Maritime

The Journal of Commerce is the industry’s source for maritime news and analysis about ocean container shipping, logistics, supply chains, global shipping ports, shipping technology solutions and end-to-end connectivity. Coverage tracks the movement of containerized cargo — from origin to destination — handled by marine terminals in the US and abroad, depots, container ports, container lines, drayage, consignees and shippers, forwarders, non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and off-dock warehousing providers, as well as pricing, capacity, volume and reliability on the trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe, North America-Caribbean, Central and South American and intra-Asia trades.

The latest Maritime News & Analysis

Virginia Sets Schedule for Truck Appointment Plan

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
The Port of Virginia has set a schedule for an appointment system aimed at improving truck turn times at Norfolk International Terminals.
North American portsDrayage

Another Canadian Official Slams Proposed US Cargo Tax

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor |
CHICAGO — The Canadian ambassador to the U.S. yesterday said the United States should use all of its harbor maintenance taxes for U.S. port work and shouldn’t impose a fee on U.S.-bound containers coming through Mexican and Canadian ports.
Forwarding

More Carriers Likely to Step Up Into 18,000-TEU Club

Peter Tirschwell |
What is today a small club of carriers operating or having ordered 18,000-TEU ships or larger is likely to grow, but not necessarily overnight, as carriers intensify their focus on reducing costs without regard to greater market or infrastructure implications.
Container lines

Port Authority to NYSA-ILA: Hire More Vets

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
A bitter dispute over hiring of International Longshoremen’s Association dockworkers at the Port of New York and New Jersey has flared up again.
Longshore labor

Houston Gets Bayport Dredging Permit

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
The Port of Houston Authority has received a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draft permit for deepening the port’s Bayport terminal channel, and it said it expects soon to receive a similar permit for its Barbours Cut terminal.
North American ports

Jury to Rule on ILA Officials’ Fight

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
A Baltimore jury will hear dueling assault complaints stemming from a fight between two International Longshoremen’s Association officials whose local union is in a contract negotiations standoff with port employers.
Longshore labor

Trans-Atlantic Auto, Parts Trade on Strong Growth Track

Peter T. Leach, Editor-at-Large |
In the mature and stable, some would say boring, trans-Atlantic trade, one category of containerized shipments is booming. The volume growth of U.S. auto exports and auto parts imports ranks first among the top five commodities shipped.
Container lines

Japan’s Container Trade Seen Flat in FY2014

Hisane Masaki |
Japan’s containerized cargo trade will remain almost unchanged in fiscal 2014, which started on April 1, from the previous fiscal year, a Tokyo-based research firm predicted in a new report.
ForwardingAir Cargo

Rapid Cascading Pummels Asia-Australia Trade

Grace M. Lavigne, Associate Web Editor |
Cascading of larger vessels from east-west into north-south trades is nothing new. But the pace of cascading and the impact it’s having in traditionally profitable north-south markets are gaining increased attention.
Container lines

Joseph Cortese, Ex-UASC Manager, Dies at 67

JOC Staff |
Joseph J. Cortese, who retired last year as U.S. national sales manager at United Arab Shipping Co. after more than 40 years in the shipping industry, died April 20 at his home in Middletown, N.J. He was 67.
Container lines

Lengthy Turn Times Drawing Complaints at Port of Oakland

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The Port of Oakland has come a long way from last summer, when harbor truckers disrupted the port through sporadic work stoppages protesting new clean-truck rules. But based on recent comments from truckers it still has plenty of work to do to improve turn times in the harbor.
North American portsDrayage

Hapag-Lloyd-CSAV Merger Clears Shareholder Hurdle

Bruce Barnard, Special Correspondent |
The planned merger of Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd and Compañia Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) moved closer after shareholders controlling just 2.7 percent of the Chilean company’s stock voted against the deal that will create the world’s fourth-largest ocean container carrier.
Container lines

Weak Demand Prompts Cut in Planned Pipavav Expansion

JOC Staff |
Gujarat Pipavav Port, an APM Terminals facility on India’s west coast, has scaled back its capacity expansion program for fiscal year 2014-15 in the wake of weakening trade demand.
Marine terminals

MSC to Launch Asia-Africa Express Service

JOC Staff |
Mediterranean Shipping Co. has announced the launch of a new container service between Asia and West Africa, starting at the end of this month.
Container lines

Surging Imports Narrow Japan’s Trade Surplus With US

Hisane Masaki |
Japan’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed for the second month in a row in March on a year-on-year basis, as imports surged at a much faster pace than exports, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry.
Container lines

Terminal Consolidation Seen as Crucial for Seattle-Tacoma

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The ports of Seattle and Tacoma offer advantages to shipping lines that many ports would love to have — naturally deep water, more than enough container-handling space and excellent on and near-dock intermodal rail infrastructure. But in order to take full advantage, the ports are faced with a stark reality: they must invest heavily to upgrade facilities that were designed for vessels that are half the size of the ships with capacities of 8,000 to 10,000 20-foot container units that carriers are already beginning to deploy in their Pacific Northwest services.
North American ports

P3 Carriers Extend Trans-Atlantic Rates at 2013 Contract Levels, For Now

Peter T. Leach, Editor-at-Large |
Container ships are running full on the westbound trans-Atlantic as shippers scramble to complete their annual contract negotiations with carriers at a time when the new P3 Network and other expanding alliances have not yet finalized their new service schedules.
Forwarding

Ukraine’s Agribusiness Prospects Blossom

Alan M. Field |
The Russian invasion of the Ukrainian province of Crimea is shining a spotlight on the economic vulnerability of its smaller neighbor.
Container lines

