Relo NewsBits

Photo: Barge shipping containers on the German Rhein River (

Declining Rhine Water Levels Causing Traffic and Commerce Problems


Declining river levels on the Rhine is providing a substantial threat to the German economy. The low water levels is negatively impacting inland traffic and likely to further restrict traffic at the town of Kaub by tomorrow, Friday the 12th of August. The Maritime Executive explains that the Rhine is the most important river for the German commerce, carrying a big share of the country’s energy fuels and other products. (More at The Maritime Executive, “Water Levels on the Rhine Continue to Drop ……. ,” August 10, 2022)

Photo: Sunset view at Harbor Le Havre along River Seine, France (

Major port Congestion Remains a Problem in Europe


The Maritime Executive reported in the first week of July that major port congestion remains a problem in Europe. Hapag Lloyd announced an introduction of congestion surcharges at the two French ports, Le Havre and Fos-Sur-Mer. This surcharge will impact “all import and export truck haulage moves, for all container types,” explained Hapag Lloyd. The port congestion along with labor shortages are contributing factors also causing reduced productivity. (More at The Maritime Executive, “Major European Ports are Experiencing Congestion Challenges” July 4, 2022)

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Supply Chain Bullwhip with Potential Recession Presents Major Impact


The state of the post COVID economy in 2022 is raising major concern as conditions include a huge level of product inventories, rising inflation, a potential impending recession, and a decline in consumer spending along with a giant supply chain bullwhip (see bullwhipeffect).  FreightWaves reported this week that “softness in container markets will have a big impact on trucking in July.” In addition, over the past two months, the average of container spot rates from China to the U.S. West Coast has dramatically dropped by 41%. (More at: FreightWaves, “A potential economic recession and the supply chain bullwhip ..” by Craig Fuller, 6/21/2022)

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U.S. Congress Approves Ocean Shipping Reform Act


On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) of 2022 by a large majority and is expected to receive Biden’s signature soon. When enacted, this legislation will update the Shipping Act of 1984 and amended in 1998. With accusations of unwarranted and even illegal fees, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman, Daniel Maffei explained that “These changes will have a beneficial effect on how U.S. shippers are served and will bring more accountability to how ocean cargo services are provided.” (More at: American Shipper, “Biden to sign ocean shipping reform bill … ” by John Gallagher, 6/13/2022)

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Photo: Port of Los Angeles (

U.S. Imports Decline Along with Sinking Sea Container Spot Rates


As container import volume to the U.S. has sunk more than 36% since May 24th, reported by FreightWaves this week, the Drewry World Container Index spot rates from China/East Asia to the U.S. West Coast followed along with a major drop of 41% per FEU, and 36% East Coast. Analysts point to three contributing factors including, an inventory glut in the U.S., worsening inflation impact on consumers and the unrealized Shanghai container surge. These rates will be a welcome relief to Asia/U.S. freight but is also a sign of other issues looming in the future. (More at: FreightWaves, “US import demand is dropping off a cliff,” Henry Byers, 6/7/22)

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Photo: Kyiv, Ukraine (

Ukraine Crisis and Moving Update


Santa Fe Relocation has reported that their office in Kyiv has opened for work in May and that the city is “more or less safe at the moment, although there are several air raid alerts almost every day and night.” There is still a major shortage of staffing and all transportation via air and sea remains suspended. However, shipping to and from most European locations by land is available. (See more at Santa Fe Relocation news page, 05/19/2022)

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Diesel High Prices and Potential Recession


As the U.S. inflation rate reaches 8.3%, a near 40 year high, experts predict that the continued high price of diesel fuel increases the potential for a U.S. recession in 2023. FreightWaves reports this week that according to economists high prices for diesel will eventually translate to higher consumer prices as these costs are passed on to consumers by shippers and trucking companies. (See more at: FreightWaves, “The climbing price of diesel is raising the risk of a recession” by Noi Mahoney, May 17, 2022)

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