Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


More complications for Japan’s shippers

U.S. multinationals were shifting some critical cargoes from ocean to air carriage a few days ago, but that strategy may become complicated due to a shortage of fuel
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
March 18, 2011

Japan’s supply chain continues to be disrupted by the ongoing consequences of last week’s earthquake and tsumami.

Maersk Line and other global vessel operators are avoiding some Japanese ports to mitigate the risk of contamination from damaged nuclear reactors.  U.S. multinationals were shifting some critical cargoes from ocean to air carriage a few days ago, but that strategy may become complicated due to a shortage of fuel.

“We use a combination of both air and ocean to transport parts from Japan,” said Larry Wilson, a spokesman for Boeing’s supplier management division. “We have not made any changes in shipping, and are continuing to monitor the situation.”

Brandon Fried, executive director of the Air Forwarders Association, told LM that air carriers are flying into Japan fully fueled, but must stop at Honolulu or Anchorage before arriving at the U.S. mainland.


“That, of course, displaces the cargo payload substantially,” he said.


Japan produces 3-4 percent of the global jet fuel supply, some of which is exported to Asia. Some of this refinery capacity has been lost due to damages caused by the earthquake. This supply restriction could lead to higher jet fuel prices. Meanwhile, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has mobilized its resources to support the aviation industry in several critical areas including procurement of fuel.

“Some key fuel infrastructure facilities in Japan have been damaged,” said IATA spokesmen. “Most Japanese airports have fuel supplies for the next 10 days. IATA is coordinating actions among airlines to maximize existing fuel supplies, including voluntary tankering of jet fuel.”

IATA is also briefing airlines and officials on industry agreed rationing regimes should supply shortages arise.

“It is too early to assess the long-term impact of the Japanese tragedy on the global air transport industry,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “However, understanding the structure of the Japanese air transport industry does give insight on the potential short-term impact of a major slowdown in Japanese air travel.”

For related stories click here.

About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Almost all companies today are aware of their labor or material costs... but what about energy consumption? It all comes down to having the energy data needed to determine what actions you must take to improve. The payoff is worth it, as insight into energy data allows you to make more valuable, relevant operating decisions.

With lower energy prices sparking domestic economic gains, coupled with solid manufacturing and industrial production activity, improving jobs numbers, and a GDP number that shows progress, there is, or there should be, much to be enthused about when it comes to the economy and the economic recovery, which has been raised and discussed and dissected from basically every angle possible, it seems. But that enthusiasm regarding the economy needs to be tempered, because big headline themes seldom tell the full story at all really.

The annualized turnover rate for large truckload carriers in the third quarter rose one percentage point to 97 percent, according to the ATA.

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing employers at 29 ports, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents 20,000 dockworkers, have come to a tentative agreement on a key issue in ongoing contract negotiations.

Diesel prices continued their ongoing decline, with the average price per gallon falling 6.7 cents to $2.866 per gallon, according to data issued this week by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA