‘March madness’ at LA port amid ‘once in a lifetime’ surge

The flood of imports into the Port of Los Angeles is relentless. More records were set in March. And volumes are expected to remain at peak levels — with container ships to remain stuck at anchor — until June.

“I would describe this as the port version of March Madness,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka during a press conference on Wednesday. He described last month’s import flows as “remarkable” and a “once-in-a-lifetime event.”

‘March madness’ at LA port amid ‘once in a lifetime’ surge

1.9m teu of capacity from Suez Canal blockage set to swamp ports

According to supply chain visibility company project44 the 1.9m teu in capacity held by the six day closure of the Suez Canal from 23 – 29 March is set to swamp ports that were already at the limits of their capacity following the boom in the container trades from the second half of last year.

The largest volumes are, not surprisingly, set to hit some of the main hubs on the Asia – Europe trade.

According to project44 there is some 370,000 teu of capacity were en route to Singapore, with 83 vessels representing 299,310 teu already anchored or at berth as of 12 April.

Chief Executive of the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore Quah Ley Hoon said on Monday thaPot the world’s largest transhipment hub was readying itself as a catch-up port to handle the anticipated shipping backlog.


World’s First Hydrogen Cargo Vessel Set for Paris Debut

The world’s first commercial cargo transport vessel operating on hydrogen will occur on the Seine River, according to  Flagships, a European project.

Commercial operations will begin in  2021.

“The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise,” says Matthieu Blanc, director of CFT., in a statement. “As part of the Flagships project, we are happy to be leading the way on reducing emissions from transport and demonstrating the superior features of hydrogen fuel cells in waterborne applications.”


Vessel-hungry MSC set to take Maersk’s crown as world’s largest box line

Based on box ship orderbooks and its aggressive purchasing in the second-hand market, MSC is set to usurp 2M partner Maersk next year to become the world’s largest container line.

According to Alphaliner data, the capacity gap between the two carriers currently stands at around 225,000 teu, with the Danish carrier operating a fleet of 709 ships for 4,121,964 teu, while MSC’s 588-ship fleet has a capacity of 3,897,002 teu.

However, the consultant said, MSC’s two-pronged owned fleet growth strategy of hoovering up second-hand tonnage alongside its large orderbook will see Maersk become the junior partner in the 2M alliance “sometime in 2022”.

“MSC is behind orders for at least 35 big deepsea vessels, with a combined capacity of nearly 660,000 teu, while Maersk’s current orderbook only includes 16 ‘regional’ ships, for 41,674 teu,” said Alphaliner.


How the pandemic impacted demand at FedEx, Clorox and C&S Wholesale

Clorox’s Rick McDonald decided to ramp up the company’s supply chain, as soon as he started hearing the news reports of COVID-19 in Asia.

“We started hiring people. We added shifts. We took our finished days of inventory targets up,” McDonald, senior vice president and chief product supply officer, said during an online session of the ProMat conference Tuesday. “We brought on incremental contract manufacturers for Clorox disinfecting wipes to try and build more inventory.”

Clorox’s leadership was already talking about a potential impact from coronavirus on its February 2020 earnings call.

“We are taking up inventory levels to be prepared for the potential increase in demand for some of our bleach products,” Clorox CFO Kevin Jacobsen said last year.