The Supply Chain Stress Continues!

The Supply Chain Stress Continues!

February 8th, 2021

In this week’s global freight updates, we’ve got harbor truck disputes, increasing congestion and delays, shipping container accidents, and more. As pandemic-driven import volumes continue to overwhelm ports worldwide, the resulting supply chain stressors are exposing the cracks underneath the surface and further escalating detention and demurrage charges in the trucking industry.

Despite efforts on the FMC’s part to ensure that carriers aren’t taking advantage of the current situation, the organization’s inability to legally create new regulation has allowed most supply chain stakeholders to essentially ignore the FMC’s guidelines. And the process of disputing these charges is pretty time-consuming as well, with little hope for trucking companies coming out on top. These fees are only going to increase as port congestion intensifies and dwell times grow longer.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are displaying just how much of an impact the current container crisis is having on the international shipping industry. According to The Loadstar, some of the 41 ships (as of the article’s publication date) at anchorage could be forced to wait up to two weeks for a berth, which equates to roughly 336,500 TEU of idled capacity. Port authorities are now strongly advising carriers to avoid contributing even more traffic to this port lockdown chaos by pushing them toward other gateways in the Pacific Northwest.

As if these conditions aren’t stressful enough, let’s tack on the problematic shipping accidents that have been piling up over the last couple of months. Based on the Wall Street Journal’s recent take on this issue, also known as “parametric rolling,” the sheer size of today’s ships combined with the weight of stacks and stacks of boxes have both ultimately decreased the stability of ocean vessels, which is why we’re seeing a spike in the number of container losses.

To learn more about these events as well as this week’s other top stories, like Brexit trade disruptions, air charter contract extensions, and Jeff Bezos’ impending replacement, check out the article highlights below:

Harbor truckers dispute millions of detention, demurrage charges as fees surpass $200

The average charge per container for detention and demurrage fees is $200 or more for 80% of respondents in a survey by the Harbor Trucking Association and TradeLanes, released Monday, conducted on HTA members. That does not include other related charges, such as chassis fees.

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Extra services bring more congestion and vessel delay at San Pedro Bay ports

Extra loaders deployed by transpacific carriers to meet booming import demand have overwhelmed the US gateways of Los Angeles and Long Beach. According to a survey by Alphaliner, the capacity of the 27 ships berthed and 41 at anchorage at the San Pedro Bay ports stood at a massive 579,100 TEU on Monday.

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California boxship queue sets new records

The extraordinary congestion seen at America’s main two west coast ports – now worse than the port lockout days of 2002 and 2004 – is tying up an ever greater swathe of the hard-pressed global liner fleet, with authorities in the US now advising carriers to look at alternative gateways in the Pacific Northwest.

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How Shipping Containers End Up in the Ocean (sub. may be required)

Hundreds of containers have fallen from container ships into ocean waters in recent months, in a flare-up of accidents that can destroy millions of dollars worth of goods, damage vessels and endanger lives and the environment.

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How Brexit is already taking its toll on the U.K. economy

With disruptions at European borders and supply chains perturbed by new tariffs, the U.K. economy has begun to show the negative economic impact of leaving Europe’s single market and customs union at the beginning of the year, several indicators show.

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Forwarders expand air charter portfolios to access capacity (sub. may be required)

Forwarders continue to lock in chartered flights for air cargo shippers, extending trans-Pacific and European charter contracts for the rest of the year as the strong demand and high rate levels show no sign of easing.

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Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Is Stepping Down as CEO

Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will step down from his post in the third quarter of 2021 and be replaced by Andy Jassy, the head of the company’s cloud computing unit. Jassy, 53, for years has been seen as a potential successor to Bezos, who founded the company as an online bookstore from his Seattle garage more than 25 years ago and became one of the world’s wealthiest men.

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