Breakbulk News

Up-to-date breakbulk news and analysis about the end-to-end movement of breakbulk cargo and heavy lift and project cargoes. Coverage tracks breakbulk news about premier gateway ports, terminals, carriers and charterers. It also covers wind cargo, roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) newbuildings, storage and processing capacity, inland supply chain connectivity and landside transport for energy, infrastructure, construction and other industries.

The latest Breakbulk News & Analysis

Ro/ro carriers expect record demand, profits to persist into 2024

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Vessel diversions and potential tariffs complicate the outlook, but strong forward contracting fueled by booming demand is bolstering the ro/ro sector after a strong 2023.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersRo/ro cargo

MPV indices inch upward in February as capacity tightens amid route diversions

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Multipurpose/heavy-lift carriers share concerns over the uncertainty caused by geopolitical events but see longer-term promise thanks to the slow-moving green energy boom.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoEnergy projects

Latest earnings put wind turbine manufacturers back in black

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
Wind OEM earnings grew as the business environment improved and companies continued to work their way through low-margin projects that were booked before inflation and supply chain snarls hit the industry.
Breakbulk NewsProject cargoEnergy projects

Industrial expansion driving boost in New Orleans project cargo volumes

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Project volumes will include steel and modules related to the development of the second phase of the $21 billion Venture Global liquefied natural gas export facility under construction in Plaquemines Parish, downriver from New Orleans.
Breakbulk NewsContainer Shipping NewsProject cargoPort NewsBreakbulk ports

Ro/ro carriers sign long-term contracts as bullish market kicks off new year

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The flow of roll-on/roll-off cargo shows little sign of slowing as carriers ink long-term deals with automotive and high and heavy manufacturers.
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargoBreakbulk ports

Rising costs, lack of infrastructure stymieing US wind buildout

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Hurdles slowing the US wind buildout are very real, and the Biden administration’s goal of 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 appears increasingly unrealistic.
Breakbulk NewsEnergy projects

Red Sea disruption ends container capacity relief for ro/ro carriers: Grimaldi

Peter Shaw-Smith, Middle East contributor |
While container spot rates aren’t favorable for vehicle shipments now, Emanuele Grimaldi said the size of the container ship orderbook could easily pull rates down as networks adjust to Red Sea disruptions.
MaritimeRo/ro cargo

MPV indices in holding pattern as longer-term vessel fixtures slow

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
The MPV spot market is increasingly busy even as high interest rates and supply chain bottlenecks hold back capitol project execution, analysts and industry executives say.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoEnergy projects

Louis Dreyfus inks deal for three ro/ro newbuilds to be deployed on Airbus charter

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The new ships, scheduled for delivery in 2026, form a fleet renewal program to replace three existing ro/ro vessels operated by Louis Dreyfus under a long-term charter agreement with Airbus that has been in place for more than 20 years.
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargoBreakbulk ports

Harren Group expanding project-capable fleet despite mixed market outlook

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Heavy-lift and semi-submersible owner/operator Harren Group is expanding its fleet with a mix of long-term charters and up to six newbuildings.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoEnergy projects

Minimal capacity growth to keep MPV/HL rates above pre-pandemic levels

Susan Oatway, Research Analyst-Breakbulk and Project Shipping |
With capacity restricted, global MPV/HL rates are expected to rise again starting in the second quarter of 2024.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoRo/ro cargoHeavy-haul transport

TFI gets even bigger role in heavy-haul trucking with $1.1 billion Daseke purchase

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
The biggest trucking acquisition of 2023 gives Canada’s TFI an additional $1.8 billion in annual revenue and nearly 20 operating subsidiaries hauling oversized, heavy freight.
SurfaceProject cargoHeavy-haul transportTrucking NewsTruckloadFlatbed

Uncertainty over Inflation Reduction Act slows US onshore, offshore wind projects

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Existing wind-related manufacturing capacity in the US struggles to meet the local content requirements of the measure, frustrating would-be developers and pushing away some early investors.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersEnergy projectsBreakbulk ports

Breakbulk shippers prep for EU ETS implementation as new cost structure dawns

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Multipurpose and heavy-lift and ro/ro carriers are weighing whether to pass on the costs of EU emissions allowances by using surcharges or all-in freight rates.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoRo/ro cargo

US goal of 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 slipping out of reach: analysts

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
The US offshore wind buildout will be a boon for Jones Act vessels in the long run, but current equipment shortages, high costs and the restrictive effects of cabotage laws are hampering initial construction.
Breakbulk NewsProject cargoEnergy projects

Panama Canal congestion, Red Sea ‘war risk’ premium complicating MPV outlook

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Voyage diversions needed to avoid Panama Canal drought restrictions and the increasingly risky Red Sea route will remove multipurpose and heavy-lift capacity from the global fleet, which in turn is likely to slow the rate slide seen during 2023, analysts say.
Breakbulk NewsMaritimeBreakbulk carriers

Reset for wind energy cargo reflects global supply chain realities

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Although carriers and project forwarders have seen lower wind volumes in some markets this year, the slowdown is bringing the US wind buildout to a more realistic level, stakeholders say.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersEnergy projects

Glovis, partners order 12 new vehicle carriers, with options for more

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Hyundai Glovis has teamed up with HMM and Seaspan to spend almost $1.5 billion on new dual-fuel pure car and truck carriers as demand continues to surge in the ro/ro sector.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersRo/ro cargo

