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

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

Bidders hold back on first Gulf of Mexico wind lease auction  

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
Beyond the supply chain snarls, permitting bottlenecks and high costs that are hampering offshore wind development generally, the Gulf is a less-than-ideal location for offshore wind compared with other parts of the US.
Breakbulk NewsEnergy projectsMarine terminals

Sliding steel demand weighs on MPV sector

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Weak construction and manufacturing demand, inflation fears and continued economic uncertainty are weighing on global steel volumes, a key commodity for multipurpose vessels.
Breakbulk carriers

Turbulence hampers US wind energy even as development picks up speed

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
The wind energy industry must resolve a number of supply chain issues or it has little chance of reaching the US’ 2030 goal for energy generation from onshore and offshore wind.
Breakbulk NewsProject cargoEnergy projects

Strong demand, tight tonnage boost earnings for ro/ro sector

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Longer term, global vehicle sales are expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels from 2024 onward, while high and heavy volumes are also expected to remain strong.
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargo

Wallenius Wilhelmsen orders up to 12 ro/ro ships amid market strength

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The carrier did not disclose the value of the vessel order, but shipbroking sources estimate the price of each ship at $140 million to $150 million, based on their size and multi-fuel capability. 
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargo

Chartering slump keeps MPV sector in August ‘doldrums’

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Although the multipurpose vessel market is expected to further soften on weak charter activity in the third quarter, firmer demand is expected by the end of the year, keeping certain sectors of the market — mainly, project carriers — optimistic, analysts said.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

Cosco to control largest semi-submersible fleet after deal with Guangzhou Salvage

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The joint venture will increase Cosco’s fleet to 18 heavy-lift semi-submersible vessels by the end of 2023.
Project cargoEnergy projects

Heightened biosecurity program drives Australian ro/ro port congestion

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
A rigorous hunt for seeds and pollen is disrupting vehicle and high & heavy imports into Australia, leading carriers to pull back on services.
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargoPort News

NWSA auto imports up sharply amid new business from Hyundai, GM

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
New and expanded auto imports landing at the Northwest Seaport Alliance come as carriers take advantage of its proximity to Asian ports during a time of scarce ro/ro tonnage.
Ro/ro cargoTrans-PacificNorth American ports

Antwerp-Bruges H1 volumes slide on weak demand, poor industrial outlook

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The fall hid some upbeat trends, with the number of refrigerated containers rising more than 10% in the first half and the rate of decline in overall volumes easing in the second quarter.
International portsContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesAsia-EuropeBreakbulk NewsRo/ro cargo

Global demand for high and heavy cargo drives secondary vessel ‘spillover’ market

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Breakbulk ro/ro shippers are hunting for solutions as carriers deal with high vessel charter rates, tight capacity and port congestion.
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargo

GPA’s Brunswick seeing significant growth in auto imports

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
Brunswick’s growth comes amid rising automotive production, pent-up consumer demand and an easing of the semiconductor shortage that occurred during the pandemic.
Ro/ro cargoPort NewsNorth American portsPort infrastructure

Softening summer market weighs on Toepfer multipurpose vessel index

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Expected demand for wind cargo, among other factors, is still driving underlying optimism in the MPV sector, but a wind turbine tech “arms race” could cast a long shadow.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersEnergy projects

Emerging from pandemic fog, global reefer market reverts to type

Richard Bright, Journal of Commerce analyst |
If the reefer mode can tough out the rest of 2023, next year should be better for operators largely because there will be more cargo, and therefore demand will be stronger, writes analyst Richard Bright.
Cool Cargo NewsBreakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersSupply chain

Ro/ro carrier Sallaum aims to boost capacity with latest vessel order

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Persistent demand from existing customers and expected growth in global demand for heavier electric vehicles are spurring fresh investment in ro/ro newbuildings from Sallaum Lines.
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargo

UPDATE: Doyle lands new post after resigning from top job at Maryland Port Administration

JOC Staff |
William Doyle’s departure after three years, announced to Maryland Port Administration employees Friday according to local news reports, came less than a week after he received three traffic citations.
North American portsContainer Shipping NewsRo/ro cargo

Cadeler, Eneti combine to create $1.3 billion wind installation vessel operator

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The merger of wind installation vessel operators Cadeler and Eneti, which already have a combined project backlog worth $1.75 billion, was driven by an expected surge in offshore wind farm projects through 2030, Cadeler CEO Mikkel Gleerup told a webinar Friday.
Breakbulk carriersEnergy projects

Ro/ro vessel capacity to remain tight with EV, heavy equipment growth: Wallenius CEO

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
Rising auto and heavy equipment sales are keeping roll-on/roll-off vessels at maximum utilization, and the CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen warns the market will remain tight for years.
Ro/ro cargoBreakbulk News

Maersk makes ‘gap filler’ move to secure green methanol for new vessel

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe |
The deal made by the carrier highlights the challenges of securing the supply of green methanol from a global market that is in its infancy.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesEnergy projects

