Commentary

Commentary

The largest container gateway in the Americas has been severely disrupted in recent months. It’s worth exploring what the root causes might be and how the port complex can get through this episode and return to normal operations.
As a way to drive efficiency and reduce costs, manufacturing and distribution companies are on a mission to get lean. One way they’re doing so is by optimizing and reducing inventory levels across the supply chain. A frequent problem, however, is a lack of involvement among distribution center heads when making the decision.
Tucked away in a recent report from Drewry Maritime Research on the inexorable decline of the refrigerated breakbulk fleet was a conclusion that specialized reefer carriers are increasingly using containers in their operations.
Conventional wisdom held that 2015 would represent the end of the five-year wave of ship deliveries. But there seems to be no slowing carriers’ drive for ordering the ever-larger vessels.
There are some very real Halloween dangers in our industry, with some having one thing in common: They represent goods shipped to the U.S. from a foreign country. Fortunately, we can be thankful that Customs and Border Protection is keeping watch.
The Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex finds itself engulfed in a meltdown of historic proportions, and that's no exaggeration. How quickly the ports can recover will determine their viability going forward.
Shippers need to take tactical actions to counteract carrier actions, raining from deploying larger vessels to "blank" sailing.
As we turn the corner on autumn and begin to head for winter, one thing has remained constant: Rail service, including intermodal, is struggling, and the epicenter of the problem lies in Chicago.
Nightmare scenarios are occurring all day, every day at the two biggest U.S. container ports, and the customers receiving some of the worst service are among the nation's largest shippers.
When have you done enough on Customs compliance? Based on a recent exchange in a LinkedIn discussion group, there is real disagreement.
Use of a contract manufacturer in Thailand doesn’t ensure a U.S. importer of the correct filing of export documentation and compliance when shipping under free carrier, FCA, terms. That’s a pretty minimal term in the context of the obligations it imposes on the seller.
The port bottlenecks that flow directly from the profusion of big ships truly hit home this year, with cargo delays being felt from Asia to Latin America, traced back to the bigger ships calling at ports ill-equipped to handle them.
Marine terminal operator John Atkins hit a nerve among cargo interests when he linked port congestion to stagnant rates and their impact on supply chains.
In my early shipping days, an industry veteran told me something as appropriate today as it was then: Over time, nothing is really new. The same patterns and issues return. Decades later, that lesson comes to mind as I read about carrier profitability.