LA Port Has Big March as Container Volumes Rebound

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
Container volumes in Los Angeles-Long Beach surged in March as factories in Asia returned to full production after the Chinese New Year lull in February, with double-digit growth in LA offsetting sagging traffic at its neighbor.
North American ports

Ocean Carrier Rate Revision Roundup for April 18

JOC Staff |
Several carriers have planned general rate increases in multiple trade lanes in April and May, although any gains achieved could be temporary as overcapacity and sluggish global demand continues.
Container lines

Profound Challenges Confront Seattle, Tacoma Ports

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The Puget Sound ports of Seattle and Tacoma face battles on multiple fronts.
North American ports

US Ag Shippers Seek Consistency in 24-Hour Rules

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
U.S. agricultural shippers say requirements by Japan, the European Union, and China for advance submission of cargo documents are creating a trade barrier for U.S. exports of perishable goods.
Forwarding

Virginia Governor: APMT Wants to Sell Terminal

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said APM Terminals wants to sell the semi-automated container terminal it now leases to the Virginia Port Authority.
North American ports

Overcapacity in North Europe Weighs on Rotterdam Traffic

Bruce Barnard, Special Correspondent |
Container traffic in Rotterdam inched up just 0.3 percent in the first quarter, as Europe’s biggest container hub confronted continuing overcapacity in the Le Havre-to-Hamburg port range and changes in the container shipping sector.
International portsForwarding

China’s Move Up Value Chain Slows Shift in Manufacturing

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor |
The rise in labor costs in China and other countries has led to the inclusion of more countries in the global supply chain, but a Standard Chartered report argues that the pace of manufacturing’s migration to lower-cost countries will be slow, especially for higher-value goods.
International ports

Vehicle Carriers Dominate Ro-Ro Market

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
Vehicle carriers are increasing their share of the roll-on, roll-off market while conventional ro-ro vessels are in decline, according to a new report by the Dutch consulting firm Dynamar.
Forwarding

Virginia Port Board Overhauled — Again

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
The Virginia Port Authority’s board underwent its second shakeup in less than three years today when Gov. Terry McAuliffe replaced five of the board’s 11 appointed members, saying he wanted to reverse the port’s financial losses.
North American ports

East Coast Problems Drive Interest in Great Lakes Container Service

Grace M. Lavigne, Associate Web Editor |
Interest in a container and breakbulk service between Cleveland and North Europe launching this month has been fueled by erratic service at U.S. East Coast ports and unreliable service via surface transportation, according to users of the service.
Container lines

Shippers Want Good Price — and Service — From Carriers

Peter T. Leach, Editor-at-Large |
Shippers and carriers don’t always see eye-to-eye, but they do agree on one thing as the 2014-15 shipping season rolls out: The advent of the P3 Network and other expanding vessel-sharing alliances are turning ocean transportation on the major east-west ocean trades into a commodity.
Container lines

Drewry: Asia-US Rate Gain Falls Short of Proposed Hike

Grace M. Lavigne, Associate Web Editor |
The Drewry benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles rose this week after three weeks in a row with no positive movement.
Container lines

Jaxport Poised to Get Federal OK for Deepening

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor |
The Port of Jacksonville is poised to get the congressional go-ahead to deepen its harbor in order to handle larger container ships, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a needed report.
North American ports

Hapag-Lloyd, CSAV Finalize Merger Agreement

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV signed a binding contract to complete a merger to create the world’s fourth-largest container line.
Container lines

Asia-Europe Carrier Showdown Looms, Alphaliner Warns

Grace M. Lavigne, Associate Web Editor |
The “Daily Maersk” product was supposed to solidify Maersk’s position as the leading carrier on the Asia-North Europe trade, but less than three years after its launch, Maersk has lost market share in the lane and triggered a rate war, setting the stage for a carrier showdown, Alphaliner said in its latest newsletter.
Container lines

Is Maersk Pulling Away From the Pack?

Peter Tirschwell |
Is Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean carrier, showing that the age-old demons of container shipping — overcapacity, volatile spot rates and commoditized service — can finally be slain?
Container lines

Global Expansion on Target

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor |
The clock on Rich Ceci’s desk reads 00:00, and the project manager of Global Terminal’s expansion said it signifies a milestone met.
Marine terminals

Kobe Container Trade Drops

Hisane Masaki |
The number of foreign trade containers handled by the Port of Kobe in western Japan fell for the second year in a row in 2013, according to figures released by the Kobe municipal government.
International ports

Konecranes Takes Aim at Smaller Ports’ Productivity Needs

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor |
The competitive advantage of ports will be their ability to improve productivity and service levels as larger vessels call more often and increase container handling volume per port visit, according to Mika Mahlberg, vice president of Konecranes’ port cranes business unit.
Marine terminals

HIT, Dockworkers Reach Wage Deal

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor |
Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) said port operators, contractors and workers — who have reached a settlement in wage negotiations that will give dockworkers a potential increase of 10.1 percent — were “all in the same boat” and would have to work together if the port was to remain competitive.
Marine terminals

Long Beach Says Its Imports Subsidize Competitors

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
In the brutal war for cargo that is underway in today’s world of powerful shipping alliances, the last thing the Southern California ports want to do is subsidize competitors by helping them pay to deepen their ports, the president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission said yesterday.
North American ports

Importers Find Success in Mexico Sourcing

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor |
JUAREZ, Mexico — Each Christmas ornament or mannequin that is shipped from here to major U.S. retailers is a sign of Mexico’s growing competitive edge with China.
International ports