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Global Freight Logistics Specialists

Inter-Sped are the leaders in the transport and logistics industry in Africa, providing unrivalled skills in freight forwarding, customs brokering and warehousing. With offices located in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and partners based around the world, our dedicated team offer each and every client personalised service across a range of freight logistics areas

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Founded in 1985, our shareholders and directors hold experience in freight forwarding that spans over three decades. All our shareholders and directors play an integral role in day to day operations, taking us from merely knowing the business to truly living the brand.

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1. Customer Centric
a. The freight company in South Africa that see’s customer service and communication as a KPI.

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a. Financially sound freight forwarders with an innovation mindset. Secure, and easily able to pivot for innovation or necessity.

4. Quality Supply Chain
a. Our network of partners and suppliers across the world ensure less risk and more savings on time and cost.

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Latest News

Freight & Logistics Update 18th April 2024

Good Day Clients & Partners,

Please find below the latest Freight & Logistics Update.  As always, the Inter-Sped team are ready to go the extra mile for you – so don’t hesitate to contact us.

SOUTH AFRICA    

DURBAN

The port reported windy weather during the week with no impact to operations.

  • Pier 1 : 4-5 days delay – Productivity remains below target. Estimated recovery in 3-4 weeks.
  • Pier 2 : 21-25 days delay – slight improvement from previous weeks. Estimated recovery remains 3-5 months.
  • Durban Point : 3 days

 

CAPE TOWN

The port experienced strong winds during the week which will has had an impact to operations and will likely lead to additional delays faced.

  • CTCT : 2-3 days delay – Full recovery still estimated at 2 weeks.
  • MPT : 2-3 days delay – Low productivity due to MHC (mobile harbour crane) breakdowns although some improvements seen.

 

PORT ELIZABETH

The port has reported some windy weather with no impact to operations during the week.

  • PECT : 0-1 day delay – Productivity meeting targets.
  • NCT : 3-4 days delay – Restoration of 3 berth operation and all 8 cranes operational.

 

AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS    

ANGOLA

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Luanda port.

 

GHANA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Tema port.

 

IVORY COAST

  • No berthing delays experienced at Abidjan port.

 

KENYA

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Mombasa port.

 

MAURITIUS

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Port Louis.

 

MOZAMBIQUE

  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at Maputo port.

 

NAMIBIA

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.

 

NIGERIA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Apapa port. Please take note of road maintenance taking place on the Ijora / Apapa bridge. These challenges will result in delays in container transfers to and from the port and may result in additional charges being raised.

 

TANZANIA

  • Berthing delays of 15 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port. Delays are due to vessels bunching.

 

NORTH AMERICA    

CANADA

Montreal

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

Toronto

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.

Vancouver

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port. All marine terminals in Vancouver continue to manage through heavy congestion, resulting from an inadequate supply of rail cars from major Class 1 railways.

 

USA

Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. Berth congestion has eased overall, and the closure at the Port of Baltimore does not affect Norfolk berth congestion as far as container berths are concerned.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 7 days. Dock construction at Wando Welch terminal started on March 11, 2024, reducing berth space from 3 to 2 berths for one year. Berths will be given on first come, first serve basis.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day. Bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico continues to cause closures at ports south of Houston and delays on arrival, on short notice.
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is upto 1 day. Terminal 18 will be closed on April 12, 19 and 26, 2024.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day. OICT will be closed both shifts on 4/15 due to pending blockade actions.

 

LATIN AMERICA    

BRAZIL

  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Santos port.

 

NORTH WEST CONTINENT, UNITED KINGDOM, MEDITERRANEAN    

BELGIUM

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Antwerp port.

 

FRANCE

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Le Havre port. CNMP/GMP/TNMSC: 24 hours strike preannounced for Monday 08/04 did not materialize as the French government agreed to a meeting with the Union. Meeting will be held in the week, depending on the outcome further strike announcements are possible.

 

GERMANY

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Hamburg port and 2 days at Bremerhaven port.
  • CTA: Terminal started with shore power installations beginning of March, which slightly reduces berth availability, no impact to operations for this week.
  • CTB: Ongoing shore power construction presents low challenges to operations for all piers at CTB as the construction moves around the vessel arrivals. CTB closed one of the three deep sea berths due to old Gantry crane deconstruction, currently no impact to operations.

 

ITALY

  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Genova port and 9 days at La Spezia port.

 

NETHERLANDS

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Rotterdam port.

 

SPAIN

  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Barcelona port.

 

SWEDEN

  • No berthing delays experienced at Gothenburg port.

 

TURKEY

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Istanbul port.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

 

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at London Gateway port. Installation of recently delivered new Gantry cranes in progress. Second batch of cranes will leave Singapore by end of May. Disruption to Pilot service due to high winds earlier this week but fortunately, limited impact to vessel arrivals due to some gaps to the line-up.

 

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT & MIDDLE EAST       

INDIA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Nhava Sheva port and 1 day at Chennai port.

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Jebel Ali port.

 

ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)   

HONG KONG

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

 

KOREA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Busan port.

 

MALAYSIA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Port Kelang.

 

NANSHA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.

 

QINGDAO

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at this port.

