Commentary

Container carriers took a lot of capacity out of the market in the last quarter of 2015, but not enough to influence rate-making decisions. Could the carriers take out more capacity, enough to influence rates? The simple answer is “yes” and “why not?”
If there’s a ray of good news to be found in China, it’s that the “something bad” Nariman Behravesh, IHS chief exonomist, referenced at the TPM Conference last March isn’t likely to be the full-blown financial crisis that hit the U.S. in 2008, but a longer-term period of slow growth.
In less than six months, the new container weight verification rule will take effect. However, the China-based manufacturers, freight forwarders and shipping lines I spoke to don’t expect much to change and have only a moderate awareness of what SOLAS even means.
It goes without saying that 2016 will be a momentous year for the container shipping industry. I should say another momentous year, considering the year just ended certainly held its own in that category. Unfortunately, synonyms to the word “momentous” when referring to container shipping aren’t words such as “historical,” “pivotal” or “decisive,” but are more along the lines of “chaotic,” “disruptive,” “costly,” “agonizing” and “painful,” and you could add to that “annoying” and “dispiriting” or even “depressing.”
In many respects a success story, the Port of Los Angeles' handling of the mega-ship Benjamin Franklin was the culmination of huge investments in dredging, facilities and systems. But the story looks different from another perspective.
When the JOC editorial team last fall looked at themes and subjects that would dominate 2016, there was no shortage of possibilities: continuing port congestion; the opening of the Panama Canal’s new locks; container weight regulations that will put the burden on shippers to verify that what they say their containerized freight weighs actually does; and, of course, carriers’ continuing battle to stay above water in an age of record-low freight rates. It’s that last issue that ultimately shined a light on what, we believe, will be the story of 2016: consolidation.
The proposed rule linking truckers' safety ratings to CSA data is an Internet-age vision, but more clarity is needed when it comes to the data and processes that would support it.
There are many hidden costs and variables which should be taken into account when comparing a price quote for what appears to be the same widget from, say, Changzhou, Jiangsu, versus that of Fuling, Chongqing.
With implementation just six months away, a palpable anxiety about how the IMO’s container weight rule will be implemented is becoming ever more manifest.
Trucking companies facing a new Canadian eManifest deadline should follow these five steps to prepare for the rules and avoid fines and border delays.
With the dawning of the mega-ship era in the U.S. with the 18,000-TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin calling at the Port of Los Angeles in December, the need to develop additional means to fight port congestion is all the more urgent.
China's ports and warehouses are refusing to handle dangerous goods cargoes in the wake of the Tianjin port explosion, driving up costs and threatening the supply chains, logistics operators, and manufacturers that deal in those products.
A newly released paper by a global industry consulting firm on how performance-based pricing at container terminals could potentially unlock large, dormant value pools in container shipping has useful ideas but fails to address fundamental issues in the nature of carrier-terminal business dynamics that would ultimately undermine any such initiatives.
Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Officer Jon W. Slangerup responds to concerns that West Coast ports are not yet ready to handle mega-ships.