Maersk posts blockbuster Q2 results — and Q3 looks even better


There’s a saying at public companies: “Underpromise and overdeliver.” A.P. Moller-Maersk has apparently taken that credo to heart in 2021.

At the beginning of this year, it introduced initial guidance for 2021 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $8.5 billion-$10.5 billion.

In May, it raised its EBITDA guidance to $13 billion-$15 billion.

Then on Monday, it hiked it yet again, to $18 billion-$19.5 billion. The midpoint of the new range is double the midpoint of the...

COVID threatens Chinese exports as US struggles to restock inventories


U.S. import demand is stronger than ever as inventory-to-sales ratios remain painfully low. But there’s rising risk to shipping volumes on the supply side of the equation: Most American containerized imports come from China and elsewhere in Asia, where the delta variant is spreading.

There were two big plunges in trans-Pacific volume last year: one supply-side driven, when China locked down in the first quarter; another demand-side driven, when the U.S. locked down in the second quarter.


Audit recommends enhancements for DHS air cargo security programs

A worker secures cover over a large air cargo pallet.

A new audit by Congress’ investigative arm is recommending two Department of Homeland Security agencies tighten up programs designed to protect against terrorists smuggling concealed explosives into the U.S. through air cargo.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration need to do a better job of sharing trend data on shipments and evaluating new screening technology, respectively, the report said.

The Government Accountability Office recommended that CBP...

US company sues ‘collusive’ ocean carriers, alleging price manipulation

A U.S. manufacturer is accusing two of the world’s largest ocean carriers of reneging on its container service contract for imports from Asia so that the carriers can instead charge other shippers exorbitant transportation rates on the spot market.

In a complaint filed on Wednesday with the Federal Maritime Commission, Easton, Pennsylvania-based MCS Industries, a maker of household furnishings, also accuses China’s COSCO Shipping Lines, Switzerland’s MSC Mediterranean Shipping and their...

US ports face peak-season ‘gridlock plus’ as anchorages fill

container ships

The fear voiced by Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka earlier this year was that “we will still have vessels at anchor come midsummer,” when terminals pivot to handling the peak season rush starting around Aug. 1.

It is now midsummer. There are still vessels at anchor — a lot of them.

Logistics consultant Jon Monroe warned Thursday, “Now we have a myriad of charter carriers all introducing vessels into a China-Pacific Southwest service at the same time the large carriers are...

ONE giant leap — 1,432% profit gain

Huge profit gains in ocean shipping have become commonplace this year. But Ocean Network Express’ year-over-year profit increase — 1,432% — is still attention-grabbing.   

For its fiscal 2021 first quarter, ONE recorded profit of $2.559 billion, a $2.39 billion gain from the $167 million posted in the same period last year. 

ONE’s fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.

ONE said in its earnings report Friday that “profit significantly increased” in large part because of the continuing strong...

Are you shipping me?!? $32,000 container move from China to LA

A stack of ocean freight containers with dollar bills added to image to show how expensive shipping has become.

The blows to the global supply chain never seem to end in 2021, resulting in delays that have sharply reduced the system’s effective capacity and put upward pressure on shipping rates that began reaching record highs months ago. Purchasing ocean transportation has become so expensive that many companies with lower-value commodities can’t afford to import anymore, analysts and logisticians say.

Vessel operators have no extra ships to meet a tidal wave of freight demand, containers are in short...

Port Houston reopens terminals to truck traffic

Port Houston is reopening its two largest public container terminals to commercial trucks after closing them Tuesday due to a computer hardware failure.

“Bayport and Barbours Cut Container Terminals are planning to open [Thursday] at 3 p.m. to truck traffic. Check back for another update soon about final gate operation decisions,” port officials Thursday. 

Port of Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther said the port experienced a “major failure of the storage devices that support all...

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