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June 18, 2021 / 2:45 PM Panamanian ports cargo volumes grew by 8.8% to 2.01m teu between January and May 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) statistics. Manzanillo International Terminal-Panama (MIT), on the Atlantic side leads volumes of containerised cargo with 671,473teu, an increase of 7.9%. It is followed by Panama Ports’ Balboa, on the pacific side, which moved 558,060 teu, up 22.7%.

Evergreen’s Colon Container Terminal (CCT), on the Atlantic, showed also a significant growth of 19.2% though moving 198,170 teu. CCT has, for the first year in three years of decline, returned to positive figures. 

PSA Panama International Terminal, is the third port in terms of throughput with 282,223 teu but registered a decrease of 3.2%.

The other terminal, Cristobal on the Atlantic side, of Panama Ports which is administered by Hutchison Ports, also saw a decrease of 6% to 270,381 teu.


June 17, 2021 / 2:15 PM Port Houston continues to make waves with another month of double-digit container cargo increases through the Houston Ship Channel and its best May ever for container TEUs. 

TEUs in May showed a 30% increase, with 288,127 TEUs compared to last year’s 222,250 TEUs for the same month. Year-to-date, Port Houston container terminals have recorded an increase of 8% over last year, with a total of 1,315,166 TEUs so far in 2021. 

This comes after a record-breaking 2020 for TEUs through Port Houston. In 2020 Port Houston surpassed the 3 million TEU mark for the first time, with a total of 3,001,164 TEUs for the year. General cargo also saw gains this month, contributing to a total tonnage increase of 8% this May over last. Steel imports, auto imports, and bagged goods imports were all up compared to Page 2 of 2 the same month last year. Notably, commodities like lumber, machinery, plywood and bagged foods increased, indicating a comeback of industries hard hit by the pandemic. Continued growth in cargo into Port Houston is expected, particularly containerized cargo. The new EC6 service from THE Alliance & Evergreen made its maiden call this week at Barbours Cut Container Terminal and will connect Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Korea to Houston. This new service into Port Houston represents increasing demand for Asia imports in Texas. 

Port Houston continues its focus on the future and its people, building infrastructure, and expanding the Houston Ship Channel. As the advocate and a strategic leader for the Houston Ship Channel, Port Houston is driving growth of the nation’s busiest waterway. The Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11 is underway, breaking ground in May. The work will enhance safety and navigation along the Channel, which supports more than $800 billion in economic value to the nation.  

Port Houston is the sixth largest container port in the United States and the dominant container port on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Via: Port Houston

June 15, 2021 / 1:45 PM The enormous strains felt by retailers in the US, struggling to get stock on their shelves, has taken an extraordinary turn with one of the biggest names on the American high street deciding to take matters into its own hands.

Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer in the US, has chartered in a boxship to move its own goods.

“We have a ship that’s solely going to be ours and it’s just going to go back and forth with 100% dedicated to Home Depot,” chief operating officer Ted Decker told CNBC. The charter starts from next month.

Home Depot is the third largest US importer by volume of containers, according to data from the Journal of Commerce, behind Walmart and Target.

Retailers have had to contend with extreme demand, high freight costs and plenty of logistical shortages brought about by Covid-19 this year. What’s more, the peak season is about to kick into gear in America. The National Retail Federation last week boosted its outlook for the year, saying it anticipates “the fastest growth that we’ve seen in this country since 1984.”


Retail sales across the US are expected to grow between 10.5% and 13.5% to an estimated total of $4.44trn to $4.56trn in 2021. That compares with $4.02trn in total retail sales in 2020 and $3.76trn in 2019.

June 16, 2021 / 4:45 PM Oil prices rose for a fifth day on Wednesday, closing in on $75 a barrel as U.S. refiners drew more crude inventories to ramp up activity and meet recovering demand.

Crude inventories fell by 7.4 million barrels in the week to June 11, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, as refining utilization rose to 92.6%, highest since January 2020, before the pandemic hit.

The inventory draw was stronger than expected, driven as well by exports in another signal of improving demand worldwide.

Brent crude gained 40 cents, or 0.5%, to hit $74.39 a barrel, reaching its highest since April 2019, and running its gains to five straight days. U.S. crude rose 3 cents to $72.15, after reaching $72.99, highest since October 2018.

"With refinery runs over 16 million barrels per day and exports continuing to be robust, it is going to be difficult for inventories to avoid consistent draws as we push on to the peak of summer driving season," said Matthew Smith, director of Commodity research at ClipperData.

Brent has risen 44% this year, supported by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, and the recovery in demand. OPEC+ has reduced last year's historic supply cuts, but it is still withholding millions of barrels of daily supply from the market.

Executives from major oil traders said on Tuesday they expected prices to remain above $70 and demand to return to pre-pandemic levels in the second half of 2022. 

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve also brought forward its projections for the first post-pandemic interest rate hikes into 2023.

"The oil complex digested the Fed news quite well in suggesting that some more crude price highs likely lie ahead," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois.

At the same time, the prospect of an imminent rise in Iranian oil exports looks less likely, analysts said. Indirect talks between Tehran and Washington on resuming the 2015 nuclear accord resumed in Vienna on Saturday. 



June 14, 2021 / 1:45 PM As world leaders meet in Cornwall, England, for the G7, the first ever meeting of the equivalent maritime bodies, titled M7, took place on Wednesday this week, organised by the UK Chamber of Shipping.

Delegates from the shipowner associations of the G7, plus those from Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea, were joined by the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, Chief Executive and Secretary General of BIMCO and a representative from ECSA.

There was universal agreement that more investment is needed from governments and industry to develop the technologies for a cleaner and greener shipping industry and that the G7 governments should be urged to back the shipping industry’s proposed $5bn R&D decarbonisation fund.

Delegates also agreed that more work was needed to help develop digital documentation to facilitate an increase in global trade as the world recovers from Covid-19.

The crew change crisis was discussed, and the extraordinary work seafarers have done over the past 15 months supporting global trade under extremely challenging conditions was noted. The meeting called for governments of the G7 to follow the lead of the United States, Canada and other countries in prioritising vaccinations for seafarers. 

UK Chamber of Shipping President and Chair of the meeting, John Denholm said:

“Meeting for the first time, the M7 brought together the shipowning organisations of the G7, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States as well as those invited to the G7 event from Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea. The meeting discussed improving trade through digital documentation and the need for governments and industry to invest more in green research and development projects and the important role that seafarers were playing in keeping trade flowing through the Covid pandemic.

“The meeting noted the magnificent job that their seafarers had been doing through the pandemic and urged governments to make vaccines available to seafarers. It also fully supported the need to decarbonise and agreed that if the industry is to meet its goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, large-scale investment in research and development is necessary as without this we simply will not have the technologies needed for the greener, cleaner shipping industry that we all want.”

Source: UK chamber of shipping.

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