 

SHANGHAI / NINGBO

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Ningbo port and 3 days at Shanghai port. Delays are due to bunching of vessels and bad weather conditions.

 

SHEKOU / YANTIAN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Shekou and Yantian ports.

 

XIAMEN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

 

XINGANG

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.

 

SINGAPORE

  • Berthing delays of 3 days being experienced at this port. Delays experienced due to bunching of vessels, bad weather and yard congested. FCL containers transshipping in Singapore have expected delays of 2-3 weeks.

 

TAIWAN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.

 

THAILAND

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Bangkok port.

 

VIETNAM

  • Berthing delays of 1 day experienced at Ho Chi Minh and Hai Phong ports.

 

NEWS ARTICLES    

Transnet counters threat to imminent port privatisation

Date: 08th April 2024

South Africa’s logistics utility has confirmed that it has filed an opposing affidavit against a bid by the ports operator of AP Moller–Maersk to interdict the privatisation process at the Port of Durban of International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI).

This emerged after it was reported that APM Terminals (APMT) had filed papers at the Durban High Court, citing that it had not been allowed a proper, fair and compliant opportunity against the Filipino concession company’s bid.

This is despite the Manila-based operator winning the contract last year as the “Preferred Bidder” for the 25-year joint venture with Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) to develop and upgrade the terminal.

According to APMT, the bidding process started in 2022 but they only heard about ICTSI’s successful bid on March 1. However, ICTSI’s successful bid was announced last July.

Should APMT successfully interdict its rival against rolling out the management of Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2, it will throw a spanner in the works of long-awaited privatisation getting under way this month at the regularly congested port.

In response to APMT’s court bid, South Africa’s state-owned logistics utility said: “In processes of this nature, it is to be expected that a bidder would find reason to contest an outcome that is not in their favour. “Transnet believes that it followed due process in appointing the preferred partner for its DCT Pier 2, and will allow the legal process to take its course.”

Business Day reported that AP Moller–Maersk, the Danish operators of Maersk, had said: “We have a long history of doing business in SA and have a vested interest in improving port operations. “In that regard, we have in the past, and continue in the present, to assist Transnet where we can.” [1]

 

Fierce wind disrupts cargo at the Port of Cape Town

Date: 08th April 2024

Severe storms disrupted container movement at the Port of Cape Town on Sunday when wind speeds of up to 110 kilometres an hour forced ship-to-shore (STS) cranes to shut down automatically.

According to Freight News contributor Clifford Evans, one of the STS units recorded wind speed of about 60 knots at the port. It brought container movement to a halt as the hoisting and parallel movement of containers is too dangerous in high-speed winds.

Apart from STS cranes shutting down, swell surges added to the inclement conditions at the port. Despite the loss of throughput at the container terminal, the port had not closed down as had been reported by some sources, logistics utility Transnet said.

Sunday’s extreme weather marked a peak period of violent squalls that devastated large parts of the Cape, ripping through informal settlements, dangerously dispersing corrugated iron sheets through the air and fanning fires, one of which laid waste the historic 300-year-old Blaauklippen manor house in Stellenbosch. Cape Town International Airport suspended flights because of the adverse conditions. An inbound cruise liner at the port, the Ambience, with 1 400 passengers on board, colliding with a cargo vessel, the Grey Fox.

Transnet National Ports Authority has said that marine services at the port are currently operational. Although the provincial government braced itself for more extreme weather on Monday, April 8, Evans said the storm seemed to be subsiding. “It looks like the worst of it has passed. It’s some of the fiercest wind we have experienced in recent times,” Evans said. [2]

 

End-May deadline to restore full access to Port of Baltimore

Date: 12th April 2024

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District expects to open a limited access channel, 280 feet wide and 35 feet deep, to the Port of Baltimore by the end of this month.

This is according to the latest update from the USACE which says the channel will support one-way traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore for barge container service and some roll-on/roll-off vessels that move automobiles and farm equipment to and from the port.

The USACE is working with local, state and federal partners to clear the wreckage along the Fort McHenry Channel following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The engineers are aiming to reopen the permanent, 700-foot-wide by 50-foot-deep federal navigation channel by the end of May, restoring port access to normal capacity. [3]

 

Panama Canal Plans to Normalize by 2025, Weather Permitting

Date: 11th April 2024

As the dry season draws to a close, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is adjusting its operations to align with the climate conditions. Taking into account the current and projected water level of Gatun Lake, the ACP has increased the number of transit slots from 24 to 27 per day, effective from March 25.

The ACP attributed the improvement to the implementation of its Operational Water Strategy and recent progress in watersaving initiatives. The ACP is optimistic that steady rainfall will begin by late April and continue for several months. Assuming these forecasts hold true, the ACP plans to gradually relax transit restrictions with the goal of fully normalizing operations—meaning 36 daily transits and 50-foot max. draft—by 2025. [4]

 

Vehicle imports clogging up terminals at European auto ports

Date: 12th April 2024

Significant numbers of imported new vehicles are reported to be clogging up terminals at European ports, amid changing dynamics in auto markets.

