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

The latest Trans-Pacific News & Analysis

Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd put shippers on notice ahead of European ETS surcharges

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Sep 22, 2023, 11:13 AM EDT

The phased implementation of Europe’s emissions trading system on the shipping industry beginning next year will generate significant costs for carriers that will be passed on to customers in the form of new charges.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

More trans-Pac service cuts on tap for October as carriers seek to buoy rates

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Sep 20, 2023, 4:14 PM EDT

The decision to suspend a service outright may represent a new leg down in terms of ship capacity, which is expected to grow sharply this year and next.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesNorth American ports

Panama Canal draft restrictions offer sustained challenge for carriers

Peter Tirschwell | Sep 20, 2023, 10:36 AM EDT

Carrier executives and others say the draft limitations imposed due to a shortage of rainfall are creating a more difficult economic rationale for the so-called all-water route to the East Coast of North America.
Container shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American portsInternational ports

Largest US ports record 20%-plus declines in trans-Pacific imports

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Sep 18, 2023, 6:18 PM EDT

The top four US ports, which accounted for 68.2% of US imports from Asia through August, experienced greater than 20% declines in Asian imports in the first eight months of 2023 whereas imports through Houston, the dominant port on the Gulf Coast, declined only 3.7%.
Container shippingTrans-PacificNorth American ports

Low rates, poor service to mark trans-Pacific trade amid capacity boom

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Sep 15, 2023, 11:19 AM EDT

Although importers can look forward to paying low freight rates at least into 2024 due to weak volumes and significant overcapacity in the trans-Pacific, aggressive capacity reductions through blank sailings will disrupt service levels, this week’s IANA conference was told.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesNorth American portsInternational ports

‘Golden Week’ surge turns to bust as trans-Pacific rates fall, blank sailings rise

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Sep 14, 2023, 8:00 AM EDT

The gains in spot rates for ocean freight are eroding again as US importers see little need to book more space ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesForwarding

Flexport’s bumpy evolution shows, ultimately, people and relationships matter

Peter Tirschwell | Sep 13, 2023, 9:34 AM EDT

As many have observed in disparaging the notion of a “digital” forwarder, of which Flexport was the prototype, forwarding at its core is a business of people solving real-world problems for which there is not — and probably never will be — a technology solution, writes Peter Tirschwell.
ForwardingTrans-PacificLogistics technology

Zim, MSC ink cooperation deal on services linking Asia, Europe and Med

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Sep 7, 2023, 2:11 PM EDT

Facing an operating loss of up to $500 million for 2023, Zim hopes the sharing arrangement with its larger competitor will help drive efficiencies “amidst continued near-term headwinds.”
Container linesContainer shippingTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

Hopes for import rebound on trans-Pacific shift toward pre-Chinese New Year

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Aug 30, 2023, 2:41 PM EDT

US retailers historically stock up for the spring season and top off inventories following winter holiday depletion and before the Chinese New Year, but forwarders and carriers admit there’s no guarantee this time around.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesNorth American ports

Trans-Pac carrier reliability slipped in July amid labor woes, Panama Canal limits

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Aug 29, 2023, 4:18 PM EDT

The ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert experienced a series of labor disruptions in July during longshore contract negotiations, while the Panama Canal implemented draft restrictions amid a severe drought.
Container shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American ports

Rate recovery could buoy container shipping in H2: Cosco

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Aug 29, 2023, 2:06 PM EDT

But in its interim earnings announcement, Cosco Shipping Holdings also maintained a cautious outlook due to challenges it cited, including the global economy, inflationary pressures in Europe and America, and the delivery of new vessels.
Container linesContainer shippingTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

NVOs chase market share or margin in demand downslope

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Aug 28, 2023, 3:44 PM EDT

Supply overcapacity coupled with mediocre freight demand has the top 25 trans-Pacific non-vessel-operating common carriers deciding whether to chase lower margin business or suffer volume losses.
Container shippingMaritimeForwardingTrans-Pacific

MSC reconnects India to Asia-USWC string as contract rates tick higher

Bency Mathew, Special Correspondent | Aug 24, 2023, 9:43 AM EDT

MSC, which has implemented large-scale network realignments in recent months, halted Indian calls on the Sentosa service in April when it opened a standalone intra-Asia loop.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesNorth American portsInternational ports

