Evergreen Marine Corp. this week launched a weekly transshipment service from New Orleans, Houston, and Port Everglades to the Caribbean, expanding export opportunities for shippers of resins, poultry, and forestry and agricultural products.
The CAJ transshipment service will link with Evergreen’s east-west and north-south liner services through the carrier’s global hub in Colón, Panama. The new service provides some good news to the US ports as they face falling Asian volumes stemming from COVID-19 lockdowns.
Agricultural cargoes are a mainstay of the Gulf Coast-South Florida ports, and exporters in the region are looking to expand their export markets, Janine Mansour, commercial director at the Port of New Orleans, told JOC.com Thursday.
Access to abundant, competitively priced natural gas has made the Gulf Coast region the center of resins production in the US.
Having enjoyed a two-year boom in resins exports, US producers suddenly face the prospect of declining exports this year as global demand for plastics is reduced because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Resins are used in the production of plastics.
IHS Markit, parent company of JOC.com, predicts a 9 percent year-over-year decline in US resins exports in 2020 due to COVID-19. Also, plunging oil prices will make resins manufacturers in other countries more competitive with US producers.
Evergreen is a member of the Ocean Alliance with CMA CGM/APL and Cosco, but the line will operate the CAJ service independently of the alliance. The port rotation is New Orleans; Houston; Manzanillo and Colón in Panama; Kingston, Jamaica; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Port Everglades; and back to New Orleans. The first call on the new service was Wednesday in New Orleans.