Port, car industry and supply chain executives told the UK Financial Times a major factor in the congestion was that some Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers were not selling their cars in Europe as quickly as expected. They also claimed ocean shipping delivery slots had been booked without ordering onward transport, which had led to lengthy dwell times at ports for vehicles that would normally be moved on to inland compounds and dealerships. One source claimed there were EVs imported from China that had been sitting at European ports for up to 18 months.

Mike Sturgeon, executive director of Brussels-based Association of European Vehicle Logistics, told The Loadstar he believed the origin of the congestion at ports was the post-Covid recovery of the automobile market, which saw established OEMs building a high level of stocks again. “Then came the surge in electric vehicle production, which has seen smaller manufacturers coming into the market and generating additional stock. Now, all OEMs are having to adapt to fluctuating consumption patterns, with a recent marked drop-off in demand for EVs resulting in stock they cannot sell, and the ports are bearing the brunt of it,” he said. [5]

 

WTO forecasts rebound in global trade

Date: 12th April 2024

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has predicted a gradual uptick in global goods trade this year following a contraction in 2023 that was driven by the lingering effects of high energy prices and inflation.

In its latest Global Trade Outlook and Statistics report, WTO economists predict the volume of world merchandise trade should increase by 2.6% in 2024 and 3.3% in 2025 after falling 1.2% in 2023. However, regional conflicts, geopolitical tensions and economic policy uncertainty pose substantial downside risks to the forecast.

Inflationary pressures are expected to abate this year, allowing real incomes to grow again — particularly in advanced economies — thus providing a boost to the consumption of manufactured goods. A recovery of demand for tradable goods in 2024 is already evident, with indices of new export orders pointing to improving conditions for trade at the start of the year.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “We are making progress towards global trade recovery, thanks to resilient supply chains and a solid multilateral trading framework — which are vital for improving livelihoods and welfare. It’s imperative that we mitigate risks like geopolitical strife and trade fragmentation to maintain economic growth and stability.”

Import volumes were down in most regions but especially in Europe, where they fell sharply. The main exceptions were large fuel-exporting economies, whose imports were sustained by strong export revenues as energy prices remained high by historical standards. World trade remained well above its pre-pandemic level throughout 2023. By the fourth quarter it was nearly unchanged compared to the same period in 2022 (+0.1%) and had only risen slightly compared to the same period in 2021 (+0.5%).

The special analytical section on the Red Sea crisis notes that while the economic impact of the Suez Canal disruptions stemming from the Middle East conflict has so far been relatively limited, some sectors, such as automotive products, fertilisers and retail, have already been affected by delays and freight costs hikes.

At a regional level, if current projections hold, Africa’s exports will grow faster than those of any other region in 2024, up 5.3%; this, however, is from a low base, since the continent’s exports remained depressed after the Covid-19 pandemic. [6]

 

Resurgence of Somali pirates creates another ‘danger zone’ for shipping

Date: 11th April 2024

The distressing ‘new normal’ of geopolitical tension has created danger zones for international shipping, with seafarers forced onto the front line. The ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) yesterday released its Q1 report on maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia, showing 33 recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships. This represents an 18.2% increase from the 27 incidents across the first three months of 2023. “Of the 33 incidents that had been reported, 24 vessels were boarded, six had attempted attacks, two were hijacked and one was fired upon,” says the report. Across these attacks, 35 crew members had been taken hostage, 9 kidnapped and 1 threatened.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) secretary general John Denton said: “The resurgence of Somali pirate activity is worrying, and now more than ever it is crucial to protect trade, safeguard routes and the safety of seafarers who keep commerce moving. “All measures to ensure the uninterrupted free flow of goods throughout international supply chains must be taken.” [7]

 

SOURCES & REFERENCES     

[1] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/transnet-counters-threat-imminent-port-privatisation

[2] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/fierce-wind-disrupts-cargo-port-cape-town

[3] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/end-may-deadline-restore-full-access-port-baltimore

[4] https://gcaptain.com/panama-canal-plans-to-normalize-by-2025-weather-permitting/

[5] https://theloadstar.com/vehicle-imports-clogging-up-terminals-at-european-auto-ports/

[6] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/wto-forecasts-rebound-global-trade

[7] https://theloadstar.com/resurgence-of-somali-pirates-creates-another-danger-zone-for-shipping/

 

SACO CFR | Hapag Lloyd | Maersk | MSC | Transnet | The LoadStar Publications | gCaptain.com | Shipco Transport | Splash247.com | Freightnews | Hellenic Shipping News | Seatrade Maritime News | JAS Newsflash

We continue to monitor the freight world developments closely, and will be in contact with you directly for updates relevant to you on an individual shipment level.

 

Best Regards,

Coenie & The Inter-Sped Team

Freight & Logistics Update – 4th April 2024

Good Day Clients & Partners,

Please find below the latest Freight & Logistics Update.  As always, the Inter-Sped team are ready to go the extra mile for you – so don’t hesitate to contact us.

SOUTH AFRICA    

DURBAN:

The port reported windy weather during the week with no impact to operations. No improvement to berthing delays noted at Pier 2 from week 12.

