trade scheme, deferring discussion to the inter-sessional working group on greenhouse gas emissions.