Trans-Pacific

News and analysis of trans-Pacific rates, volumes, services, reliability, contracting, ports, end-to-end strategies

The latest Trans-Pacific News & Analysis

Asia gateways scramble as Gemini alliance plans big shift to feeder port network

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The move has already prompted Busan, one of the ports most affected by the downgrade, to urge Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd to rethink their Gemini vessel schedules and restore some calls at the South Korean gateway.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificTrans-AtlanticAsia-EuropeInternational ports

Shipping executive who led trans-Pac rate-setting conferences dead at 81

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
Al Pierce was a shipping veteran who headed up ocean carrier rate-setting conferences and later the so-called “discussion agreements” in the trans-Pacific trade beginning in the late 1980s.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsTrans-Pacific

No bump yet in trans-Pacific demand from Red Sea, Panama Canal: Matson

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
Matson said its trans-Pacific volume outlook for 2024 is roughly flat with last year owing to modest growth in its Jones Act business and little impact yet from other supply chain crises.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-Pacific

January cargo spike could suggest import recovery in eastbound trans-Pacific

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The fourth consecutive month of year-over-year growth in US imports from Asia might be a sign the world’s busiest trade lane has turned the corner after a lackluster 2023 in which imports declined about 13%.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American ports

ONE, Wan Hai align on a ‘revamp’ of a trans-Pacific service to West Coast

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
The new partnership with Wan Hai comes as ONE — along with Yang Ming and HMM — faces the loss of THE Alliance partner Hapag-Lloyd, which is leaving the vessel-sharing agreement for a new partnership with Maersk.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificNorth American ports

Carriers resume Panama Canal transits on some services as disruption eases

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Highlighting how things have improved to some extent, Hapag-Lloyd said THE Alliance has restored transits through the canal on some of its trans-Pacific to US East Coast EC2 services.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-Pacific

Container ship supply meeting Red Sea challenge, but market much tighter

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
The huge order book due to be delivered through 2024 is helping ocean supply chains withstand the Red Sea crisis, experts say, but another shock would cause a “pandemic-type crisis.”
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

US retailers upgrade forecast for H1 2024 import growth despite Suez diversions

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The Global Port Tracker calls for a year-over-year gain of 5.3% in US imports over the first six months of the year despite the uncertain security situation in the Red Sea.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American ports

Red Sea crisis, demand uncertainty muddle prelude to annual contract talks

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
While current elevated rates would normally give ocean carriers leverage in annual service contract negotiations, spot rates will likely come down after the pre-Lunar New Year rush and the market is still uncertain about how strong demand will be in the second half of the year.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-Pacific

Air cargo rates, volume take off as Lunar New Year begins

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe |
The seasonal rise in air freight demand out of China ahead of the holiday has been strong, but analysts say the Red Sea effect on rising volumes remains unclear.
Air CargoTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

Shippers balk at new ocean carrier surcharges levied amid global network strain

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
While shippers are using terms in their contracts to push back against the higher costs linked to the Red Sea and Panama Canal disruptions, carriers are also looking to void those terms altogether.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificAsia-EuropeTransport, Trade, and Regulation News

US container import flows in 2024 likely to reflect major sourcing trends

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor |
US retailers and others will reduce their exposure to China as they can, chasing cheaper labor while also hedging the risk associated with relying on one origin for key goods and items.
Container linesTrans-PacificNorth American portsInternational ports

Red Sea attacks to muddle container shipping through Q2: ONE’s Nixon

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe |
Longer voyages around southern Africa have created an instant tonnage shortage and will make it difficult for carriers to maintain weekly sailing schedules, says Jeremy Nixon.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

Ocean rate surge reflects uncertainty around cost of Suez diversions: MSC

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
An executive for the carrier said he expects liners and shippers will eventually adjust to the lengthier transits around southern Africa but acknowledged it will take time before rate volatility subsides.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

Share of China imports to US dipped below 40% last year amid sourcing shift

Mark Szakonyi |
China commanded 47% of the inbound container volumes to the US as recently as 2018, but rising geopolitical tensions between Beijing and Washington and a post-COVID shift in manufacturing momentum to Southeast Asia have cut into China’s dominance.
Trans-PacificContainer linesNorth American ports

Asia-US carriers push for spot rate hikes in overheated pre-Lunar New Year market

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
Liners are attempting to capitalize on tight vessel space at Asian load ports as well as the uncertainty over how long they will be forced to divert all-water services to the US East Coast around the southern tip of Africa.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American ports

US imports from Asia fell near pre-COVID levels in 2023, but uncertain ‘24 awaits

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
While US ports should be able to handle the expected modest growth in Asian imports this year, those expectations could get tossed aside if existing issues involving the Panama and Suez canals force retailers to shift a sizeable portion of discretionary cargo to West Coast gateways.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American ports

2M deploys extra ships as Africa routings expected to last ‘a few’ months

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
Maersk and MSC are moving ships from other trade lanes to the US East Coast as they seek to avoid delays in getting empty containers back to Asia.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificNorth American ports

Trans-Pacific carriers hit customers with higher rates, flurry of surcharges

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The new rate increases could be stickier than they would have normally been due to the knock-on effects of carrier disruptions linked to the militant attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, forcing carriers into longer routings around southern Africa.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesForwardingTrans-Pacific

Big OOCL revenue decline for 2023 signals harsh earnings season for carriers

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe |
The Cosco subsidiary’s operational update did not provide profit and loss figures but gives an indication of the impact plunging rate levels will have on ocean shipping’s annual results.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificTrans-AtlanticAsia-Europe