Carriers hold fast to trans-Pac capacity cuts amid unclear import demand

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Aug 22, 2023, 4:34 PM EDT

Blank sailings during August held largely steady from July as the outlook for US import demand remains unclear, according to forwarders.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer lines

Lack of market clarity undermines positive sentiment: OOCL

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Aug 21, 2023, 9:44 AM EDT

The Cosco Shipping subsidiary noted that significant uncertainties over economic growth prospects and the huge injection of capacity into major trade lanes made forecasting difficult.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

US July imports from Asia hit 11-month high, portending year-on-year fall growth

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Aug 18, 2023, 2:15 PM EDT

The fresh data also showed — starkly — how the West Coast’s share of imports from Asia eroded during the 13 months of contentious contract negotiations between the ILWU and waterfront employers.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesNorth American ports

Shippers reluctant to shoulder high cost of decarbonization: executives

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Aug 18, 2023, 11:33 AM EDT

Getting shippers to commit to premium-priced, low-emissions shipping services is a hard sell for ocean carriers and forwarders as cargo owners enjoy rates that are now mostly below pre-pandemic levels after two years of record highs.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesForwardingTrans-PacificTrans-AtlanticAsia-Europe

Zim bets on spot rates in challenging trans-Pacific market

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Aug 16, 2023, 2:48 PM EDT

Despite the stability offered by contracted volume, the Israel-based carrier decided against locking in long-term rates at unsustainably low levels.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-Pacific

New ships coming to trans-Pacific expected to overwhelm rate gains

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Aug 15, 2023, 3:26 PM EDT

A sharp increase in new vessel deliveries over the coming weeks is forecast to put more pressure on ocean carriers to blank sailings — or face falling rates.
Container shippingTrans-PacificNorth American ports

Asia-US container spot rates keep rising amid more blank sailings

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Aug 14, 2023, 6:04 PM EDT

Spot rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific continue to move higher, although a planned general rate increase this week could be the last one for a while, as carriers are scheduled to add a significant amount of new capacity into the global fleet beginning later this year.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesForwardingNorth American ports

Hapag-Lloyd, HMM predict H2 demand pickup amid faltering profits

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Aug 10, 2023, 9:38 AM EDT

The first-half results of Hapag-Lloyd and HMM mirror those reported by their peers, with earnings severely challenged by the rapidly normalizing market.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

ILWU Canada contract ratification ensures BC port peace

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Aug 6, 2023, 9:39 AM EDT

The disruption laid bare the limits the Trudeau government will exercise to push both sides to a deal that was ratified Friday by longshore union membership at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
Longshore laborContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American portsTransport, trade and regulation

Ocean market shows signs of life despite forecasts for muted peak season

Peter Tirschwell | Aug 3, 2023, 8:00 AM EDT

While the magnitude of peak season in any given year may have macroeconomic significance in shedding light on the strength of consumer spending and the economy overall, it is only one factor driving the market conditions that affect the physical movement of goods, writes Peter Tirschwell.
Container shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificAsia-EuropeNorth American portsInternational ports

Carriers tell FMC not to ‘weaponize’ proposed rule on refusal of service

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | Aug 2, 2023, 2:59 PM EDT

The rulemaking has underscored sharp divisions in the industry on whether the maritime regulator needs to take a heavier hand with liners following complaints by shippers.
Transport, trade and regulationContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-Pacific

ONE reports sharp drop in fiscal Q1 profitability as rates, demand fall

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Jul 31, 2023, 9:59 AM EDT

The financial results of the Singapore-based carrier reflect a return to a more normal container shipping market, albeit one characterized by weak demand from inflation-hit destination markets.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

ILWU Canada’s contract rejection thrusts BC ports in limbo

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Jul 29, 2023, 8:37 AM EDT

The membership of the International Longshore Warehouse Union Canada has rejected a four-year contract at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, which employers say would have included a 19.2%. compounded wage increase.
Longshore laborContainer shippingTrans-PacificNorth American portsTransport, trade and regulation

Western Canada port backlog to take weeks to clear: Canadian National

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Jul 26, 2023, 12:00 PM EDT

CN said it will take up to eight weeks to clear the cargo backlog at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert as the industry waits to see if ILWU Canada’s rank and file will accept terms of the tentative deal reached last week.
North-American railContainer shippingTrans-PacificNorth American portsIntermodal providers