  • Pier 1 : 4 days – Poor STS (ship to shore) reliability and availability resulting in low productivity. Estimated recovery in 3-4 weeks.
  • Pier 2 : 24-28 days – STS breakdown and poor straddle carrier reliability and availability. Medium terms equipment recommissioning by June / July. Terminal recovery expected in the next 3-5 months. Limited truck scheduled impacting imports collection and exports stacking.
  • Durban Point : 3 days

 

CAPE TOWN:

The port has reported some wind impact to operations during the week.

  • CTCT : 4-5 days – Full recovery expected to take 2 weeks (not withstanding possible Southeaster wind delays).
  • MPT : 4-5 days – Very low productivity due to MHC (mobile harbour crane) breakdowns.

 

PORT ELIZABETH:

The port has reported some wind impact to operations during the week.

  • PECT : 2-4 days
  • NCT : 4-5 days – 2 berth operation in effect with berth D102 out until end of March. Crane 6, 7 and 8 out for repairs. Expected recovery in the beginning of April.

 

AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS    

ANGOLA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Luanda port.

 

GHANA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Tema port.

 

IVORY COAST

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Abidjan port.

 

KENYA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Mombasa port.

 

MAURITIUS

  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at Port Louis.

 

MOZAMBIQUE

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Maputo port.

 

NAMIBIA

  • Berthing delays of 7 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.

 

NIGERIA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Apapa port. Please take note of road maintenance taking place on the Ijora / Apapa bridge. These challenges will result in delays in container transfers to and from the port and may result in additional charges being raised.

 

TANZANIA

  • Berthing delays of 7 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port. Delays are due to vessels bunching.

 

NORTH AMERICA    

CANADA

Montreal

  • Berthing delays of 7 days experienced at this port. Bad weather on the North Atlantic Ocean continues to have a minor impact on vessel schedules through Montreal.

Toronto

  • Berthing delays of 16 days experienced at this port.

Vancouver

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at this port. All marine terminals in Vancouver continue to manage through heavy congestion, resulting from an inadequate supply of rail cars from major Class 1 railways.

 

USA

Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. Berth congestion has eased overall and the closure at the Port of Baltimore does not have an effect on Norfolk berth congestion so far.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. Dock construction at Wando Welch terminal is starting in March 2024, reducing from 3 to 2 berths for one year. Berths will be given on first come, first serve basis.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. Frequent river closures are expected due to fog during the week.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days. Bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico continues to cause closures at ports south of Houston and delays on arrival, on short notice.
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is upto 1 day.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day.

 

LATIN AMERICA    

BRAZIL

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Santos port.

 

NORTH WEST CONTINENT, UNITED KINGDOM, MEDITERRANEAN    

BELGIUM

  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Antwerp port. PSA 913: Yard has been fully repaired after the collapsed crane.

 

FRANCE

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Le Havre port.

 

GERMANY

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Hamburg port and 1 day and Bremerhaven port. CTA: Terminal started with shore power installations beginning of March, which slightly reduces berth availability, no impact to operations for this week. CTB: Ongoing shore power construction with challenges to operations for all piers at CTB but currently low impact as the construction moves around the vessel arrivals.

 

ITALY

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Genova port and 7 days at La Spezia port.

 

NETHERLANDS

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Rotterdam port. RWG: Berth line-up remains on a high level but all vessels with berth on arrival.

 

SPAIN

  • Berthing delays of 9 days experienced at Barcelona port.

 

SWEDEN

  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at Gothenburg port.

 

TURKEY

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Istanbul port.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at London Gateway port. Commissioning of recently delivered new Gantry cranes in progress. Terminal with a full berth line-up for the coming weeks with back-toback vessels at all berths but no backlog.

 

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT & MIDDLE EAST    

INDIA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Nhava Sheva port and 1 day at Chennai port.

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Jebel Ali port.

 

ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)    

HONG KONG

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

 

KOREA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Busan port.

 

MALAYSIA

  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at Port Kelang.

 

NANSHA

  • No berthing delays experienced at this port.

 

QINGDAO

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

 

SHANGHAI / NINGBO

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Ningbo and Shanghai ports.

 

SHEKOU / YANTIAN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Shekou and Yantian ports.

 

XIAMEN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

 

XINGANG

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.

 

SINGAPORE

  • Berthing delays of 2 days being experienced at this port. Delays experienced due to bunching of vessels and yard congested caused by heavy volume discharge. FCL containers transshipping in Singapore have expected delays of 1-2 weeks.

 

TAIWAN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.

 

THAILAND

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Bangkok port.

 

VIETNAM

  • Berthing delays of 1 day experienced at Ho Chi Minh and Hai Phong ports.

 

NEWS ARTICLES    

Container handling down at all South Africa’s ports:

Date: 27th March 2024

Container throughput decreased week-on-week from 8 838 containers to 7 197 for the week ending March 22, Business Unity SA (Busa) and the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (Saaff) have found in its latest Cargo Movement Update.

The significant decrease is primarily because of adverse weather conditions, compounded by equipment shortages and breakdowns, and was exacerbated by congestion. According to the update, “Strong winds and dense fog were the main operational constraints in Cape Town this week, while high swells coupled with adverse weather disrupted operations at our Eastern Cape ports. “A fatality in Durban disrupted waterside operations for approximately five hours between Monday and Tuesday.”

