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.
The increase in customs value in Isreal, due to the increase in transport prices – the problem, and the way to the solution
Read an opinion piece by Advocate Omer Wagner from Isreal:
The author is employed in the indirect taxation department at PWC Israel, Kesselman&Kesselman, and is an attorney specializing in customs law, purchase tax, indirect taxation, import, export, regulation, trade levies, international trade; What is said in the article reflects the opinion of the author only, and should not be considered as giving a legal opinion.
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.
There’s no denying that the Suez Canal is the world’s most important waterway. The reason: about 12% of the global trade flowing through a single canal, one connecting two continents – Asia and Europe. The canal is so strategic that world powers have fought over the waterway since it was completed in 1869.
While international shipping is making intensive efforts to demonstrate its environmental awareness, for example by introducing cleaner propulsion systems, it is creating negative headlines elsewhere.
We encounter increasing reports on losses of large quantities of containers on the high seas as a result of severe storms and other extreme weather conditions. The World Shipping Council (WSC) recently released its 2020 update showing that, on average, 1,382 containers are lost at sea each year.
The most spectacular example is the 2019-built Japanese 14,000 TEU freighter “ONE Apus” (IMO 9806079), which lost over 1,800 containers on Nov 30 2020 in the middle of the Pacific being en route from China to the US west coast. Initially, media reports stated that over 1,900 boxes were swept overboard by a storm. Some 64 dangerous goods containers were lost as well, alongside 54 with fireworks, eight with batteries, and two with liquid ethanol. On Dec 8 2020 the ship has arrived in Kobe, where the big clean-up and safety check-up has started.
Top 5 container ships with most freight loss
The loss of large amounts of cargo due to difficult weather conditions occurs equally for all shipping companies. FleetMon.com has put together a Top 5 of the “biggest losers” of freight in the container shipping industry.
#1: Container ship ONE Apus
End of November 2020, container ship ONE Apus will go down in history with 1816 containers lost in the North Pacific west of Hawaii. 64 contained hazardous goods like fireworks, batteries, and liquid ethanol.
A void sailing or a blank sailing is when a ship does not sail. More specifically, it is a scheduled sailing which has been either cancelled by the shipping company or the company decided to skip a certain string owing to some shortcomings.
A string is a set of ports served weekly by a carrier. For example, one string might be: Shanghai – Ningbo – Los Angeles – Oakland – Shanghai. The string moves in a circular direction but always along with the same schedule of ports with a fixed departure day of the week set for each port.
Three vessel types were responsible for around three-quarters of worldwide CO2 emissions in 2012. There is little reason to doubt that the Big Three are still responsible for a similar share in 2020. FleetMon provides a global overview of CO2 emissions per vessel type.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from commercial shipping are increasingly grabbing the headlines. Like aviation, shipping had been excluded from climate negotiations because it is an international activity, while both the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement involved national pledges to reduce greenhouse gases. But as ships move around 80% of global trade in volume terms, there is a growing consensus about the need to tackle shipping’s CO2 emissions.
Container vessels represent a type of ship which transport standardized ISO containers. Their cargo capacity is measured in TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units).Today, more than 90 % percent of the trade between countries is carried by container ships. The largest vessels are nearly 1313 feet long and can carry more than 20 000 TEU. All container vessels represented in the following density map are over 330 feet long.