Container ship disruptions seen easing after Lunar New Year: analysts

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
The mini-peak season ahead of China’s factory holiday is causing short-term challenges for container shipping, but analysts say conditions should ease after Lunar New Year.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

Market aligning to trigger import surge on US West Coast: analyst

Larry Gross, president and founder, Gross Transportation Consulting, and Journal of Commerce analyst |
Geopolitics, drought and longshore labor are creating substantial tailwinds that could, at least in the near term, dramatically boost West Coast market share, particularly Los Angeles and Long Beach, writes analyst Larry Gross.
MaritimeTrans-PacificMarine terminalsNorth American ports

Carriers quoting trans-Pac rates of $5,000/FEU on Suez-linked equipment imbalances

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The new rate move by carriers comes as the security situation in the Red Sea shows no signs of improving and amid retail restocking in the US ahead of an early Lunar New Year.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-Pacific

US West Coast ports aim to win back shippers after two-year share loss

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The ports will be aided by continued transit constraints at the Panama Canal, potentially testy longshore negotiations on the East and Gulf coasts, and terminals that are as fluid as they have been since before the pandemic.
MaritimeTrans-PacificMarine terminalsNorth American ports

Asia-US container spot rates surge on Red Sea vessel diversions

Michael Angell, Associate Editor, and Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The upending of regular transits to the US East and Gulf coasts through the Suez Canal has prompted ocean carriers to issue rate increases to cover higher operating costs.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-Pacific

Trans-Pacific volumes poised for slow growth after down year in 2023

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
Global container ship overcapacity will compel carriers to increase blank sailings and service cuts to keep a floor under rates, which means shippers are likely to continue to see poor on-time performance on eastbound trans-Pacific services.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-Pacific

Maersk pauses Red Sea routings after new attacks

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor, and Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
The carrier’s decision to suspend Red Sea sailings for at least 48 hours following two attacks this weekend shows that even as naval forces ramp up patrols in the region, safety is far from guaranteed.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

Shippers face delays as carriers skip South America calls due to Panama Canal woes

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Ocean Network Express and Hapag-Lloyd confirmed they are skipping calls, especially at Cartagena in Colombia and Manzanillo in Panama, although omissions are being made at other ports.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificInternational ports

Eastbound trans-Pac schedule reliability gains in November after peak season rush

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
The performance gains on the world’s busiest trade lane in November came as US imports from Asia during the month plunged 12% from October, the traditional end of peak shipping season.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificPort NewsNorth American ports

Naval force gives Maersk confidence to resume Suez Canal transits

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor, and Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
Maersk's decision to resume sailings through the Red Sea reveals confidence on the part of the carrier with they have been told by naval coalition forces about their capabilities and willingness to act in defense of shipping.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificAsia-EuropeNorth American portsInternational ports

Trans-Pacific spot rates explode amid accelerating Red Sea carrier diversions

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
While shippers adapt to the complicated market environment in the short term, they are also casting a wary eye on annual service contract negotiations with carriers that will heat up early next year.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-Pacific

Container lines await Red Sea naval protection as they divert from Suez

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor |
Expectations that the US Navy will step up maritime protection in the Red Sea following an increasing number of attacks on commercial shipping hasn’t stopped carriers from routing services away from the Suez Canal.
Container linesContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificAsia-EuropeNorth American portsInternational portsTransport, Trade, and Regulation News

Panama Canal restrictions, Suez attacks kickstart West Coast cargo shift

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
A slower than anticipated shift of cargo back to the West Coast since ratification of the coastwide labor contract could accelerate in the coming months due to restrictions at the Panama Canal and this week’s hostilities involving container ships in the Red Sea, which could affect Suez routings.
MaritimeTrans-PacificPort NewsNorth American ports

US retailers increase import forecast amid expectations for ‘record’ holiday sales

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
A strong Black Friday and Cyber Monday, coupled with rosy sales expectations, are spurring US retailers to boost their import forecasts for early 2024, according to the National Retail Federation.
Trans-PacificContainer linesMarine terminalsNorth American portsNorth-American rail

Rise in trans-Pacific air freight rates tempered by weak underlying market

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe |
Rates on the eastbound trans-Pacific are at levels not seen since September 2022, but indicators suggest the market strength will not extend too far into 2024.
Air CargoTrans-PacificAir Cargo Carriers News

US warehouse fluidity returning to normal amid import drop, inventory discipline

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
US importers have finally cleared out most of the inventory overhang that kept their warehouses at capacity and created bottlenecks in their supply chains.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificLast Mile News

Order book more ‘manageable’ if measured in ship numbers, not TEUs: analyst

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe |
Although the incoming capacity will outstrip demand on the major trades over the next two years, the capacity overhang that has been touted in many corners of the shipping sector is being overstated, says an industry analyst.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

Ashcroft Terminal to expand railcar storage to alleviate Vancouver congestion

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
The project, in coordination with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, is due to be completed in late 2024 and will help move cargo faster through Western Canada.
North-American railTrans-PacificNorth American portsPort infrastructure

Carriers weigh options as Panama Canal restrictions become a fact of life

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor |
The soonest the Panama Canal Authority says it could see significant relief is 2028, raising the possibility of persistent drought restrictions and reduced container capacity and transits until then, writes Journal of Commerce Executive Editor Mark Szakonyi.
Container linesMaritimeContainer Shipping NewsTrans-Pacific

No easy fix on horizon for Panama Canal woes as shipping sector scrambles

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Carriers, shippers and logistics executives may have to get accustomed to drought-related restrictions along the critically important waterway, with costly water-saving infrastructure improvements years away.
Container Shipping NewsContainer linesTrans-Pacific