BRi Global News- Important Shipping/Market News Update 10th June


Dear all Valued Customers


South China Congestion Exceeding Suez Blockage Disruption


Quickly deteriorating cargo flows through Southern China after congestion has spread beyond pandemic-hit Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT) is creating a scale of disruption greater than the six-day blockage of the Suez Canal in March.


With eastbound trans-Pacific demand outpacing vessel capacity and ocean reliability already below 25 percent on both China-US and China-Europe trades, analysts warn of fast-widening disruption linked to Yantian.


Loaded export containers are backing up at Yantian as the bottlenecks worsen and spread across South China. It is estimated that Yantian has been unable to handle 357,000 TEU over the past 14 days of disruption. In comparison, the Suez Canal blockage lasted six days and affected 330,000 TEU in total. Another factor is the impact the YICT congestion is having on the other Shenzhen terminals, where productivity is also being limited by COVID-19 measures.


While YICT is now accepting laden exports, slots are only available for containers within seven days of a vessel’s estimated time of arrival, and only after the terminal confirms the advance reservation made by trucking companies for laden container gate-in. The measures are intended to reduce the traffic and yard congestion, but some warn that it could also exacerbate South China container shortages.


Worldwide, space continues to be in short supply. The slow turnaround of vessels at destination ports is the main culprit creating issues with shipping schedules.


This is resulting in more blank sailings at a time when the global supply chain needs more sailings, not fewer.


Major US Ports Status Update


Below is a general overview of the operations BRi USA has been able to gather for most major ports. This list will be updated as information is made available.


Port of Seattle and Tacoma – The Port of Seattle is seeing vessel wait times of 6 days, and Yard Utilization is at 120% of capacity - which is the maximum. All terminals are open for normal operations this week. 


Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach – Delays for port cargo or for cargo to be moved inland by rail have been excessive - railcar turn times average 10 days currently. Currently the Port of Los Angeles is experiencing Yard Utilization at 82% and Vessel Wait Times of 3 - 7 days. Meanwhile, the Port of Long Beach is seeing Yard Utilization at 74%, Vessel Wait Times of 3 - 7 days, and chassis availability is tight. Both ports are seeing 15 - 20 vessels at anchorage waiting for a berth. All terminals are open for normal operations this week. 


Port of Oakland – Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM have joined Zim Integrated Shipping Services in suspending some of their calls to Oakland due to congestion, as port staff meets with terminal operators and the longshore union to expedite the hiring and training of additional dockworkers. Vessels port stays continue to increase in all terminals in the harbor due to the increase in import volumes. Terminals are limited to 2 gangs per vessels on most shifts due to the unavailability on of the needed labour to cover the current demand. The other setback is that shipping is only allowed to work 1 vessel at a time at SSA Terminal. Vessel wait times are 15 - 20 days. All terminals are open for normal operations this week. 


Port of Houston – Currently there vessel wait times averaging 24 hours. The Port is seeing delays due to vessel bunching and large vessel requirements. All terminals are open for normal operations this week. 


Port of New York/New Jersey – The Port of New York and New Jersey had another strong month in April, posting double-digit increases for total container volume, container imports, autos, and setting a new April record for rail volume. Total volume in April was 712,799 TEUs, a 27.3 percent increase from April 2020 and record for the month of April overall. This surge brings their year through April total to 2,848,979 TEUs. All terminals are open for normal operations this week. 


Port of Virginia - The Port of Virginia may be closer to finishing up a $350 million harbor deepening to 55 feet after $83.7 million was allocated for the project in the Biden administration’s 2021–22 budget. If approved by Congress, the funds would help the port complete the project, which would enable it to better handle larger vessels plying the Suez Canal route from Asia. All terminals are open for normal operations this week.


North Carolina Ports - All terminals are open for normal operations this week.


South Carolina Ports - South Carolina Ports had a record May for containers handled at the Port of Charleston, marking the third consecutive month of record volumes, by moving 230,870 TEUs across Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal. This is a 36% increase from a year ago. Charleston is currently seeing vessel wait times of 12 - 24 hours. Truck power continues to be tighter due to increased volume. The port is still seeing severe rail congestion and volumes remain high at both North Charleston and Wando Terminals. Dwells remain high at the rail ramps for exports requiring truck move to the ports. All terminals are open for normal operations this week. 


GA Ports - The Port of Savannah handled 478,620 TEUs in May, an increase of 41.9 percent compared to last year. It was the second busiest month in the port’s history, and the 10th consecutive month of positive year-over-year growth. At this time, the Port of Savannah is experiencing delays of 12 - 36 hours. Truck capacity remains tight. All terminals are open for normal operations this week.


CN and KCS Hope to Receive Merger Approval This Month


Canadian National (CN) and Kansas City Southern are growing increasingly confident that the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) will greenlight its merger after filing a renewed motion for approval.


The two railroads entered a merger agreement on May 29, catching the industry, and particularly CN rival Canadian Pacific (CP), off guard, but the pair have faced issues, including the STB rejecting CN’s first motion of approval for a voting trust


Indian Port Productivity Picks Up After Initial COVID-19 Shock


Ocean carriers offering regular calls out of India’s major public ports have begun to see greater operational flow after the productivity drop they experienced in the aftermath of the initial countrywide COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020.


An analysis of April 2021 port data suggests improvements in all key performance indicators, even as ship visits climbed to a new level, with extra-loader calls adding to the bulge. According to new data, marine terminals in major locations together saw 1,766 vessel calls in April, up 30 percent from the previous year. Of that, container carriers made 513 calls, compared with 368 calls during April 2020.


Serious Threat to UK Customs Duty Revenue as Backlog of Declarations Grows


UK Customs is seeing a potential issue as a delay on the requirement to submit declarations nears its end, and the country still lacks sufficient resources to cover the backlog.


The UK government announced it would provide a six-month (175-day) delay on declarations for goods imported January 1 - July 1, but with the first batch of delayed declarations due on June 25, concerns have been raised over the country’s capacity to process them.


Keeping you updated,

BRi Customer Solutions Team


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