China cruise cancellations, ‘radical’ ship cuts hit US export market

Shipping containers at the container terminal at the Port of Long Beach-Port of Los Angeles complex, in Los Angeles, California, April 7, 2021.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

An increase in empty, or canceled, voyages from Asia to the United States has caused some of the largest domestic ports, including the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Savannah, to reduce their ability to ship exports. The decline in ships coming from Asia on the Transpacific route has created an increase in the wait time, or dwell time, of export containers at the Port of Long Beach.

Supply chain research firm Project44 tracks exports from “gate-in to load on board,” said Joshua Brazil, Project44’s vice president of supply chain insights, and that metric hit 18.33 days at the Port of Long Beach on Nov. 10.

“We are projecting 28 empty sailings for Q4, which represents approximately 15% of our quarterly ship capacity,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “As shipping lines reduce their ship calls in the form of empty sailings, this reduces the capacity for outbound volume. That said, we continue to prioritize exports over empties, which is one reason empties are ticking up on the terminal.”

Cordero said the port expects loaded imports to continue to decline for the rest of the calendar year.

Carriers ‘release’ capacity as freight rates crater

Ocean operators have increased the number of sailings canceled in an effort to address that drop in ocean order also to lay the floor sea ​​freight price which has fallen.

Shipping firm HLS wrote in a note to customers, “More and more operators have agreed to a strategy to “take capacity to meet demand”, although no one wants to be the first to suspend services, potentially losing market share.

HLS warned of more “radical” capacity reductions from THE Alliance (sea alliance Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, and ONE), pointing out that the 2M Alliance (consisting of Maersk Line and MSC) has suspended a third of its West Coast services. Empty sailings and service suspensions to the US East Coast are also expected to increase.

Sea-Intelligence wrote in its new empty sailings report that it had discovered several unannounced cancellations for the calendar week period 42-52 in the past two weeks.

“Empty sailings have increased dramatically in the Transpacific, but not so much in Asia-Europe,” said Alan Murphy, CEO at Sea-Intelligence.

There were 34 additional empty sailings on the Asia-North American West Coast, and 16 on the Asia-North American East Coast, according to the data, with operators announcing an additional seven to 11 empty sailings in all but five weeks of the period analyzed through the end of the year he said.

But now, for weeks 51 and 52, the carrier has scheduled no empty sailings on the Asia-North America West Coast route, which Murphy said is a reflection of the carrier’s uncertainty about how to approach the potential New Year before China. rush

“It seems to be more of a wait-and-see approach, in terms of whether there will be a seasonal spike in demand,” he added.

On the Asia-Northern Europe route, Sea-Intelligence only saw an additional six empty sailings, and on the Asia-Mediterranean route added four empty sailings.

Record end for US import container volume

Rail is caught up in the ocean problem

East Coast and Gulf ports are congested

The encourage trade to the East Coast and the Gulf continues with the increase of ships waiting to leave the selected port.

According to MarineTraffic, the Port of Savannah continues to see the largest number of vessels waiting to exit the port limits at 30, waiting an average of 5.7 days to enter the port. The number of ships waiting at the port was more than 40 in July. In September, Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) executive director Griff Lynch said it was beginning to see signs of a correction in the market.

MarineTraffic is currently seeing a decrease in incoming vessels. “While port congestion in Savannah remains high, since November 7 we have seen a reduction in the number of vessels served,” said Alex Charvalias, MarineTraffic’s supply chain in-transit visibility lead.

Export dwell times at the Port of Savannah have shown some recent improvements, according to port metrics. The average export container was 6.82 days, down from 8.34 days in the second week of October and 7.35 days on November 1.

In the Gulf, the Port of Houston started on its own long-lived container costs next month to free up terminal space for incoming containers. The port has benefited from the diversion of West Coast trade. MarineTraffic is posted on LinkedIn chart a shows the number of ships waiting in the Port of Houston. The average weekly ship waiting this week is 14, waiting an average of 6.3 days.

The CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map data provider with artificial intelligence and predictive analytics company Everstream Analytics; global freight booking platform Freightos, creator of the Freightos Baltic Dry Index; US OL logistics provider; supply chain intelligence platform FreightWaves; the Blume Global supply chain platform; third party logistics provider Orient Star Group; global maritime analytics provider MarineTraffic; maritime visibility data company Project44; maritime transport data company MDS Transmodal UK; sea ​​and air freight speed benchmarking and market analytics platform Xeneta; leading provider of research and analysis Sea-Intelligence ApS; Logistics Worldwide Crane; DHL Global Forwarding; freight logistics provider Seko Logistics; planet, global provider, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions, and ITS Logistics provides port and rail drainage services at 22 coastal ports and 30 rail ramps throughout North America.

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