Relo NewsBits

Photo: Port of Singapore (Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Vessel Congestion at Singapore impacts spot market prices


FreightWaves reported last week on a recent report from AlixPartners revealing that congestion at the Port of Singapore has severely delayed the docking of trade vessels, causing a surge in spot market prices. This disruption in the demand/supply balance for ocean trade contrasts sharply with the stable rates in trucking markets. The report highlights significant international service and pricing volatility for maritime shippers. The congestion in Singapore, compounded by similar issues in other Southeast Asia ports, has led to equipment imbalances, elevating both local and global spot market prices. Since January, the number of vessels waiting at Singapore's port has peaked close to 100. As the world's second-busiest port after Shanghai, the congestion is significantly impacting shipping costs globally. (More at: FreightWaves, “Port of Singapore congestion …” Caleb Revill, 7/09/2024)

(Photo: Schneider Déménagements website, Notre histoire)

Schneider Déménagements in liquidation


Schneider Déménagements, a prominent Swiss moving company established in1953, has been forced into liquidation following a court decision on May 31,2024. Known for its local and international moving services, the company faced financial challenges leading to bankruptcy. Despite this, its affiliated entity, SGRS Mobility Management Sarl, continues operations. This development follows the recent bankruptcy filing of Zurich-based Appenzeller–Transpack GmbH, indicating ongoing challenges in the moving industry. SchneiderDéménagements had grown into a respected brand in Switzerland and globallybefore its unfortunate financial undoing. On a similar story, FEDEMAC also reports, Cape Town's The Relocation Group (Pty) Ltd., known as South African Relocations, has ceased operations suddenly, urging customers to retrieve their household items. (FEDEMAC, The Weekly News. 7/11/2024)

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Photo composite – left: InductEV's wireless EV charging vehicle assembly units (VA) on the underside of an electric transit bus. Right: Wireless EV charging pads at a bus stop) (Photos by InductEV)

Wireless EV charging for commercial trucks?


InductEV, a Pennsylvania-based company founded in late 2022, is pioneering wireless charging technology for electric vehicles (EVs). Initially targeting transit buses and yard tractors in distribution yards, their solution involves embedding charging plates in concrete, allowing vehicles to charge simply by parking over them and connecting magnetically. This method, known as inductive charging, offers advantages over traditional plug-in methods, particularly in scenarios where infrastructure rollout is slow or energy supply is inconsistent. The company explains their upfront costs are high but offer significant savings over time, with potential payback within three years. InductEV aims to capitalize on incentives that reduce the entry costs with particular focus on port terminals and railroad intermodal facilities. (See FreightWaves, “Can wireless EV charging …” Alan Adler, 6/28/2024)

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Far East ocean sea freight rates


Recent developments show a mixed outlook for inflation and global trade. While the U. S. Federal Reserve and U.S. economy see easing inflation with softer consumer and wholesale prices, global trade faces a concerning uptick in freight rates. Ocean sea freight, particularly from the Far East, have increased substantially in some areas. Scarcity of containers and vessel capacity are pushing shippers into the more expensive spot market. Industry experts speculate the rates might remain at this level, or higher, until after the Chinese New Year in 2025. (More at CNBC, “Fears are rising ocean freight rates …” Lori Ann LaRocco, 6/14/2024)

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Photo: Container ship is unloaded at the Napoleon Avenue terminal at the Port of New Orleans. (Gnovick at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Funding for new international terminal at Port of New Orleans


The Louisiana State Legislature allocated $230.5 million to the Port of New Orleans, focusing on the future $1.8 billion Louisiana International Terminal(LIT) and related infrastructure. Planned to elevate New Orleans as a premier Gulf of Mexico container gateway, LIT includes the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, linking it to highways. Federal permits are underway, and construction starts next year, with initial berth operations slated for 2028 in Violet, Louisiana. Positioned downstream from New Orleans, LIT's location aims to bypass air draft limitations for current port vessels. Once operational, it anticipates handling 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units annually and accommodating mega container ships transiting the Panama Canal. (See more at FreightWaves, “New Orleans snags $230M for infrastructure projects” by Noi Mahoney, 6/11/2024)

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Photo: Wreckage of Dali at the Francis Scott Key Bridge (MDGovpics, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Port of Baltimore channel restored and open for shipping


After more than two months of closure due to debris from a cargo ship collision, the main shipping channel of the Port of Baltimore reopened. The closure began on March 26 when the container ship Dali lost power and struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, resulting in total collapse and six fatalities among construction workers. The channel, known as the Fort McHenry Channel, had been blocked by the Dali and 50,000 tons of bridge debris. After weeks of restoration efforts and removal of the ship on May 20, the channel was restored to its original dimensions of 700 feet wide and 50 feet deep. Governor Wes Moore praised the operation's completion, emphasizing its importance in revitalizing Maryland's economy by facilitating trade at the port and enabling the return of workers. (See: FreightWaves, “Baltimore shipping channel reopens 11 weeks after Key Bridge collapse” Noi Mahoney, 6/11/2024)

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Severe 2024 hurricane season expected to substantially disrupt market


The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) May hurricane forecast predicts an exceptionally active 2024 season, with 17-25 named storms, including 4-7major hurricanes. This surpasses the usual average of 14 named storms and three major hurricanes. Describing it as "hyperactive," NOAA's warning to shippers emphasizes the potential for significant disruptions. Shippers assuming they can adapt to market shifts may face unsympathetic carriers, who caution against demanding rate concessions. As the freight market pendulum inevitably swings, carriers could seek retribution against shippers. Whether NOAA's forecast materializes or not, the looming threat of severe weather underscores the need for shippers to brace for impact and negotiate cautiously with carriers. (See more: FreightWaves, "Extreme hurricane season could trigger ‘carrier revenge'" Craig Fuller, 5/24/2024)

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