MPV/HL carriers weigh costly, time-consuming alternatives to Panama Canal

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Low water restrictions and “exorbitant” costs for rare transit slots through the drought-hit waterway mean tramp breakbulk and heavy-lift carriers must use longer ocean routes, thus increasing voyage costs.
Breakbulk NewsMaritimeBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

Swire Projects launches project cargo liner service to avoid Panama Canal delays

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The service was previously operated on an ad hoc basis but is being upgraded due to growing demand for breakbulk and project cargo into the US West Coast to avoid restrictions and delays through the drought-hit waterway.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

MPV indices from Toepfer, Drewry continue down different paths

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
While long-term optimism supports the MPV market, industry analysts see short-term divergence in time charter rate averages.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersEnergy projects

Cosco, Varamar expand MPV reach with strategic partnership

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The aim of the venture is to broaden the scope of the companies’ current operations, both geographically and in vessel size.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriers

GPA invests $262 million to upgrade Brunswick’s ro/ro facilities

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
GPA's ability to handle growing volumes has attracted the likes of Rivian and Hyundai, both planting roots in Georgia to export vehicles from new facilities through Brunswick.
Ro/ro cargoHeavy-haul transportNorth American portsPort infrastructure

Panama Canal woes present nightmare for Latin American perishables trade: analyst

Richard Bright, Journal of Commerce analyst |
The phased reduction in the number of transits coincides with peak banana exports from Ecuador and the start of the deciduous fruit season in the southern hemisphere.
Cool Cargo NewsBreakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriers

Breakbulk sector poised for boost amid rising commodity prices

Susan Oatway, Research Analyst for Breakbulk and Project Cargo |
Commodity prices continue to rise, leading to further investments in mining, agriculture and oil and gas projects, all of which is good news for breakbulk and project shippers and their service providers.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoRo/ro cargo

Global ro/ro carriers take steps to boost fire safety

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Although there is little evidence that EVs are a greater fire hazard aboard ro/ro ships than traditional internal combustion vehicles, carriers are ramping up their safety measures.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersRo/ro cargo

Offshore services companies expect boost from increased energy spending

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
Fresh investments among oilfield services giants should bolster the offshore services market, with supply chain spending expected to grow 16% in 2023 and 2024.
Energy projectsProject cargoHeavy-haul transport

Lack of investment constraining US breakbulk port capacity

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The funding shortage for breakbulk port facilities will create severe constraints on both cargo owners and vessel operators as offshore wind construction accelerates and new types of energy projects are developed.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoRo/ro cargoEnergy projectsHeavy-haul transportPort News

Automakers resort to shipping cars in containers amid ro/ro capacity shortage

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
Ports in the US are reporting an unusual spike in the number of cars crossing their docks in containers, rather than via roll-on/roll-off vessels.
Ro/ro cargoContainer Shipping News

European port, landside congestion sapping tight ro/ro capacity

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Crowded terminals and a truck driver shortage in Europe and the Mediterranean are increasing landside delays and driving some shippers to consider calling secondary ports.
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargoMarine terminals

Aging roads, drivers weigh on US heavy-haul trucking amid booming demand

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
As US project cargo demand — and cargoes themselves — grow, heavy-haul trucking carriers are struggling with permitting delays, infrastructure complications and a rapidly aging workforce.
Project cargoEnergy projectsBreakbulk ports

Key multipurpose index softens as summer slide continues into fall

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Multipurpose owners and operators are growing increasingly wary of the breakbulk market’s downward trend as cargoes remain hard to find and the wind energy market falters.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersEnergy projects

US wind industry navigates deep waters to meet ambitious offshore target

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
Meeting the Biden administration’s target of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy installed by 2030 will require floating offshore wind, which means building new, specialized port facilities to facilitate development in much deeper waters.
Breakbulk NewsEnergy projectsMarine terminals

Global MPV indexes diverge amid strength in European short-sea trade

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Toepfer’s multipurpose index has maintained its downward momentum due partly to a delay in the emergence of wind cargoes, while Drewry’s index showed some signs of life following a summer dip.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoEnergy projects

Global MPV/HL fleet is “between technologies”: carriers

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
MPV newbuildings are being designed for higher cargo intake and improved efficiency, but any consensus on green fuels and propulsion systems remains elusive.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoEnergy projects

Intermarine, JSA target Chilean metals, energy markets with new subsidiary

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Affiliated carriers Intermarine and Jumbo-SAL-Alliance are poised to reap new cargo from the expected growth boom in South American mining, green fuels and wind.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

Lack of cargoes holding down MPV rates in near-term: analysts

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, and Susan Oatway, Research Analyst for Breakbulk and Project Cargo |
Despite having fewer cargoes for which to compete, some bulk operators are beefing up their staff of project cargo specialists, implying that those carriers are sensing opportunities ahead.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

Greek operator Neptune orders two 4,200-unit car carriers in fleet expansion move

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The carrier’s dual-fuel newbuildings will be the first in a series of vessels to be delivered over the next decade.
Ro/ro cargoNorth American portsInternational ports

MPV/HL orders scarce despite need for sustainable fleet

Susan Oatway, Research Analyst, Breakbulk and Project Cargo, Journal of Commerce |
Newbuilding investments in the multipurpose and heavy-lift fleet will be crucial to the global push to decarbonize energy.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriers

Breakbulk sector preps for EU emissions trading system

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Breakbulk carriers and their clients must prepare for the EUs new emissions trading system before the Jan. 1 start
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriers