The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

HSH Nordbank, world’s largest financier of ships, reports worst loss since 2008

HSH Nordbank AG, the world’s largest financier of ships, recorded the worst full-year result since 2008 as the shipping crisis and additional tax payments prompted the bank to boost provisions.

The lender saw its loss widen to 814 million euros ($1.1 billion) from 124 million euros in 2012, it said in a statement.



Chinese New Year Hits West Coast Container Volumes

Lunar New Year was earlier this year (Jan. 30) than last year, shifting the impact that results from factories closing for two weeks of celebration.

Container volumes at North American West Coast ports declined in February as factories in Asia closed for the Chinese New Year celebration. Imports dropped 8 percent, exports were down [...]


Hamburg Süd under pressure as 2013 rate swings and overcapacity take a toll

The line also highlighted “strikes in Chile at the beginning of the year, overloaded infrastructure in Brazilian ports and political and economic problems in Venezuela and in Mediterranean countries” as other factors which hit its earnings.

German container shipping line Hamburg Süd felt the pinch last year as overcapacity on the main east-west trades spilled [...]


JOC series paints picture of drayage crisis

The JOC says the recent truckers’ strike in Vancouver, BC, ‘served as the flashpoint of an emerging drayage crisis that’s adding hundreds of millions of dollars to shipping costs and threatening the growth of intermodal commerce’ and concludes that ‘any solution to the drayage problem will require cooperation among terminal operators, longshore labor, chassis [...]


Global shippers must tighten belts, China’s COSCO chairman says

Global shipping firms must prepare for another tough year as a glut in global capacity will continue to weigh on profits and margins, the chairman of China’s biggest shipping group, China Ocean Shipping Group Co. (COSCO) said.

“The industry turnaround will still take a long time,” Ma Zehua told Reuters in an interview recently. “There [...]


Report sheds light on farm bill cost

For the 2014-2015 marketing year beginning Sept. 1, the report projects a seasonal average farm price of just $3.65 per bushel of corn–compared to $4.50 for the current year. In 2015-2016, the price drops further to $3.30 per bushel before beginning a slow but steady climb back up to $4.10-$4.20 per bushel by 2023 [...]


Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have mixed starts to 2014

January volumes at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach were somewhat mixed.

Los Angeles kicked off 2014 with a 2.5 percent annual gain in January at 685,550 TEU. POLA imports, which are primarily comprised of consumer goods, hit 337,428 TEU for a 6.7 percent annual increase. Exports rose 1.7 percent [...]


The Trans-Pacific Partnership is in trouble thanks to grassroots pressure

From the Washington Post:

Despite the fact that woefully little attention has been paid to the deal by mainstream news outlets, liberals, unions and tea party groups — which dubbed fast-track “Obamatrade” — have created a groundswell of grassroots opposition to the TPP that seems to have been heard by enough lawmakers in Washington [...]


Wider trade gap may mean slower Q4 economic growth

By country, the United States ran another record trade deficit with China: $318.4 billion for the year, an increase of 1 percent from 2012. The United States has recorded its largest trade deficit with China each year since 2000, when that country supplanted Japan as the nation with the largest trade imbalance with the [...]


Farm Bill cuts $8 billion in food stamps, preserves handouts to Koch Industries

Excerpts from The Nation:

The final iteration of the bill cuts $8 billion from food stamps, a key demand made by Americans for Prosperity, which aired advertisements and organized opposition to the initial Farm Bill because of the supposed waste of providing food assistance to needy families. Americans for Prosperity is controlled by the billionaire [...]


Ford to oppose Trans-Pacific Pact without currency limits

Ford Motor Co. (F) said it will oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership if the trade agreement doesn’t limit a country’s ability to manipulate its currency.

The proposed pact “is not likely to generate any net benefits for American manufacturers if it does not address the critical issue of currency manipulation,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the [...]


Senate Leader Harry Reid: I am against fast tracking the Trans Pacific Partnership

Harry Reid, who as the leader of Senate Democrats controls which legislation is brought up for a vote, said Wednesday that now was not the time to think about bringing a request for trade promotion authority to Congress. ”I’m against ‘fast track,’ ” he said. ”I think everyone would be well advised just to [...]


Japan sees trouble ahead as trade pact stalls

Until earlier this month, Japan had been under strong pressure from the U.S. to open its market as part of the highly contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations. On Thursday, Japan appeared to be suddenly let off the hook.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear his opposition to granting the Obama administration power [...]


Hanjin Cutting its Losses

Hanjin losses

Drewry said cash-strapped Hanjin Shipping has recently announced to its customers that it will be leaving two unprofitable trade lanes. The South Korean carrier will cease taking slots on the Asia‐Black Sea Express (ABX) service of China Shipping, Yang Ming and Wan Hai, and from April / May will pull out of the [...]


2013 becomes third busiest year in cargo volume for Port of Long Beach

2013 proved to be the Port of Long Beach (POLB)’s third busiest year in its history in terms of cargo volume, behind record-setting years 2006 and 2007.

According to POLB, imports increased 12.8% over 2012 to 3,455,323 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs); exports increased 10.7% to 1,704,932 TEUs; and empties were up 8.8% to 1,570,318 TEUs [...]