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

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in November was up 3.5 percent compared to October, which was up 0.5 percent over September at 136.8 (2000=100), marking the highest SA on record.

UPS said that through this acquisition it will augment its healthcare expertise and network in Europe, specifically in the fast growing healthcare markets in Central and Eastern Europe.

Carloads were up 12.1 percent at 312,271, and intermodal at 280,337 containers and trailers saw a 4.5 percent annual gain.

Total November POLB volumes were up 2.1 percent year-over-year at 581,514 TEU, and POLA volumes in November decreased 3 percent compared to November 2013 at 663,346 TEU.

When railroads are doing business with a larger than large customer like UPS, it stands to reason, it can often be the best, and worst, of both worlds, depending on how things are going. That was one of the main takeaways from a presentation by UPS Vice President of Corporate Transportation Services Ken Buenker at this year’s RailTrends conference in New York.

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.