United States

Risk of Panama Canal disruption rising

Unpredictable weather patterns and drought for most of 2023 have driven the Panama Canal Authority to impose numerous draft restrictions, reducing vessel transit numbers, and cutting vessel booking slots for lock usage, due to low water levels. The Panama Canal consists of the man-made lakes of Miraflores and Gatun, with the panamax locks taking vessels

US West Coast ports shut by ILWU dockworkers

After almost 13 months of negotiation and agreement on key issues, it would appear that some ILWU members’ patience has run out, as industrial actions shut down or severely impacted operations at the ports of Los Angeles, Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle and Hueneme last week. Reports in US trade press suggest that negotiations between the ILWU

Asia to Europe freight rates may mirror transpacific price increases

European importers from Asia are nervously watching developments in the US, as transpacific carriers succeed in implementing GRIs, increasing shipping rates to the West Coast, in a move that may be repeated on the Asia to Europe trade lane. The Xeneta Asia-US West Coast index increased 39% last week, while the Baltic Index jumped 71%,

US West Coast volumes drift to South and Southeastern ports

Negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and West Coast port employers, represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) began last May and while talks continue, both are hopeful of reaching a deal soon, as US importers continue to divert cargo to Eastern and Southeastern ports. The ILWU represents 22,000 port workers in

US freight market round-up

There was no pre-CNY transpacific rush this year and with China re-opening, factories are expected to open again in the second half of February, which is why carriers have tried to maintain rates. The CNY has given US ports a respite and most are now clear, with hardly any ships waiting outside West Coast ports

Complaints by shippers to FMC soar

The US Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), which was passed into law last June, gives the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) more power to deal with shipping lines and mitigate supply chain disruption, leading to a slew of claims and jealous European shippers.  In just six months the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has received more than

Beating the transatlantic logistics challenge

The ocean freight trade-lane between Europe and the United States is dominated by a handful of large carriers and while we have good relationships and work closely with those carriers, we also maintain a roster of smaller carriers, for tactical use, including one which has a particular pedigree. For the first time in decades the

Schedule reliability and port congestion in decline

The latest, market leading source, Sea-Intelligence schedule reliability figures show a slight decline of 0.7% in September to 45.5%, which is the first fall since reliability began to trend upwards in April and follows the year’s largest reliability increase of 5.8% in August. The average delay for late vessel arrivals has been dropping consistently since