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January 2024 Local and Industry Updates

January 2024 Local and Industry Updates

January 2024

Local Updates

  • - Terminal cutoffs and ERDs have been pushed back because of the recent bad weather in Vancouver. Vessel schedules have also been impacted.
  • - Empty container availability in all sizes continues to be tight, especially the supply at off-docks.
  • - Increasing street turns would help to relieve pressure on empty container availability. Trakking’s Street Turn module ensures less than 5-minute response time for street turn requests, learn more here.

Beyond the Horizon: The Maritime Musical Chairs of 2024

The maritime industry is poised for transformation in 2024, akin to a sophisticated game of musical chairs, particularly for shipping lines.

Shipping lines form alliances to leverage synergies in the highly competitive maritime landscape. This is analogous to alliances among airlines — think about how Air Canada, serving as the national carrier of Canada, has secured partnerships with other airlines within the Star Alliance. These shipping alliances, such as 2M, Ocean Alliance, and THE Alliance, foster cooperation among two or more container shipping companies. Some of the benefits are an expanded network, cost efficiencies, and the preservation of individual operational autonomy.

In the container shipping domain, 2M represents a coalition of Maersk, holding a 14.7% market share, and MSC with a 19.5% share. Meanwhile, the Ocean Alliance comprises COSCO (10.8%), Evergreen (5.8%), CMA (12.5%), and OOCL, which is part of COSCO. THE Alliance includes Hapag Lloyd (7.0%), Yang Ming (2.5%), Hyundai (2.8%), and ONE (6.1%).

Here’s what makes the coming year so crucial: the expiration and dissolution of the MSC and Maersk alliance by 2025. In response to this significant change, Maersk and Hapag Lloyd are set to forge a novel alliance named the Gemini Alliance, thereby leaving THE Alliance to contend with a notable void in its network services, particularly on the Asia-Europe route.

Concurrently, independent carriers, exemplified by Zim Line, navigate the seas with distinctive services, predominantly focused on dedicated lanes. Zim Line's recent announcement of the Pacific Northwest Xpress (ZPX) underscores this paradigm, introducing an express container service between Asia and the West Coast of North America. This service caters specifically to e-commerce shippers, while concurrently unveiling a north-south express service tailored for reefer cargo.

For further inquiries, we encourage you to reach out to your dedicated Trakking Sales and Customer Service representative, who stands ready to provide comprehensive assistance.

Industry News

Federal officials brought in to assist labour negotiations at Port of Montreal

Contract talks between longshore workers and employers at the Port of Montreal were reported to have broken down at the end of 2023, raising the likelihood of a strike in the first couple months of 2024. Longshore workers are requesting a wage hike of minimum of 20% over four years and job security after three years.

If negotiations are not successful, the Port of Montreal, which is Canada’s second-busiest port and Eastern Canada’s main-trading hub, would experience its third labour stoppage in four years. Speaking at an event in Montreal, Prime Minister Trudeau said, “The uncertainty, the disruption to supply chains don't just cause problems during strikes. After port activities resume, some customers who had found alternative transportation never return to ports."

Data points: B.C. goods exports finally grow as construction intentions cool

Posting its first increase since January 2023, B.C.’s merchandise exports grew in November 2023, achieving a year-over-gain of 2.5%. The 20% decline in exports, from its mid-2022 peak, was led by forestry products and energy products. In the same period, imports saw a 11% year-over-year drop, led by lower consumer goods and industrial machinery, equipment, and parts.