“All major terminals registered significant declines versus last week, except for Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2. In fact, DCT Pier 1 was down by 25%, Cape Town Container Terminal down by 19%, and Ngqura down 39%, w-o-w.” Striking a balanced tone, the update says: “Despite the fact that operational performances at our container terminals fell well short of expectations in the past week, the medium-term trajectory shows some promise, offering optimism and suggesting potential for improvement and growth.” [1]

 

Container ship collision causes port bridge collapse in the US:

Date: 26th March 2024

A “mass casualty event” is unfolding in Baltimore after a container vessel crashed into a supporting pillar of the world’s third-longest continuous truss bridge, causing the entire Franscis Scott Key Bridge to collapse section by section into the Patapsco River.

The incident occurred at about 1:30am US Eastern Time when the 9,962 TEU vessel, Dali, laden with cargo and sailing to Colombo in Sri Lanka, collided with the bridge south-east of the Port of Baltimore.

About 20 people in several cars are believed to have been on the bridge at the time of the incident. The Baltimore City Fire Department said it was searching for seven people in the water in the immediate aftermath. The department’s spokesperson, Kevin Cartwright, said no reports of any fatalities had been received at the time this report was posted.

The crew of the 300m-long Singaporean-run vessel, owned by Grace Ocean Investment, also escaped unscathed. [2]

 

East Coast Ports Face Challenge of Diverted Baltimore Cargo, Drewry Says:

Date: 29th March 2024

Maritime industry consultancy Drewry flags potential challenges for the US East Coast ports due to the diversion of Baltimore’s container volumes combined with expected market growth in 2024. The Port of Baltimore is the busiest in the U.S. for handling cars and light trucks, processing nearly 850,000 units in 2023. It also managed around half a million passengers, 11.7 million tonnes of general cargo, and a record 1.1 million TEUs of containers last year.

With access to the Port of Baltimore cut off by the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, cargo is expected to be diverted to nearby ports, including the ports of Virginia and New York/New Jersey. In terms of container traffic, New York/New Jersey leads the northern part of the US East Coast with 59% of the throughput, according to Drewry. Virginia’s Hampton Roads terminals, primarily Norfolk International Terminal and Virginia International Gateway, handle about 25%, followed by Baltimore at 9%, and Philadelphia at 6%. The remaining traffic goes to Boston, Wilmington (Delaware), and other smaller terminals. [3]

 

‘No-go’ area for seafarers expanded:

Date: 25th March 2024

The death of three crew members aboard the True Confidence following a Houthi attack earlier this month has prompted the International Bargaining Forum’s (IBF) Warlike Operations Area Committee to designate the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden ‘warlike’ to  emphasise the seriousness of the situation. In addition to the three deaths aboard the True Confidence, three out of four additional individuals sustained critical injuries in the missile attack.

“Our first priority is the safety of seafarers,” said the IBF, which was set up as a process in which maritime employers and seafarers’ unions could negotiate over the wages and conditions of employment of seafarers serving on ships to which International Transport Workers Federation special agreements apply.

“Ships transiting the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are Houthi missile targets, putting seafarers’ lives in grave danger. We strongly urge charterers, operators and shipowners to avoid passage through the area until there is no risk to the safety of seafarers from further attacks,” a spokesman said.

The IBF Warlike Operations Area had been 12 nautical miles off the mainland Yemeni Coast. The latest decision expands the warlike area to cover the previously declared high-risk area, which included the southern section of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, stretching across to the Eritrea coast. The area encompasses the Bab El Mandeb Strait including the Maritime Security Transit Corridor in its entirety within the Gulf of Aden.” [4]

 

Far East-Middle East/India trade booms, as European exporters suffer:

Date: 28th March 2024

Other than elongated transit times, Asia-Europe container supply chains may be so far largely unscathed by the Red Sea crisis and vessel diversions around the Cape of Good Hope – but for European exporters to the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, it has been a disaster. Massively increased transit time and sky-rocketing freight rates on both headhaul and backhaul trades have led more and more Indian businesses to turn to Far East suppliers to source materials, according to new analysis by maritime consultancy MSI.

“Following a solid 2023, where it expanded by 11%, the Far East-Middle East/India trade recorded a massive 34.5% year-on-year expansion in January,” it notes in the March edition of its Horizon Monthly Containerships report. “India has been the primary driver of this growth, since it is by far the region’s largest importer. The booming Indian economy has led to increased demand for containerised imports,” it said.

In terms of volumes, in Q1 22, the Far East-Middle East/India trade was around twice the size of the Europe-Middle East/India trade, at 1.89m teu and 905,000 teu, respectively. Two years later, it is now around three times the size . MSI’s first-quarter 2024 volume estimates is for Far East-Middle East/India trade to see 2.24m teu, representing year-on-year growth of 16.4%, while the Europe-Middle East/India trade is expected to show an 11.8% year-on-year contraction, to 785,000 teu.

“Consumer confidence has also bounded back strongly from the pandemic lows, and is rising every quarter. We expect India to continue to record strong import growth from the Far East, merging as a bright spot for container carriers,” MSI concluded. [5]

 

IMO Approves New Emission Control Areas in Canadian Artic and Norwegian Sea:

Date: 29th March 2024

The International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee has approved the establishment of two new Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in Canada’s Arctic waters and the Norwegian Sea.

