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

Download the newly released research report, "Transportation Management Systems" conducted by Peerless Research Group (PRG) on behalf of Supply Chain Management Review and Logistics Management magazines. Learn what logistic experts are saying about their current supply chain technology infrastructures, how they tackle the transportation component, and revealed the gaps that still need to be filled in order to attain end to-end visibility of a streamlined supply chain.

From cost center to growth center. Get insightful opinions on changes in the marketplace from this independent survey of warehouse personnel. Motorola Solutions examined the current warehousing marketplace in our 2013 Warehouse Vision Report, conducted April-May of 2013.

Even though not all publicly-traded less-than-truckload carriers (LTL) have posted second quarter earnings yet, the early consensus for those that have issued results is looking very good.

The advance estimate for second quarter GDP at 4.0 percent could serve as a sign of a steadier and improving economy.

Following the lead of its Congressional Colleagues in the House of Representatives, the United States Senate yesterday approved a measure geared to keep federal surface transportation funding intact through December 20 with a nearly $11 billion stopgap fix.

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.