New UK Freight Ferry Port Passes Dress Rehearsal

May 18, 2020

Two of P&O’s chartered freight ferry fleet, the Bore Song and the Norstream, arrived at the new ro-ro terminal on the Thames on Sunday 17 May, where the port team carried out a full test of the marine facilities – including manoeuvring and tying up the ship to test the berth; lowering the ship’s ferry ramp to test the pontoon facilities; and carrying out a full risk assessment.

Port operator Forth Ports said the ship trial was “deemed a success with a smooth execution of all the test points being achieved”.

The ferry terminal, which is due to open next week, has a capacity of 500,000 units and will operate in partnership between the port and P&O Ferries, importing and exporting containers and trailers with food, drink, medicines and other vital supplies to and from Europe.

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Source: Lloyd’s Loading List

Hamburg Q1 Throughput Suffers, But Port Has Faith ‘Things Will Pick Up’

May 18, 2020

Germany’s largest port, Hamburg, saw throughput at its container terminals in the first quarter decline 6.6% decline, year on year, to 2.2m teu.

However, there could be worse to come in quarter two as a result of consumer lockdowns in Europe and the subsequent plunge in transhipment cargo for the Baltic.

Trade with China accounted for around a quarter of Hamburg’s 9.3m teu last year, so volume was particularly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and extended new year holiday lockdown in the Asian manufacturing powerhouse.

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Source: The Load Star

US Retailers Ready to Bury Peak Season Hopes, With no Sign of Quick Recovery

May 18, 2020

US retailers are losing hope of any recovery in the autumn, casting serious doubt on the summer peak season in the transpacific arena.

The latest instalment of Global Port Tracker (GPT), which is published on a monthly basis by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in collaboration with international trade consultancy Hackett Associates, predicts US imports to shrink in double digits from May through August, and for September it projects a 9.3% contraction.

The GPT forecast is for a 20.4% drop in imports for May, followed by declines of 18.6% in June, 19.3% in July and 12% in August.

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Source: The Load Star

Ports of Tacoma And Seattle See 23.5% Volume Drop

May 18, 2020

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) handled 247,675 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in April, a 23.5% year-over-year decline in total container volume.

“The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global supply chain,” NWSA CEO John Wolfe said during a press conference Monday.

Empty containers moved plunged 38.3% year-over-year, from 276,731 TEUs in April 2019 to 170,622 TEUs this year. Full exports declined 17.6% year-over-year in April and full imports decreased 13.9%.

“During the first four months of 2020, we handled 1,036,556 TEUs. As a result, the total cargo volume is down 17.5% over last year through April,” Wolfe said.

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Source: American Shipper

China Waives Retaliatory Tariffs on 79 US Import Categories

May 13, 2020

The announcement to waive tariffs on 79 categories comes as China’s imports from the U.S. fell by nearly 26% in April, casting doubt about the country’s ability to meet its purchasing requirements under the Phase One trade deal.

To fulfill its end of the bargain, China must purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. commodities, namely agricultural goods, over the course of two years. In December, the Chinese government announced tariff waivers on some imports of U.S. soybeans and pork. However, with the global economy fast approaching a recession, or even a depression, that purchasing target remains far away.

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Source: Supply Chain Dive