Florida ports and railroads eye Hurricane Ian

An oil tanker vessels sails into a harbor. A city landscape of tall buildings is in the background.

The ports along Florida’s Gulf-facing coastline and eastern U.S. freight railroads are taking steps to safeguard their operations ahead of Hurricane Ian, which is expected to reach west central Florida sometime midweek.

“Port Tampa Bay is coordinating closely with federal, state and local agencies, as well as the maritime community to prepare for and respond to potential impacts of Hurricane Ian,” Port Tampa Bay said in a Sunday notice. “As always, the Port’s priorities are safety of life,...


Ports of Halifax, Saint John brace for approaching Fiona

A lighthouse at a pier's edge stands watch over a harbor.

Hurricane Fiona continues its march northward up the Atlantic Ocean, and the Canadian ports of Halifax and Saint John are preparing for its arrival.

“We are actively monitoring the forecast related to Hurricane Fiona and communicating with our partners. Our port community is well equipped to make operational decisions which will prioritize health and safety of our waterfront workers and visitors,” Port Saint John spokesperson Jane Burchill told FreightWaves. Port Saint John is in New Brunswick. 



West Coast ports sink to lowest share of US imports since early 1980s

photo of a container port crane

The West Coast was the destination of choice for Asian exports in the initial stage of the COVID buying boom — before container-ship queues stymied the ports. 

Since then, volumes have been redirected to the East and Gulf Coasts due to fears of both California congestion and West Coast port labor strife. There has been a major shift in cargo flows. East and Gulf coast ports now boast significantly more imports than West Coast ports.

Best month ever for East/Gulf coast ports

Data from McCown...


197 Johan Woxenius, professor of Maritime Transport Management and Logistics at University of Gothenburg

It’s difficult to see the consequences of the current crises

Finally, an in-person interview again! But, of course, there is a difference between having a screen in between my guest and me.

I went to the University of Gothenburg and met Johan Woxenius, a professor of Maritime Transport Management and Logistics and asked him about maritime transport in the logistical chains.

Johan thinks we have a few turbulent years ahead of us. So many crises at the same time that we are in the middle of...


FreightWaves SONAR data revealed global recession months before FedEx’s earnings

A container ship stacked with containers

In a note last Friday, September 16, J.P. Morgan reminded us that back in June it warned about a concerning drop in container volume out of China, based on FreightWaves SONAR Container Atlas data. 

Part of the J.P. Morgan note.

The firm titled its June 3 report “Watching the China Freight Wave,” which covered the slowdown in container markets and forewarned about a slowing U.S. domestic freight market.  

Using the same data, on June 7, FreightWaves wrote an article titled “U.S. import demand is...


Atlantic Canada braces for Hurricane Fiona

The ports of Halifax and Saint John are in the path of Hurricane Fiona, which could reach Atlantic Canada Friday evening.

Fiona is traveling northward off the East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean after knocking power out in Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The storm has grown to a Category 4 hurricane, with wind speeds as high as 130 mph close to its eye, according to The Washington Post.

“Fiona is expected to affect portions of Atlantic Canada as a powerful hurricane-force cyclone late Friday and Saturday,...


Mexico’s biggest container port reopens after earthquake

Mexico’s largest container port has resumed operations after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake rocked the country’s Pacific Coast region Monday.

Officials for the Port of Manzanillo said that operations restarted at 8 a.m. Wednesday for all types of commercial and tourist vessels. The Port of Manzanillo had been closed to operations since noon Sunday in preparation for Tropical Storm Madeline, according to Noticias Manzanillo.

The earthquake that occurred just after 1 p.m. Monday left two people dead in...


Massive 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Mexico Pacific Coast region

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico’s central Pacific Coast region Monday afternoon causing at least one death, as well as major damage to buildings, roads and other infrastructure, according to early reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. Mexico’s national seismological agency later upgraded the magnitude to 7.7 in a press conference on Monday.

The earthquake’s epicenter was about 40 miles from the Port of Manzanillo, the country’s largest and busiest...


Port Houston sets container record in August

Texas Gulf Coast ports got a boost in August from imports of steel and exports of crude oil and petroleum products.

Port Houston sets another monthly TEU record

For the second time this year, Port Houston hit a record for monthly container volumes, handling 382,842 twenty-foot equivalent units in August. That surpassed the previous monthly record for containers set in May, when the port handled 335,000 TEUs.

The monthly total for August was also a 20% year-over-year (y/y) increase compared to the...


Fall in container spot rates ‘much steeper,’ ‘less orderly’ than expected

photo of containers

Shipping liner executives predicted a continued drop in spot rates during their latest quarterly calls, while offering soothing assurances to investors that the fall would be gradual. Maersk CFO Patrick Jany said it would be a “progressive erosion,” not “a one-day drop.” Matson CEO Matt Cox emphasized rates were “adjusting slowly” in an “orderly marketplace” and not “falling off a cliff.”

The decline may indeed be fairly steady, as opposed to the sudden, violent swings seen in bulk commodity...


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