Supply chain outlook and port updates
Global container transport is still facing bottlenecks at all major ports used in the wine, spirits and beverage trade. Equipment supply shortages are still a reality, especially in new world wine areas and securing bookings for vessel space can take longer when ocean carriers skip port calls or make sailing schedule changes. Any additional work stoppages for bad weather or labor strikes only exacerbate the situation and cause further delays. Adjusting lead times and providing advance forecasting on upcoming shipments is still strongly recommended.
View posted vessel wait times, port updates and trade lane information in the link below or here at the port updates page
Port of New York / New Jersey introduces long-dwelling container fee
The Port of New York and New Jersey has announced a container fee on any long-dwelling import or export containers starting in September to put pressure on carriers to collect empty containers to make room for the higher volume of imports coming in. The $100 Container Imbalance Fee is published on the Port Authority website tariff page
and will be applied on a quarterly basis to ocean carriers, although we expect carriers will pass along any additional costs through to shippers.
Capacity to store and receive empty containers has been a massive frustration for shippers and truckers at the Port of New York / New Jersey for some time, but is worsened with the current summer volumes. The terminals are at capacity and are blaming ocean carriers for not loading enough empties to free up more space.
Truckers cannot re-use chassis equipment to pick up a new load when there is no place that will take the empty return. PNCT and Global terminals are extremely congested already and cannot process all arriving trucks on a daily basis. APM terminal has limited appointments for pick up and terminations.
With increased volumes this summer as cargo has shifted from West Coast, shippers can expect to see additional charges and delays as providers cannot get into terminals to pick up before the last free day.
The situation has become so untenable that industry groups pressured Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairmain Maffei to visit the port and address concerns with carriers. Read about that visit in this article
from the American Journal of Transportation.
Please reach out to your representative for more details on lead times for drayage out of this region.
UK Port and Rail Strikes
The port of Felixstowe has announced 8 consecutive days of industrial action starting Sunday August 21st to Monday August 29th, 2022. Both the port and the union will resume talks this week in effort to avert a strike. The other two main ports in southern UK, London Gateway and Southampton, have already concluded labor agreements and intend to continue to operate as normal.
Liverpool’s port union potentially could vote for industrial action as well, but this would not take place until end of August. If the port strikes are not averted, this would add to the current supply disruption on UK cargo flows due to current rail strike planned for August 18th and 20th, 2022. More about the planned strikes in this article from the BBC
Europe Heat Waves
Europe is facing a fourth heat wave this year with extreme temperatures forecasted this week. Madrid and Bordeaux are expected to see temperatures near or above 38°C / 100° F. This will require additional protection measures at the time of container loading to protect sensitive products.
USA Rail Update
A rail strike was averted last month when President Biden issued an executive order and created a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to intervene in the stalled negotiations, pushing back any possible strike action to mid-September if an agreement is not reached. More background on the negotiations and challenges in the rail supply chain in this article from CNN Business https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/15/business/railroad-strike-threat/index.html
Trucker Protests at California port terminals delay cargo flows
Trucker protests over California AB5 disrupted terminal gate operations at the Port of Oakland during the week of July 18-22. Protests also were held at Los Angeles and Long Beach but with lesser impact. Read more background about the impact to supply chain and the legal action from the port commissioners are seeking against the protestors in this article from Freightwaves
US West Coast Port Labor Progress
Longshoremen work continues while negotiations continue on a new master contract. In a positive sign, both parties have come to an agreement over health benefits. They will still need to work together on the contentious issue of terminal automation. Read the update from American Journal of Transportation
For more information on impact to active or upcoming orders, please reach out to your representative to discuss your shipping concerns.