Summer doldrums pressure MPV sector, but long-term view positive

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Sentiment is more positive in the longer term, with industry observers predicting a rebound in rates from 2024 onwards due to stronger cargo volumes and tight tonnage supply.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoRo/ro cargo

Diverse players eyeing project forwarding space

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Changes at Maersk and Combi-Lift reveal interest in capturing a larger share of the project forwarding market.
Breakbulk NewsProject cargoEnergy projects

New FMC complaint challenges ‘unlawful’ stevedoring fees in Baltimore

Teri Errico Griffis |
Two stevedoring companies are looking to the Federal Maritime Commission to stop what they say is an unlawful access fee at the Port of Baltimore after one of them was invoiced $1.2 million.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation NewsRo/ro cargoPort NewsNorth American ports

Norden aims to diversify cargo base with MPV acquisition

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Norden is looking to capitalize on an expected strong project and breakbulk market with the purchase of Denmark-based multipurpose vessel (MPV) operator Thorco Projects.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

First massive offshore wind tower sections delivered to Massachusetts port

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor |
Vineyard Wind is one of the first commercial-scale offshore wind projects under construction in the US and at completion will generate some 800 megawatts of power.
Breakbulk NewsEnergy projectsPort News

Hydrogen-driven barge debuts on Europe’s inland network

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe |
The drive to decarbonize European inland transport by switching freight from the road to greener alternatives took a step forward this week.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsEnergy projects

Shipping icon Bertram Rickmers, 71, succumbs to injuries from fall

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor |
Visionary shipping legend Bertram Rickmers created the Pearl String, the only round-the-world breakbulk liner service, which operated from 2003 until the fall of Zeamarine in 2020.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

deugro orders customized ro/ro newbuildings for wind turbine transport

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
deugro and partners Siemens and Amasus will build and deploy two specialized offshore wind ro/ro vessels able to accommodate increasingly large wind turbine components.
Breakbulk NewsRo/ro cargo

Hopeful wind OEMs look for rebound after emerging from pandemic

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
Quarterly earnings reports reveal that wind turbine manufacturers are slowly recovering from a pandemic market battering as orders and revenues ramp up.
Breakbulk NewsProject cargoEnergy projects

Top US Shippers: Component shortages putting brakes on auto export growth

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
Global vehicle manufacturers are still recovering from widespread semiconductor shortages, while domestic automakers and body shops face ongoing delays in components ranging from rear suspensions to front bumpers.
Supply chainRo/ro cargoNorth American ports

CEVA Logistics shifts into vessel operations with ro-ro newbuildings

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Traditional 3PL provider CEVA plans to lease four new hybrid ro-ro vessels chartered by parent company CMA CGM.
MaritimeBreakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersRo/ro cargo

Softer rates, long-term confidence provide mixed signals for MPV carriers

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, and Susan Oatway, Research Analyst for Breakbulk and Project Cargo |
Multipurpose and heavy-lift carriers expect short-term rate pain but a rising market further out, analysts say.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

Boost in container ship capacity puts end to MPV spillover market

Susan Oatway, Research Analyst for Breakbulk and Project Cargo, and Eric Johnson, Senior Editor |
Cargoes “unboxed” during the pandemic market are sliding back to container carriers on the hunt for volumes to fill their ships, while excess containers on MPV ships have disappeared.
Breakbulk NewsContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificBreakbulk carriers

Changing of the guard in the works at BBC Chartering USA

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Tim Kopfensteiner will become president of MPV carrier BBC Chartering’s US operations following Per Petersen’s retirement later this year.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

Breakbulk23: AI will infiltrate day-to-day breakbulk shipping: experts

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
Human intervention is necessary to ensure that AI is adapted into shipping in a measured way, as quality decisions are dependent on quality data, attendees at the Journal of Commerce’s Breakbulk and Project Cargo Conference were told.
Breakbulk NewsMaritimeLogistics Technology News

Breakbulk23: Disruptive ‘trilemma’ shaping global energy investment

Autumn Cafiero Giusti, Special Correspondent |
As funding opportunities expand, energy security concerns force investors to reevaluate their priorities, attendees at the Journal of Commerce’s Breakbulk and Project Cargo Conference were told.
Breakbulk NewsProject cargoEnergy projects

Breakbulk23: Methanol has head start in MPV green fuel race

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor |
Breakbulk and project cargo carriers are likely to take their cue from container carriers before committing to building alternative fuel ships to meet aggressive carbon reduction mandates, experts say.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargo

Breakbulk23: BIMCO executive wants cargo data added to CII carbon ratings

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
BIMCO’s head of Americas called for changes to the Carbon Intensity Indicator that would make the new regulation from the International Maritime Organization “fit for purpose.”
Transport, Trade, and Regulation NewsContainer Shipping NewsBreakbulk News

Breakbulk23: Changing trade, political dynamics demand ‘new pragmatism’

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
An advanced sense of “pragmatism” is needed for shippers and nations to cope with changes wrought by war and climate change, attendees at the Journal of Commerce’s Breakbulk & Project Cargo Conference were told.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation NewsContainer Shipping NewsBreakbulk NewsSupply chain