March 6 – March 13, 2014

FastFreight is a weekly review summarizing the ten major events or stories of the past week in logistics and the supply chain. We know you’re busy so each post is under 500 words. Enjoy! Want to get this to your inbox? Be sure to sign up from the right sidebar!

1. Rate volatility means fewer contracts 

As shipping rates continue to jump about (but usually sink), fewer companies are managing to eke out long-term, multi-year contracts for shipping.

2. Shipping impacted by Ukraine crises

Rate volatility is fine compared to the ongoing tension in Ukraine. Local farmers, worried about future instability, are holding back on shipping grain out.

3. Many in the US are more concerned about the P3, G6, CKYHE

The Loadstar reports on the problems that surfaced at TPM regarding these alliances, including changing schedules, out-dated equipment, terminal challenges and more.

4. But there is room for optimism

Executives at the Los Angeles World Cargo Symposium said that the more freighter planes in the future are unlikely but that, as a whole, the industry will continue to grow, if not at the 4-5% pace set in the past.

5. COSCO weighs in on future challenges

The chairman of COSCO has said that it will take more time for the industry to turn around. Ma Zehua told Reuters that with overcapacity remaining a critical issue, COSCO experienced a 71% decline in net profit last year. Urk.

6. Indonesia making its own fate

Fighting slumps in growth, Indonesia is investing almost $700 million dollars in becoming a gateway port, looking to double container handling to 1.2 million TEUs/year.

7. Bad weather brings good tides to the London Gateway

Bad weather at other ports has led to ten diversionary calls to DP London Gateway since Christmas. Combined with its capacity for mega-ships, London Gateway is getting even more traffic…and has invested in quad-lift systems to increase efficiency and contend with container influx.

8. And how to avoid that bad weather in the first place? Call the professor!

Professor Dani focuses on supply chain risk management and is proof of the growing need for both pro-active and reactive risk management in increasingly complex supply chains. Very cool profession.

9. Natural gas might be suffering from indigestion

Nearly every week we discuss greener shipping options, including natural gas. It looks like the industry may have over-sold itself though, as natural gas shortages are occurring as a result of high demand. Experts predict it will rise another 33% by 2020.

10. The queen has a large bow

The captain of the Queen Mary II, Kevin Oprey, donned his whites and a lifejacket to take these amazing photos in front of his ship. Click to see the full set.


We also recommend taking a look at our Great Freight Experiment, where we asked the top 15 freight forwarders around the world for price quotes for shipping. The results did not impress us. By the way, did you know you can get these right to your email inbox? Sign up by clicking the box on the right!