Ocean cargo: Getting ready for “super-slow” steaming

The short-term repercussions are already being felt, and given the short peak season, not insignificant.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
October 11, 2010 - SCMR Editorial

While “slow steaming” is unquestionably good for the environment, many analysts are questioning whether it is beneficial to shippers.

By cutting the knot speed to save money, vessel operators are also contributing to the global container shortage. The short-term repercussions are already being felt, and given the short peak season, not insignificant.

But we wonder what the long-term strategic impact will be. Does this mean a cultural shift that will result in a sudden escalation of rates? Coming at a time when the Federal Maritime Commission is planning on dismantling price-fixing cartels, the paradox could not be more profound.

At the same time, transportation fuel prices continue to rise. With more than 10 percent of the world’s box fleets idle this year, the revival will also be slowed, say industry sources.

How does 12 knots sound? Not particularly appealing to shippers hoping to regain some velocity in the supply chain. Yet, that’s what we may be in for in 2011: “super-slow steaming.”



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

BNSF said that its 2015 capital expenditures will be allocated towards various areas of its business, including maintenance and expansion of the railroad to meet the expected demand for freight rail service, with 2015 representing the third straight year BNSF has invested a record annual capital expenditures investment.

While the ongoing labor negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) ostensibly going from bad to worse, following the ILWU’s announcement late last week that it was halting negotiations from November 20 through November 30, a Congressional group last week penned a letter to PMA and ILWU leadership expressing concern over the state of the negotiations.

The ongoing themes of tight capacity and carrier pricing power are still in full effect, much to the dismay of shippers, based on the most recent edition of the Shippers Condition Index (SCI) from freight transportation forecasting firm FTR.

Information abounds about the growing trend of electric lift trucks and the advantages and disadvantages of the electric solution. Amid all of the information from so many sources, what's the truth about electric lift trucks? This complimentary white paper breaks through the clutter to review why electric lift trucks are gaining in popularity and also to review their challenges, as well as their economic and environmental benefits.

Three weeks after initiating a coordinated series of slowdowns that have mired the major West Coast ports of Tacoma, Seattle, Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach, the ILWU has pushed away from the bargaining table.

Article Topics

Blogs · Global · Supply Chain · Transportation · Source · All topics

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers 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. Contact Patrick Burnson

Comments

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