PORT CONGESTION, RAIL CAPACITY CONTINUE TO HAMPER TRADE
Backups, delays, and disruptions continued to hamper supply lines this spring, with port congestion and rail capacity affecting the flow of trade nationwide. The Port of Savannah saw its worst vessel congestion levels in more than six months in May, according to recent data from logistics software provider project44, and port officials there said they expect high levels of congestion through June. Ongoing construction at the port contributed to the backups and led to rising anchorage times and import container dwell times during the month.
The backups were part of a larger slowdown along the East Coast throughout May, according to project44. A lack of trucks and rail capacity contributed to bottlenecks at the Ports of New York, New Jersey, and Norfolk, for instance.
MAERSK PICKS NJ FOR SECOND COLD-STORAGE WAREHOUSE
Maersk’s North American warehousing subsidiary plans to open its second US cold-storage facility in New Jersey, in a bid to handle more of the refrigerated (reefer) goods going through the Port of New York and New Jersey. Performance Team, which operates over 9 million square feet of distribution space, will open a new 167,812-square-foot facility in Dayton, New Jersey, by October 2022, the company said in a statement Monday. The site, located about 30 miles from the Port of New York and New Jersey, was chosen for its proximity to
the port’s marine terminals. Maersk and its north-south carrier subsidiaries, Sealand and Hamburg Süd, both of which specialize in reefer trade, call New York-New Jersey first on many of their US East Coast services The warehouse will have a dedicated truck and chassis fleet to bring reefer containers to the facility for inland distribution.
IMPORT SURGE PROMPTS SATURDAY GATES AT HOUSTON CONTAINER TERMINALS
The Port of Houston’s two container terminals will be open to truckers on Saturdays for at least the next six months as the Gulf Coast’s busiest box port continues to be weighed under by a wave of imports. Among the top 10 US container ports by volume, Houston has seen the strongest import growth during the first four months of 2022. Houston handled 604,123 TEU in imports through April, up 26.3 percent from the year-earlier period, according to PIERS. The terminals will have a regular complement of longshore workers on Saturdays, the port said, except for reduced staffing at the truck gates. Port Houston said it hopes more drivers will use its express pass program on the weekends, reducing the need for gate workers. The port said it wasn’t immediately clear how many shippers would take part in the Saturday gates, but it has “received positive feedback that the additional hours will be beneficial.”
Largest US Ports See Cargo Volumes Start to Creep Up
For the first time in two months, the Port of Los Angeles expects inbound container volumes will exceed year-earlier levels. That’s according to estimates as of early Tuesday from LA’s Wabtec Port Optimizer showing 26 vessels with about 127,000 20-foot containers are scheduled to be offloaded this week and the Next week, the number increases to 27 ships loaded with 137,000 TEUs, up 15.1% from a year earlier.
CALIFORNIA PORTS PREPARE FOR CARGO SURGE AS SHANGHAI REOPENS
California port leaders expect imports to rise as Shanghai, home to the world’s busiest seaport, emerges from a two- month COVID-19 lockdown. The question is whether that release of pent-up goods will again swamp West Coast ports that have recently emerged from the pandemic’s massive cargo wave, they and other experts said. The Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex is the busiest in the United States. The Port of Shanghai is its second-biggest source of container trade cargo, behind Port of Shenzhen.
US HOUSE TO CLEAR PATH FOR OCEAN SHIPPING REFORM ACT TO BECOME LAW
The U.S. congressional legislation to reformat the Ocean Shipping Act and give the Federal Maritime Commission added authority focusing on export containers is expected to reach President Biden for his signature by mid-June. Stalled for months due to differences between the versions of the bill passed by the U.S. House and Senate, Bloomberg is reporting that the House leadership has decided to proceed with a vote on the Senate version of the bill as the most expeditious route to adoption. Speaking to Bloomberg, members of the House that sponsored the bill said they consider the Senate version weaker than their own, but believe it is the best path available due to the complexities of the Senate’s voting rules. The House has repeatedly passed its version of the bill with bipartisan support and as early as next week will vote on the Senate version of the bill. The alternative to the House adopting the Senate bill would have been to seek reconciliation, but that requires new votes in both chambers of the legislature after the bill was completed.