DOCKWORKERS DISRUPT US WEST COAST PORTS AS CONTRACT TALKS DRAG ON
Dockworkers at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports staged a slowdown late last week, with longshore workers not showing up for their shifts. In the on and off negotiations between the labour and shipping lines/terminals, which have been underway for a year, job actions have been sporadic, with the latest major slowdown nearly two months ago. Reports also indicated that container throughput at the Port of Oakland had been slowed down. The cargo has continued to flow but the terminals and carriers in the Pacific Maritime Association, or PMA, with operations at 28 ports, have been reminded of the importance of the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU, representing 22,000 workers.
PRESSURE BUILDS FOR WHITE HOUSE TO MEDIATE WEST COAST PORT LABOR DISPUTE
Groups representing major retailers and manufacturers urged the White House on Monday to intervene in contentious West Coast port labour negotiations, citing worries about shipping disruptions during critical holiday shopping seasons. The call came after the largest terminal at Southern California’s Port of Long Beach closed on Monday as dock workers rally for better pay. Monday’s closure followed similar disruptions on Friday in Oakland, California. More than 22,000 dockworkers at ports stretching from California to Washington state have been working without a contract since July. Contract talks between the employers’ Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and workers’ International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are in the final stretch, but frustrations are running high after more than a year at the negotiating table.
MSC ADDS NORTH AMERICAN CALLS TO LATIN AMERICA-EUROPE SERVICE
Mediterranean Shipping Co. is adding the ports of Boston and Halifax to a service string between South America and Europe after it dropped a direct service between Boston and Europe. The Massachusetts Port Authority said in a statement Monday that Boston and Halifax are now on the rotation for MSC’s Ecuador-to-NWC (Northwest Continent) service that spans Ecuador’s three main ports, Panama, and the European ports of Zeebrugge, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Bremerhaven. The first call on the new rotation was Friday with the arrival of the 4,870-TEU MSC Lorena at Boston’s Conley terminal.
ILWU CANADA THREATENS STRIKE AT VANCOUVER, PRINCE RUPERT
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada on Monday threatened to strike at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, telling its rank-and-file to vote later this week on whether to issue a 72-hour notice for a work action. The threat against Vancouver and Prince Rupert, both major gateways for US cargoes with direct intermodal rail services to Chicago, comes as ILWU Canada’s US counterpart slows cargo flow for a fourth day. The prospect of labour disruptions on both the US and Canadian West coasts is unprecedented. Vancouver is Canada’s largest container port and Prince Rupert ranks third.
WILMINGTON, VIRGINIA TOP US PORT PERFORMERS FOR 2022: INDEX
North Carolina’s Port of Wilmington took the top spot among US ports for container ships spending the fewest hours at berth in 2022.Virginia, meanwhile, slipped to the No. 2 spot in North America as larger ships spent more time at berth last year than in 2021. The release of the Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) 2022 showed that among large ports, China’s Yangshan ranked No. 1, while Ningbo and Guangzhou were among the top 10.
LARGE US TRUCKLOAD CARRIERS REINED IN CAPACITY
Capacity is exiting the US truckload market, albeit slowly, with a group of the largest US truckload carriers reducing their truck numbers by 5% from last year’s fourth quarter to the first quarter of 2023. All the carriers released Wednesday, decreased their tractor counts from the fourth quarter to the first quarter, pulling the index reading down from 91.2% to 86.6%. On a year-over-year basis.
NORFOLK SOUTHERN EASES FREE TIME, DEMURRAGE RESTRICTIONS ON OCEAN BOXES
Norfolk Southern Railway will eliminate several measures it took over the past two years that were designed to speed cargo flow, an acknowledgment that intermodal terminals are much more fluid now. The railroad, in a customer advisory said it will restore two days of free time for shippers to pick up import containers at less busy inland hubs such as Baltimore, Charlotte and New Orleans and terminals in Alabama and Pennsylvania — known as “Tier 2” facilities. It will also reduce rail storage fees — known as demurrage — when shippers don’t retrieve their containers within the allowable free time across.
FIRST MASSIVE OFFSHORE WIND TOWER SECTIONS DELIVERED TO MASSACHUSETTS PORT
The first shipment of turbine components bound for the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project has arrived at the port New Bedford in Massachusetts on the multipurpose heavy-lift vessel (MPV/HL) UHL Felicity. Vineyard Wind is one of the first commercial-scale offshore wind projects to be under construction in the US. At completion, its 62 towering wind turbines will generate some 800 megawatts (MW) of power. Currently, only 42 MW of offshore wind energy is generated in the US, at the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island and Dominion Energy’s pilot project off the coast of Virginia.