The US truck driver shortage problem has been a long-standing one for decades. This scarcity was, however, further aggravated when a mandate that obliged the electronic logging of truckers’ activities went into effect in December 2017 — lowering trucking productivity and effectively draining already-scarce resources. Prior to implementation, the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate was not met with no resistance. Proponents said such a measure would improve road safety, whereas opponents argued whether the pros would outweigh the cons.
Another year has come and gone. From the fire that broke out on board the Maersk Honam and the peak in the US trucking shortage to the US-China trade war, pin-pointing 2018’s biggest or most impactful event would be a challenging task. How did 2018 shape up? What can we expect from 2019? How big of a role will automation play this year? We speak to four of the industry’s leading experts to get their insights.
Cosco’s plan to leapfrog Maersk as the world’s largest shipping line is no secret. And may industry players be warned—do not take Cosco’s ambitions lightly for it’s more of an advisory than it is a desire. In the past two years since the Chinese government merged China Shipping with China Ocean Shipping to form the current Cosco Shipping, the liner has undertaken a series of investments and expansions as evidence that it’s pressing on strong with its ambitious agenda.
Disclaimer: There has been no official confirmation by the ICC regarding these possible changes. This post was put together based on several online sources. Sources: Global Negotiator Trade Finance Global Cargo Risk Zack Alami As we approach the end of the decade, preparations to introduce a revised set of Incoterms are starting to intensify. Come January 1st, 2020, industries dealing with the international transportation such as the ocean freight industry will bid farewell to the current version of Incoterms, and ring in the new.
Like all other industries, ocean freight too has its shipping season. During this time, container shipping rates increase and for a few months, it gets substantially harder to secure cargo space on shipping vessels. The shipping peak season runs from around July/August to October every year. During this time, shippers and importers are likely to either have had their cargo prepared and booking secured in advance, or prepare to pay a copious amount of money to make sure their merchandise is shipped.
Trade war impact on shipping Over the past few months, the world has witnessed a war of words and trade tariffs flying across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, as well across north American borders. As the US threatens full-scale tariffs on all imports from China, if you haven’t already done so, it’s probably a good time to think about how these can and will ultimately filter down to the different parties in the ocean freight industry.
When talking about the digitalization of the ocean freight industry, one common sentiment held by both the media and industry experts is that the race towards the digitalization of the sector has begun. Slowly (in comparison with other industries) but surely, technology has permeated the industry’s main processes and is a key focus of important players. There are, however, differences in opinions regarding certain aspects of digitalization, such as its advantages and disadvantages, the opportunities and challenges the sector faces upon full adaptation, and how digitalization will redefine the sector over the next five or ten years.
Shipping carriers implement Emergency Bunker Surcharge Several of the world’s top shipping lines have announced they will be imposing Emergency Bunker Surcharges (EBS) in response to rising fuel costs in recent months. These include the three-largest carriers Maersk, MSC, and CMA CGM, whose total box capacities make up over 45% of the global market. The latest round of EBS have already come into effect (from 1 June) on several trade lanes around the world, whereas FMC-controlled routes get a 30-day cushion and will come into effect on 1 July.
The Federal Maritime Commission has launched a formal investigation into port demurrage, detention, and free time practices. As part of the investigation, terminal operators and ocean common carriers will be called on to submit relevant data and information. The investigation, launched last month, is in response to a petition filed by a coalition of shippers, associations and trucking organizations in January. The coalition claims some of these fees are unfair because certain circumstances mean their ability to retrieve their cargo and return equipment is out of their control.
Ocean Network Express The world’s newest shipping line officially began operations on April 1st, 2018. As new as it is, the members of which it’s made up are foreign to none in the shipping industry. The Ocean Network Express, or ONE, is a result of the merger of Japan’s formerly-three largest shipping lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line). The start of container shipping operations this month is in line with the initial schedule laid out when the company was officially established on July 7, 2017.