Ship we don’t talk about — contracts edition

By Alison Cusack

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

I wrote a tweet last year that said: “I want to start an underground fight club, but the twist is I teach you how to fight the ocean carriers with cool contracts. I think I’ll call it ‘ship we don’t talk about.’”

I want to start an underground fight club, but the twist is I teach you how to fight the ocean carriers with cool contracts.

I think...

Kramek prepares to lead World Shipping Council

WASHINGTON — Joe Kramek has been appointed president and CEO of the World Shipping Council to replace the retiring John Butler, the container shipping lobby group announced on Wednesday.

Kramek has been WSC’s director of U.S. government relations since March 2021.

“I am deeply honored to assume the role of president and CEO, building on the foundation laid by John Butler,” Kramek said. “Together with the dedicated team at WSC, I look forward to addressing the evolving needs of the shipping...

Port of LA opens promenade to connect community to waterfront

The Port of Los Angeles recently opened a waterfront promenade on its property, giving the nearby community unprecedented access to the water and sweeping views of the port’s activities.

The $77 million Wilmington Waterfront Promenade is the second phase of connecting the Wilmington community, located adjacent to the port, to the waterfront. The 9-acre promenade opened in February after more than three years of construction. Until this project, which port officials have deemed “transformational...

FMC building case for new container data-sharing rules

WASHINGTON — The Federal Maritime Commission is seeking another round of comments from container line operators and their customers as part of its quest to build the case for potential new mandates on container shipment data sharing.

The FMC wants to supplement an information request issued last year along with a May 2023 report on the agency’s Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI). That project, led by Commissioner Carl Bentzel, attempts to measure the extent to which shipment data is...

Panama Canal’s future is dark and stormy, much to shippers’ relief

The end of Panama’s dry season is in sight, and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) plans to welcome more vessels in the coming weeks.

Over six months since the Panama Canal’s reservoir system suffered from the driest October in at least 73 years, the ACP finally sees a path to normalizing operations. On March 25, the ACP allotted three additional transit slots to Panamax vessels, bringing the total number of reservations to 27 per day.

Water levels at Gatun Lake are currently at the low end of...

Descartes: Container import volume trajectory is strong

The container market continued to show strength in March as the pull forward ahead of the Lunar New Year continues to pay dividends at the ports.

According to the monthly report by Descartes, U.S. container import volumes in March climbed by 0.4% from February and over 15% from March 2023. The year-over-year gains can be explained by the timing of the Lunar New Year: This year’s holiday occurred nearly three weeks later than in 2023.

Descartes reported that U.S. container import volumes in...

Ocean freight rates steady despite Baltimore bridge collapse

The March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has significantly disrupted U.S. East Coast supply chains. However, ocean freight container shipping rates have remained relatively stable, according to Xeneta, an ocean freight rate benchmarking and intelligence platform.

Xeneta’s data reveals that average spot rates from the Far East to the East Coast, including Baltimore, have fallen by 1% since the bridge collapse, standing at $5,421 per forty-foot equivalent unit. When...

Rerouting trucks and ships away from Baltimore: What early data shows

As the days add up after the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, companies that gather data from trucks and supply chains are beginning to get an idea of where trucks are rerouting in the catastrophe’s wake. Data on ship rerouting is less conclusive.

While some of that data is clear, a lot remains murky as shippers and carriers figure out how to loosen the logistical choke points the collapse created.

One of the clearest data series in the market, because it is fed by decisions...

Demand shocks keeping aging fleet afloat, argue shipowners

Ship recycling has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years, per a recent report by the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO). 

BIMCO — a trade group representing shipowners — states that capacity has been overtaxed by the Red Sea crisis, which has forced shipping lines to take a longer route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. Prior to the emergence of this latest choke point, BIMCO points to the impact of Western sanctions on Russian oil and coal, which similarly stressed tanker and...

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