The ECAs, proposed by both Canada and Norway, were endorsed by IMO member states during last week’s MEPC 81 meeting. The primary aim of these ECAs is to reduce emissions such as sulphur oxides (SOx), particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from international shipping. The new ECAs areas are now set to be adopted during the MEPC 82 meeting in October, with entry into force from March 2026.

The creation of an ECA in Canadian Arctic waters will reduce polluting air emissions from ships, improve air quality for northern populations, deliver benefits to both marine and terrestrial habitats and wildlife and also contribute to a reduction in climate-forcing black carbon pollution in the Arctic. [6]

 

SOURCES & REFERENCES     

[1] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/container-handling-down-all-south-africas-ports

[2] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/container-ship-collision-causes-port-bridge-collapse-us

[3] https://gcaptain.com/east-coast-ports-face-challenge-of-diverted-baltimore-cargo-drewry-says/

[4] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/no-go-area-seafarers-expanded

[5] https://theloadstar.com/far-east-middle-east-india-trade-booms-as-european-exporters-suffer/

[6] https://gcaptain.com/imo-approves-new-emission-control-areas-in-canadian-arctic-and-norwegiansea/

 

SACO CFR | Hapag Lloyd | Maersk | MSC | Transnet | The LoadStar Publications | gCaptain.com | Shipco Transport | Splash247.com | Freightnews | Hellenic Shipping News | Seatrade Maritime News | JAS Newsflash

We continue to monitor the freight world developments closely, and will be in contact with you directly for updates relevant to you on an individual shipment level.

 

Best Regards

Linda & The Inter-Sped Team

Freight & Logistics Update – 2 April

Good Day Clients & Partners,

Hoping the week has been off to a great start! Please find below the latest Freight & Logistics Update.  As always, the Inter-Sped team are ready to go the extra mile for you – so don’t hesitate to contact us.

SOUTH AFRICA    

DURBAN

No improvement to berthing delays noted at Pier 2. The port reported windy weather during the week with no impact to operations.

  • Pier 1 : 5 days – Poor STS (ship to shore) reliability and availability resulting in low productivity. Estimated recovery in 3-4 weeks.
  • Pier 2 : 22-28 days – STS breakdown and poor straddle carrier reliability and availability. Medium terms equipment recommissioning by June / July. Terminal recovery expected in the next 3-5 months.
  • Durban Point : 3 days

CAPE TOWN

The port has reported some wind impact to operations during the week.

  • CTCT : 3-5 days – Full recovery expected to take 2 weeks (not withstanding possible Southeaster wind delays).
  • MPT : 4-5 days – Low productivity due to MHC (mobile harbour crane) breakdowns.

PORT ELIZABETH

Port berthing delays are improved from week 11. Windy weather reported during the week with low impact to operations.

  • PECT : 1-2 days
  • NCT : 2-3 days – 2 berth operation in effect with berth D102 out until end of March. Crane 6, 7 and 8 out for repairs. Expected recovery in the beginning of April.

AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS    

ANGOLA

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Luanda port.

GHANA

  • No berthing delays experienced at Tema port.

IVORY COAST

  • No berthing delays experienced at Abidjan port.

KENYA

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Mombasa port.

MAURITIUS

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Port Louis.

MOZAMBIQUE

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Maputo port.

NAMIBIA

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.

NIGERIA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Apapa port. Please take note of road maintenance taking place on the Ijora / Apapa bridge. As a result of the bridge closure, movement in and out of the port has been streamlined to one lane resulting in traffic gridlock and congestion. These challenges will result in delays in container transfers to and from the port and may result in additional charges being raised.

TANZANIA

  • Berthing delays of 15-22 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port. Delays are due to vessels bunching.

NORTH AMERICA    

CANADA

Montreal

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port. Bad weather on the North Atlantic Ocean continues to have a minor impact on vessel schedules through Montreal.

Toronto

  • Berthing delays of 8 days experienced at this port.

Vancouver

  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at this port. All marine terminals in Vancouver are facing heavy congestion, resulting from an inadequate supply of rail cars from major Class 1 railways.

USA

Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 7 days. Dock construction at Wando Welch terminal is starting in March 2024, reducing from 3 to 2 berths for one year. Berths will be given on first come, first serve basis.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days. Frequent river closures are expected due to fog during the week.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 7 days. Bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico continues to cause closures at ports south of Houston and delays on arrival, on short notice.
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is upto 7 days. Terminal 18 will be closed Fridays through March and April 1, 2024.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.

LATIN AMERICA    

BRAZIL

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Santos port.

NORTH WEST CONTINENT, UNITED KINGDOM, MEDITERRANEAN    

BELGIUM

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Antwerp port. PSA 913: Salvage operation of collapsed crane completed, part of the yard still under repair.

FINLAND

  • The two-week strike which should have concluded on 24th March 2024 will be extended for a further week. Please refer to article provided for additional information. We will monitor the situation and keep you updated as further news is received.

FRANCE

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Le Havre port.

