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

Working with research partner, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed 1,023 global procurement executives from 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

U.S. Carloads were down 7.8 percent annually at 259,544, and intermodal volume was off 15.7 percent for the week ending February 21 at 213,617 containers and trailers.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Logistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in December 2014 was up 5.4 percent annually at $95.8 billion. This marks the 11th straight month of annual increases, according to BTS officials.

While the volume decline was steep, there was numerous reasons behind it, including terminal congestion, protracted contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and other supply chain-related issues, according to POLA officials.

Truckload rates for the month of January, which measures truckload linehaul rates paid during the month, saw a 7.9 percent annual hike, and intermodal rates dropped 0.3 percent compared to January 2014, which the report pointed out marks the first annual intermodal pricing decline since December 2013.

Comments

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


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA