Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have long been the primary source of pollution on the US West Coast, which also happens to be the smoggiest region in the country. Since June of this year, the accumulation of diesel-powered container ships and a large number of cargo-moving trucks in the ports has exacerbated the situation. Residents living near these ports face the highest risk of cancer from the air pollution in that region, which is primarily caused by smoke-belching ships anchored at these ports. California has set a 2023 deadline for reducing smog and improving air quality, but the situation on the ground has deteriorated in recent years. Especially, with the ongoing congestion at the LA port.
While efficient ports are critical for the economic development of their surrounding areas, the associated ship traffic, cargo handling in the ports, and hinterland distribution can all hurt the environment as well as the economy.
Port congestion and Pollution:
When a vessel arrives at a port and is unable to berth, it must wait at the anchorage until a berth becomes available. This is a problem that only gets worse over time and Southern California ports have been facing congestion issues like never before. A huge crowd of container ships has been constrained to queue outside Los Angeles and Long Beach, causing the latest supply chain disruption in the United States.
The ships are stranded outside two of the busiest ports of the country, which together handle 40% of all containerized cargo entering the US.
The number of ships awaiting entry into the largest US gateway for trade with Asia reached a record high, increasing delays for businesses attempting to replenish inventories during one of the busiest times of the year for seaborne freight.
On September 12, Port of Los Angeles Director Gene Seroka warned that a “significant volume” of goods was “coming our way throughout this year and into 2022.”
Consequently, on September 18, a record 73 ships were trapped outside the port – nearly double the number as that of the previous month.
The current congestion — with both ports setting records regularly — exemplifies cargo surge since the pandemic. The backlog has increased pollution and poses a threat of supply shortages ahead of the holiday shopping season.
If the global shipping industry were a country, it would be the world’s sixth-highest CO2 emitter, ahead of Germany. As an international industry, shipping was not covered by the 2015 Paris climate change agreement that focused on individual nations’ responsibility for critical emissions. But as unprecedented heatwaves, forest fires and flooding raise global awareness of climate change, the shipping industry is starting to make up for lost time.
How significant is their response? And was Maersk’s recent announcement of investing over US$1.4bn in eight post-Panamax containerships that can run on methanol or bunker fuel just a drop in the proverbial ocean? Let’s take a closer look at how shipping is responding to the climate crisis.
Port resilience is described as the capacity of ports to anticipate and respond to changing situations, as well as to survive and/or quickly recover from disruptions, with the goal of preserving the sustainability of operations and flow of cargo to, from, and through ports.
Due to the multitude of interdependencies inherent in supply chains, the breakdown of any node in the network can have an immediate impact on demographics, their safety, and well-being, as well as on the regional economy and its enterprises.
Have you recently tried to buy a computer, Peloton exercise bike or new furniture? If so, you may well have experienced an unexpectedly delayed delivery. You’d be in the same boat as millions of other consumers and corporate buyers in the western world. Though your order may have been stuck in one of the many thousands of containers on the Ever Given, the ship held up in the Suez Canal for months, the most likely reason for delayed deliveries is the global shortage of containers. The metal boxes that make global trade possible are in very short supply – with a domino effect on supply chains worldwide. And it all began with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the question of who is and isn’t designated a “key worker” has been a difficult debate, with many arguing that essential services go far, far beyond those provided by doctors and nurses. Although the UK government now officially recognizes seafarers as key workers, it’s arguable that the general public has little idea of the contributions made by these workers to the ongoing maintenance of the supply chain.
Navigation in itself is a multi-century old phenomenon, which has been there since mankind discovered what they could do with a piece of wood. However, modern ship navigation has experienced a lot of changes, and subsequent ‘rebirths’, over the last couple of decades.
One such year of rebirth was 1952: For the very first time, vessel routing services got introduced into the industry. 1952 is when vessels were retrofitted with a prototype that would later evolve into the Automatic Identification System (AIS) in the late 90s, something that ushered a new era in maritime navigation so to speak.
AIS data, when clubbed together, gives us all-around insights into the vessel involved, its speed, position, ship dimensions, as well as its draft, helping us identify when the ship was loaded or unloaded with its designated cargo. However, the last point is an application of various data points obtained via AIS, and not available via raw data obtained from the systems onboard.
AIS, as stated above, was originally meant for ensuring navigational safety, but has quickly proved to be a vital source of business intelligence for maritime personnel.
Kiel, May 6th, 2021: On Thursday, the Institute for the World Economy presented a new, AI-based leading indicator for international trade based on real-time data from global container shipping. On the basis of up to 250,000 continuously collected data points from up to 200,000 position data and up to 50,000 additional data on inlets and outlets, supplied by FleetMon, the Kiel scientists offer continuous monitoring of imports and exports of the largest economies China, Europe, and the USA.
The accident of the large container freighter “Ever Given” (IMO 9811000) on March 23, 2021 in the Suez Canal will keep the global shipping industry busy for years to come. Many questions remain unanswered: Could an accident like this have happened in northern Germany, for example on the Elbe at the gates of the port of Hamburg? Or: What should be done to quickly remove a blockage? Hans von Wecheln, maritime consultant from Husum, shared his ideas with THB (Täglicher Hafenbericht) and FleetMon. We publish the letter with the kind approval of the THB chief editor.
In 2021, the maritime logistics industry can scarcely afford to ignore its environmental impact. The transportation industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s no surprise that sustainability has become a key trend in logistics. Fortunately, the future looks bright with innovative solutions and emerging technologies that promise to lessen the ecological footprint and boost performance. Here’s a closer look at some things to keep a look out for, going forward.
The 11th international conference for maritime logistics (mariLOG) took place on May 4th, 2021 – as part of the online event of transport logistic 2021. Transport logistic is regarded as the leading trade fair for logistics, mobility, IT and supply management. In 2019, 2374 exhibitors and around 64,000 visitors from 125 countries gathered at the on-site event. This year, the fair is held as a purely digital event.
The mariLOG conference took place as a panel discussion between high-ranking market participants on the following topic: How can we fix what Corona has done to the relationship between carriers and their customers.
The corona pandemic is putting a strain on the relationship between carriers and their customers. The latter have complained that shipowners have used their market power inappropriately to drive up freight rates. In addition, there is a lack in contractual loyalty and service quality. The shipowners, in turn, point to the collapse in demand in the wake of the pandemic and to capacity increases on the main trade routes. What needs to be done to improve the relationship between the parties?