GERMANY

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Hamburg and Bremerhaven ports. CTA: Terminal started with shore power installations beginning of March, which slightly reduces berth availability, no impact to operations for this week. CTB: Ongoing shore power construction with challenges to operations for all piers at CTB but currently low impact as the construction moves around the vessel arrivals.

ITALY

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Genova port and 5 days at La Spezia port.

NETHERLANDS

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Rotterdam port.

SPAIN

  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Barcelona port.

SWEDEN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Gothenburg port.

TURKEY

Berthing delays of 7 days experienced at Istanbul port.

UNITED KINGDOM

  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at London Gateway port. New cranes delivered and are expected to be commissioned within 2 weeks.

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT & MIDDLE EAST    

INDIA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Nhava Sheva and Chennai ports.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Jebel Ali port.

ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)    

HONG KONG

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

KOREA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Busan port.

MALAYSIA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Port Kelang.

NANSHA

  • No berthing delays experienced at this port.

QINGDAO

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

SHANGHAI / NINGBO

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Ningbo port and 2 days at Shanghai port.

SHEKOU / YANTIAN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Shekou port and no delays at Yantian port.

XIAMEN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

XINGANG

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

SINGAPORE

  • Berthing delays of 2 days being experienced at this port. Delays experienced due to bunching of vessels and yard congested caused by heavy volume discharge. FCL containers transshipping in Singapore have expected delays of 1-2 weeks.

TAIWAN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.

THAILAND

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Bangkok port.

VIETNAM

  • Berthing delays of 1 day experienced at Ho Chi Minh and Hai Phong ports.

NEWS ARTICLES    

Box throughput improves, but delays still endemic at South African ports:

Date: 19th March 2024

Crane breakdowns and adverse weather are exacerbating delays at South Africa’s ports, despite a recent improvement in container throughput at its main gateways. The South African logistics crisis has been escalating for years, and a lack of government investment into supply chain infrastructure has left the country’s ports, railways and roads extremely susceptible to disruption.

However, for the week ending 15 March, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) reported that ports had handled an average of 8,838 containers a day, up significantly on the 7,755 handled the week before. And state-owned port operator Transnet (TNPA) reported, in its February figures, that 23% more containers were handled than in January and 26% year on year.

“The increasing quantities of cargo handled – in conjunction with the monthly reported volumes from TNPA – for our container industry are starting to indicate that we may have turned a corner, as far as port operations go,” said SAAFF. However, it warned: “It is probably too early to take this as a firm trend. [1]

Return of Somali Pirates Adds to Crisis for Global Shipping:

Date: 21st March 2024

As a speed boat carrying more than a dozen Somali pirates bore down on their position in the western Indian Ocean, the crew of a Bangladeshi-owned bulk carrier sent out a distress signal and called an emergency hotline. No one reached them in time. The pirates clambered aboard the Abdullah, firing warning shots and taking the captain and second officer hostage, Chief Officer Atiq Ullah Khan said in an audio message to the ship’s owners. “By the grace of Allah no one has been harmed so far,” Khan said in the message, recorded before the pirates took the crew’s phones. The company shared the recording with Reuters.

The raids are piling risks and costs onto shipping companies also contending with repeated drone and missile strikes by Yemen’s Houthi militia in the Red Sea and other nearby waters. More than 20 attempted hijackings since November have driven up prices for armed security guards and insurance coverage and raised the specter of possible ransom payments, according to five industry representatives.

Two Somali gang members told Reuters they were taking advantage of the distraction provided by Houthi strikes several hundred nautical miles to the north to get back into piracy after lying dormant for nearly a decade.

While the threat is not as serious as it was in 2008-2014, regional officials and industry sources are concerned the problem could escalate. “If we do not stop it while it’s still in its infancy, it can become the same as it was,” Somali President

The waterways off Somalia include some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Each year, an estimated 20,000 vessels, carrying everything from furniture and apparel to grains and fuel, pass through the Gulf of Aden on their way to and from the Red Sea and Suez Canal, the shortest maritime route between Europe and Asia.

At their peak in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks and held hundreds of hostages, the International Maritime Bureau reported. That year, the Oceans Beyond Piracy monitoring group estimated their activities cost the global economy about $7 billion, including hundreds of millions of dollars in ransoms. The current rate of attacks is significantly less, with the pirates primarily targeting smaller vessels in less patrolled waters, maritime risk managers and insurers said. [2]

East coast port strike threat prompts shippers to consider heading west instead:

Date: 18th March 2024

Cargo owners have been advised to make contingency plans for a strike at US east and Gulf coast ports that could hit traffic flows as early as 1 October, right in the peak shipping season.

The six-year labour contact between the International Longshoremen Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), covering ports on the eastern US coastline, is set to expire on 30 September. The ILA represents about 45,000 port workers, while the USMX speaks on behalf of the terminal operators at 46 ports from Maine to Texas.

The two sides started talks a year ago, but those stalled after only a few weeks. ILA president Harold Daggett has repeatedly warned that the union would not continue work under the current contract past its expiry date, signalling a strike as early as 1 October.

