Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Will slow steaming become a non-issue?

Both the National Industrial Transportation League and the Agriculture Transportation Coalition have issued recent objections to the practice, noting that it offers no service advantages for shippers.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
February 01, 2011

While the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is moving forward with an investigation of slow steaming practices in the transpacific, some analysts question whether it will even be an issue after the upcoming Lunar New Year.

Both the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) and the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) have issued recent objections to the practice, noting that it offers no service advantages for shippers.

Since then, FMC Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky Jr. has taken a leading role in the inquiry. At the same time, he has given the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) members permission to discuss slow steaming under antitrust immunity.

Given the recent crisis in Egypt, there is some chance the TSA will insist that there’s never been a better time for “slow steaming” – a strategy that not only spares the environment, but also saves on fuel costs.

Furthermore, said analysts, this may all be a moot point if imports begin to slacken on the Eastbound trade late, said Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ International Trade Adviser.

“We can already see a big reduction in U.S. orders from multinationals sourcing from China,” he said. “And after the Lunar New Year, we don’t expect it to improve greatly.”

Finally, with the recent introduction of Horizon Lines and other smaller liners in the trade, shippers do have an alternative to slow steaming cartel members.

As reported in LM last week, Horizon Lines announced it had instituted a 15-day transit schedule for containerized cargo shipped from Shanghai to Kansas City with its new International service.

Amid considerable fanfare, the company launched the Five-Star Express (FSX) trans-Pacific ocean service between China and the United States in December, and selected Kansas City as a key hub for its express ocean-rail intermodal package.

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

While it feels somewhat hard to fathom, the stage is set for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Carload volumes were up 1.4 percent at 300,388, and intermodal volume for the week ending September 13 was up 5 percent at 279,052 trailers and containers.

Company says the Cloud offering allows customers to respond more quickly to new business opportunities, without significant upfront cost and implementation times.

As e-commerce continues to take a bigger piece of the holiday package delivery pie, it stands to reason that companies need to be proactive and prepared in order to deliver premium service during the busiest time of year, which is rapidly approaching. And that is exactly what transportation giants UPS and FedEx are doing this year. How are they doing it exactly? The primary step they are taking is to up their numbers of seasonal staffers.

A recent hearing of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation suggests that the U.S. Merchant Marine industry may be poised for a major comeback.

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