US AG EXPORTERS FEEL PINCH OF WORK SHIFT CUTS AT WEST COAST TERMINALS
Marine terminal operators on the US West Coast are cancelling at least one work shift per week because of declining cargo volumes that are linked directly to the impasse in contract negotiations between employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Longshore workers have accused marine terminals of sporadically shutting gates in recent months, saying that employers aren’t faultless in the decrease in port operating hours. West Coast cargo volumes began to crash in last September as retailers, concerned about the lack of progress in contract negotiations between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), shifted a large volume of their discretionary cargo to ports along the East and Gulf coasts. Those talks have continued for more than 10 months, with no resolution in sight.
HMM JOINS MAERSK IN ENDING DEMURRAGE COLLECTION AT CLOSED TERMINALS
Ocean carrier HMM has told customers it will immediately halt the collection of demurrage fees on containers when a marine terminal in the US is closed and inaccessible to consignees, the second container line to make such a commitment in recent weeks. The announcement was made in an email advisory Monday that specifically cited an ongoing rulemaking process by the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) around the assessment of detention and demurrage to consignees and their drayage representatives. With [the FMC rulemaking process] in mind, HMM has determined to cease the charging of demurrage to customers on terminal closed days, including weekends or holidays, even when demurrage free time has been exceeded. South Korea-based HMM also noted that consignees should make payments directly to its online US payment portal “to ensure you are taking advantage of not being charged for closed days.”
US resin exports start 2023 strong, but growth outlook cloudy
With port congestion cleared and container capacity returning, US plastic resin exports in January saw their strongest monthly volume since a devastating ice storm forced many petrochemical plants in Texas to shut or curtail production just over two years ago. And while lower shipping costs and high US production still favor exports, the uncertain global economy makes the outlook for more growth murky.
APM TERMINALS TO DEVELOP HAIPHONG CONTAINER TERMINAL WITH VIETNAM’S HATECO
APM Terminals has teamed up with Vietnam’s Hateco Group to develop a two-berth container terminal at Lach Huyen, Haiphong’s deep-sea port in northern Vietnam. The project is expected to cost more than $355 million. The complex, due to become operational in early 2025, would expand the capacity of Haiphong port by about 18 percent, from about 6 million to 7.1 million TEU, allowing it to handle ships up to 18,000 TEU. APM Terminals said in a statement Monday that Hateco would specifically target North American and European export and import markets; the US is Vietnam’s largest export market. “We are excited to partner with APM Terminals and Maersk, who have been carefully chosen to be our long-term strategic partners due to aligned visions for the market and their capabilities to add value commercially and operationally,” Hateco Chairman Tran van Ky said in the statement.