Savannah reopens berth at Garden City Terminal, boosting capacity by 25%

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | Jul 24, 2023, 5:01 PM EDT

The Georgia Ports Authority has acknowledged the added berth capacity was sorely needed during the worst of the pandemic-driven port congestion when Savannah’s queue hit more than 30 ships in September 2021.
North American portsTrans-PacificMarine terminalsPort infrastructure

Retail 3PL GSC expands service scope with MacMillan-Piper acquisition

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Jul 24, 2023, 9:40 AM EDT

GSC intends to combine its expertise in servicing containerized imports in the retail sector with MacMillan-Piper's experience in warehousing and transloading of primarily export commodities.
North American portsTrans-PacificSupply Chain

Trans-Pacific preps for weak, shorter peak season before new capacity hits

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Jul 21, 2023, 1:48 PM EDT

With a significantly shorter peak season expected this year, the ability of carriers to match capacity to demand will be tested over the next six months as they seek to keep spot rates from dipping below contract levels.
Container shippingMaritimeContainer linesTrans-PacificPortsNorth American ports

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

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | Jul 21, 2023, 9:30 AM EDT

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

GRI success, rising imports drive spot rates higher as trans-Pac peak season nears

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Jul 20, 2023, 2:42 PM EDT

Retailers and NVOs aren’t sure if spot rates will continue to increase steadily through the peak season or whether new capacity expected to enter the trans-Pacific in the coming months will cause rates to fall again.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American portsInternational ports

UPDATE: Western Canada longshore workers retract notice of Saturday strike

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Jul 20, 2023, 12:18 PM EDT

The rejection of last week’s tentative contract deal by a caucus of ILWU Canada narrows the prospects of a resolution without one imposed by Parliament through back-to-work legislation.
Longshore laborTrans-PacificNorth American portsTransport, trade and regulation

Post-COVID ocean market has normalized, not collapsed: analyst

Lars Jensen, CEO & Partner, Vespucci Maritime, and JOC Analyst | Jul 17, 2023, 12:06 PM EDT

It’s easy to paint developments in the global shipping market as extreme, but when context is provided, the market is on many levels almost boringly normal at present, writes analyst Lars Jensen.
Container shippingContainer linesTrans-Pacific

CIMC, Singamas issue profit warnings on weak demand for new containers

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Jul 14, 2023, 1:40 PM EDT

The expected declines followed a drop in demand for marine containers due to weakened economic and trade growth this year, both companies said in filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Container shippingContainer linesForwardingTrans-Pacific

Zim expects EBIT loss up to $500 million in revised 2023 guidance, citing soft rates

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Jul 13, 2023, 11:08 AM EDT

The carrier’s CEO said the company would continue to “actively manage and rationalize” its fleet and services during the current downturn in the global shipping market.
Container linesContainer shippingTrans-Pacific

Cargo recovery along USWC began prior to tentative labor deal: analyst

Larry Gross, president and founder, Gross Transportation Consulting; and JOC analyst | Jul 12, 2023, 2:05 PM EDT

The doom and gloom regarding cargo diverted away from the US West Coast during recent labor strife may have been excessive, as importers are not eager to permanently adopt higher-cost routings when a reliable lower-cost option with reasonable service exists, writes analyst Larry Gross.
North American portsContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-Pacific

US imports building toward August peak, but labor concerns weigh: retailers

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Jul 7, 2023, 1:44 PM EDT

The Global Port Tracker says prospects for a recession in the second half of the year are dimming and imports should increase as consumer demand ticks up and retailers reduce the inventory overhang that has kept warehouses full over the past year.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificNorth American ports

Strategic investment underpins ONE’s ‘sustainable profitability’ target: Nixon

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Jul 7, 2023, 9:50 AM EDT

The Singapore-based carrier’s multi-billion-dollar investment plan into terminals, new ships and decarbonization is meant to secure the right assets in the right areas to keep it in the black.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesTrans-PacificAsia-Europe

Trans-Pacific services get reworked as freight downturn continues

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Jul 6, 2023, 5:28 PM EDT

Ocean carriers are pulling a variety of levers, such as cancelled services, new port calls and slow steaming, to keep ships on the water in the face of weak demand.
Container linesContainer shippingTrans-Pacific