The union has sued USMX and two carriers – Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL – for $300m over a contested hybrid labour model at the Leatherman terminal in Charleston, arguing that this violates the existing master agreement. It is also resisting a move by wind energy developer Orsted to allocate work related to handling offshore wind components at the port of New London to the International Union of Operating Engineers.

According to some observers, the impact of work stoppages on imports would be almost immediate, owing to the ILA’s stance and the situation with the Panama Canal. Retailers have to make arrangements for their peak season imports. Without a good sense of how the negotiations are progressing, they will be making plans to avoid getting caught up in any disruption in October, said Jonathan Gold, NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy. [3]

Strike paralysing Finnish ports extended after talks collapse:

Date: 22nd March 2024

The two-week strike by Finnish transport workers that has effectively shut down the country’s ports is set to enter a third week, after union members voted to extend the action until 1 April. Around 7,000 workers across the transport, industrial and electrical sectors, and including the AKT transport workers union, have been on strike since 11 March in protest at proposed labour reforms by the Finnish government.

A meeting between representatives of SAK, the country’s trade union confederation, and government officials yesterday fell apart, following which union officials announced the strike would continue. “We are disappointed. We had hoped for a more even-handed approach and some mitigation of hard measures for employees,” said SAK president Jarkko Eloranta. “The government did not compromise, and still intends to implement several industrial policy objectives with negative consequences for employees.

As a result, container operations at Finland’s main ports – Helsinki, Kotka, Turku and Rauma – have been suspended for a further week, and container terminal operators said once dockers returned to the ports the backlog could take several days to clear. [4]

Port of Colombo reaping ‘a bumper harvest’ from the Red Sea crisis:

Date: 21st March 2024

Sri Lanka’s Colombo port seems to have had a “bumper volume harvest” from the Red Sea crisis, after vessel operators frantically adjusted port calls to minimise schedule disruptions from the longer transits around southern Africa. Colombo is a busy intermediate point for container transhipment in South Asia, predominantly for Indian cargo.

Combined container volumes at Colombo climbed 33% year on year last month, with mainstay transhipment up 29%. DP World’s Vallarpadam transhipment terminal (ICTT) at Cochin port in southern India, has also made some “spillover gains” from the Red Sea crisis, data indicates. The terminal reported a 38% increase in throughput in February, handling some 75,000 teu, with transhipments hitting a new monthly high of some 18,500 teu.

According to the source, the detour via the Cape of Good Hope meant mainline carriers on trades to North Europe and the Mediterranean suspended direct calls to Middle East ports, including King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia and Salalah in Oman. [5]

THE Alliance goes large on the transpacific to reassure shippers:

Date: 19th March 2024

To reassure shippers that its transpacific coverage will remain strong, THE Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, HMM and Yang Ming) will reinstate two transpacific services after suspending the strings for almost half a year.

On 15 April, THE Alliance will restore the Asia-US east coast 4 (EC4/SUEZ1) service that was

withdrawn in November for the winter lull season and will return with a new rotation: Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Yantian, Cai Mep, Singapore, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, New York, Singapore, and Kaohsiung. The former call at Hong Kong will be omitted and the loop diverted from transiting the Suez Canal to the Cape of Good Hope on both east and westbound voyages. [6]

Global Trade Expected to Rebound in 2024, UNCTAD Reports:

Date: 21st March 2024

Global trade is projected to recover in 2024, bouncing back from a downward trend seen in 2023, according to a new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The UNCTAD’s latest update indicated that global trade shrunk by 3% in 2023 compared to 2022, a record-breaking year that saw trade reach $32 trillion. The decline in goods was more significant at 5%, representing a $1.3 trillion drop. Meanwhile, the services sector demonstrated resilience, recording an 8% increase from the previous year, amounting to $500 billion.

However, the report warns that geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions continue to pose significant risks and require ongoing monitoring. Security issues in the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, along with climate-related effects on water levels in the Panama Canal, could increase shipping costs, lengthen voyage times, and disrupt supply chains. [7]

SOURCES & REFERENCES     

[1] https://theloadstar.com/box-throughput-improves-but-delays-still-endemic-at-south-african-ports/

[2] https://gcaptain.com/return-of-somali-pirates-adds-to-crisis-for-global-shipping/

[3] https://theloadstar.com/east-coast-port-strike-threat-prompts-shippers-to-consider-heading-westinstead/

 [4] https://theloadstar.com/strike-paralysing-finnish-ports-extended-after-talks-collapse/

[5] https://theloadstar.com/port-of-colombo-reaping-a-bumper-harvest-from-the-red-sea-crisis/

[6] https://theloadstar.com/thea-goes-large-on-the-transpacific-to-reassure-shippers/

[7] https://gcaptain.com/global-trade-expected-to-rebound-in-2024-unctad-reports/

SACO CFR | Hapag Lloyd | Maersk | MSC | Transnet | The LoadStar Publications | gCaptain.com | Shipco Transport | Splash247.com | Freightnews | Hellenic Shipping News | Seatrade Maritime News | JAS Newsflash

Please contact your Inter-Sped representative with any urgent queries or freight needs. We continue to monitor the freight world developments closely, and will be in contact with you for updates that concern you.

Best Regards

Coenie & The Inter-Sped Team

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