Ocean carriers hold all the cards in contract talks with shippers

cards contract rates

It’s annual-contract negotiation season for U.S. importers — and the hand they’ve been dealt couldn’t be worse. The deck is heavily stacked in ocean carriers’ favor.

Incredibly, Asia-West Coast spot rates are now nearing a base rate of $5,000 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU), not including a few thousand dollars of extra charges slapped on top. There’s talk that spot rates could stay strong...


260 containers lost, 65 damaged in Maersk Eindhoven at-sea mishap

A.P. Møller – Maersk has confirmed 260 containers were lost overboard and an additional 65 damaged on the deck of the Eindhoven on Wednesday.

“As previously reported, the Maersk Eindhoven experienced a loss of engine propulsion for three to four minutes while sailing 45 nautical miles off northern Japan in heavy seas,” a spokesman said Friday. “The loss of maneuverability resulted in severe rolling with 260 containers overboard and 65 containers damaged on deck. 

“Customers were advised...


Hapag-Lloyd CEO: COVID, congestion, container shortage form ‘perfect storm’

All eyes are on California’s San Pedro Bay. Hapag-Lloyd focused on the congestion crisis at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach during a virtual press conference conducted Thursday from Germany with media outlets around the globe. 

“Today there is fairly extreme port congestion,” Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said, sharing an image crowded with dots representing ships anchored in San Pedro Bay waiting to berth. Jansen did not count the dots, but Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka...


Carriers eye alternate ports as congestion at LA-Long Beach tightens

As the epic congestion at the largest marine gateway complex in the US shows no signs of abating, container lines are looking increasingly for west coast alternatives and are diverting vessels, or changing the order of port calls.  
Transpacific sailings that avoid Los Angeles and Long Beach (LA-LB) are arriving, and Oakland and the Tacoma-Seattle Northwest Seaport alliance have reported advanced talks with carriers about new services. 
“Carriers are diverting some vessels or changing the order...


US FMC orders carriers and terminals to explain ‘excessive’ D&D charges

US marine regulatory agency the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is to order container lines serving Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York, and box terminal operators in the same ports, to explain how they calculate detention and demurrage charges. 
FMC commissioner Rebecca Dye, who has been leading the organisation’s investigation into the application of detention and demurrage fees, will issue the orders to determine if “legal obligations related to detention and demurrage practices are being...


62 ships at anchor in San Pedro Bay on Wednesday

Sixty-two vessels, including 20 container ships destined for the Port of Los Angeles, were at anchor in San Pedro Bay early Wednesday afternoon.

“If we do nothing, we will still have vessels at anchor come midsummer,” Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka said during a press conference Wednesday. 

“Under normal conditions, we usually don’t have any container ships at anchor. Before the import surge, we would see 10 to 12 container vessels at berth on a typical day here at the Port of LA....


Regulator to order container detention reports from ocean carriers

A federal maritime regulator is ordering the world’s largest containership companies to provide her agency with container detention and demurrage information to ensure they’re meeting their legal obligations.

The orders, announced Wednesday by Commissioner Rebecca Dye of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), are being issued under Dye’s authority as the fact-finding officer for the FMC’s Fact Finding 29, “International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement.”

Ocean carriers operating in an...


Snapshot: Port volumes as muddy as hell

Preliminary port throughput data for the world’s largest 25 container ports has been published by Alphaliner this week.  
The headline is that 13 of the top 25 saw growth, and 12 saw box volumes shrink – we should be wary of extrapolating this to the wider port market however, as it is still unclear whether their gains are the result of market growth or more simply the result of smaller ports’ losses (check Dalian below). 
Some quay points 
Chinese ports consolidated their position in the …



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