Maritime News

Spot rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific trade lane continue to drag as major U.S West Coast ports make headway on reducing the backlog of cargo that began stacking up at marine terminals since the early fall.

Lumber shipments at Port of Portland, Ore.
The almost complete cessation of liner services at the Port of Portland will add significantly to inland transportation costs incurred by exporters of agricultural and forest products in Oregon and Idaho, the executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition said Thursday.

Portland cranes
The most damaging aspect of the exodus of two major container lines from the Port of Portland, Oregon, last month was the loss of more than 650 trade and transportation jobs in Oregon, the port’s executive director says.

Container lines appear to have written off April as spot rate data from the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index reveals carriers will this week accept $399 per 20-foot container from Shanghai to North Europe, a new low for the embattled trade.

Weak exports from China are driving Asia-Europe container freight rates down to new record lows, according to the world’s largest shipping association.

Zim Integrated Shipping Services container ship in Ukraine port of Odessa
Zim Integrated Shipping Services is finally emerging from seven straight years of mounting losses and a multibillion-dollar restructuring that saved it from bankruptcy, its CEO Rafi Danieli says.

Yang Ming Line container ship
Yang Ming Line, Wan Hai Lines, Pacific International Lines and Cosco Container Lines have jointly kicked off a new container service between the Far East and the Middle East.

Freight rates from Asia to Europe and the Mediterranean are at such low levels that container carriers are withholding increases or delaying the GRIs until May 1.

U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero on Tuesday said the agency is “taking the temperature” on alleged unreasonable demurrage and detention fees. But the agency doesn’t have a timeline on when it will act -- whether that’s through an investigation, a fact-finding mission or something else -- nor is there a guarantee it will.

A U.S. dollar in hyperdrive is helping exporters in some trading nations and setting the stage for a surge of U.S. imports.