Ship fuel prices jump, spread widens. Is ‘scrubber’ revival nigh?

ship fuel

One year ago — which seems like an eternity ago — no one in ocean shipping was talking about COVID. They were talking, ad nauseum, about fuel. About a massive spike in fuel prices due to a regulatory “tsunami” that would hammer liner companies’ 2020 financial results, inflate the cost of imported goods and steer winners and losers among shipping stocks.

It didn’t happen, courtesy of COVID. Instead, the price of marine fuel collapsed. Shipowners and cargo shippers actually saved money on fuel in...

Port of Long Beach pads record book

The Port of Long Beach’s busiest year ever is in the books, with more than 8.1 million container units moved in 2020.

Two other records were achieved: December, with 815,885 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved, was the busiest month ever and Q4 was the busiest quarter in the port’s 110-year history with 2,406,010 TEUs handled.

The port said that despite “economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing trade war with China,” it handled a total of 8,113,315 TEUs in 2020,...

154 Reshma Nilofer, Maritime Pilot, Kolkata Port Trust, India

Welcome to the 154th episode of the Shipping Podcast with Reshma Nilofer, the first female maritime Pilot in India and one of few in the world. Reshma takes us on a journey on how to reach your dream goals. She is a powerful woman and a role model to many.

Reshma Nilofer was the first female maritime river pilot, and the current Indian President awarded her with the “Woman Power Award” in 2018. The Woman Power Award is an annual award given by the Ministry of Women and Child Development of...

Seroka: Port of LA ‘stayed the course’ during difficult 2020

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka delivered a State of the Port address Thursday that reflected on Americans’ resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic while looking ahead to economic resurgence.

Seroka said that despite the “unexpected events” of 2020, the port accomplished or significantly advanced all of the priorities he laid out in his address last year. Focus on such priorities as workplace diversity, supply chain optimization, drayage efficiency, zero-emissions equipment...

US Maritime Administration chief resigns post after Capitol riots

U.S. Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby left his position last week in the wake of the riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Buzby was nominated to lead the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd), the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation responsible for the country’s waterborne transportation system, by President Donald Trump in 2017. He became the second leader within the department to resign as a result of the riots after DOT Secretary Elaine Chao resigned last week.

“I no longer believe that...

Inside California’s colossal container-ship traffic jam

California container terminal

In the movie “Falling Down,” the character played by Michael Douglas is stranded in a Los Angeles traffic jam. He abandons his car, starts walking with briefcase in hand and ultimately has a mental breakdown. Cargo shippers trying to get their containers through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach can relate.

The pileup of container ships offshore in San Pedro Bay and the congestion onshore at the terminals have reached epic proportions.

The situation could get even more maddening in the...

Port Houston imports up 26% in December

Despite the weighty impact of the coronavirus on U.S. port volumes last spring and summer, Port Houston narrowly missed a record-setting year for container traffic.

During its record 2019, Port Houston handled 2,990,175 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Thanks to a resurgence of imports that began in late summer, Port Houston moved 2,989,347 TEUs in 2020.

The container influx continued in early winter. December’s volume was up 4% year-over-year, from 253,830 TEUs in 2019 to 264,626 in 2020. 


Deutsche Post DHL posts record 2020 bottom-line results

Deutsche Post DHL (OTCMKTS: DPSGY) said Wednesday that 2020 operating profits hit record levels and significantly surpassed its original guidance for the year, as demand for the company’s services surged due to the impact of the novel coronavirus on global ordering behavior and a positive environment for freight services in general.

Operating profit, reported as earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), came in at $5.88 billion, exceeding the original EBIT estimates of $4.9 billion to $5.3...

Commentary: Electronic bills of lading necessary but not sufficient

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a nonprofit formed in 2019, has been at the forefront of helping the ocean vessel sector pivot from paper to digital documents and improve the scheduling of containerized shipments. Of course, 2020 saw a lot of pivoting due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in e-commerce-related imports. The DCSA has...

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