Port Houston Maintains Strong Resin Export Numbers Amid Downturn in Overall Volumes
In late September 2023, Port Houston, a significant container terminal in the United States, saw a decline in overall container volumes, notably evident in August. Despite this, the port surpassed 2.5 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) for 2023 as of August. Port Houston also reported a 10% year-to-date increase in export volumes, mainly due to resin exports. The port claims a 59% market share in resin exports. Infrastructure developments like the Houston Ship Channel Expansion, known as Project 11, are set to enhance safety and efficiency by late 2024.
Expanded Rail Services Enhance Florida’s Intermodal Network
On September 27, 2023, a partnership expansion between a rail company and a regional Florida railroad was announced to offer interline service through two additional terminals. The expanded network will facilitate freight movement between Florida and key U.S. destinations such as Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.
U.S. Ports Face Uncertainty Amid Potential Government Shutdown
As of September 25, 2023, there is concern regarding a potential U.S. government shutdown. A warning from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) states that such a scenario could affect port operations nationwide. Federal agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue operations, albeit possibly without pay, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers won’t initiate new contracts.
Severe Weather Disrupts South Africa’s Major Commodity Rail Line
On September 27, 2023, Transnet in South Africa reported significant service disruptions on its Cape Corridor rail line due to severe weather. The line, vital for exporting manganese and agricultural products, suffered damage to its infrastructure, affecting various sectors reliant on this rail network for shipping goods.
European ETS Influences Upcoming Shipping Contract Talks
Beginning January 1, 2024, shipping will be part of the European Union’s emissions trading system (ETS). This inclusion is prompting European shippers to prioritize decarbonization costs in future contract discussions.
Expansion Plans Underway for Ports of Halifax and Saint John Amid Montreal’s Delays
The ports of Halifax and Saint John are proceeding with expansion initiatives. Halifax aims to acquire two additional super post-Panamax cranes by year’s end, augmenting its existing fleet of five cranes.