Point Global Logistics News of the Week – 1.6.23

Rail freight gets a boost in Europe but is stalled by strikes in UK

New European routes are building on the momentum of a post-pandemic shift to rail freight, but strikes in the UK are adding to continental energy cost worries, threatening the change.

In the past month, several new freight services across Europe have begun, including new links between France and Germany, while other providers have expanded the services being offered.

French multimodal operator Delta Rail said it would add a new container service to link Chalon-sur-Saone and Duisburg at the end of February, intended to offer competition to overland routes linking the Rhine with French ports, including Le Havre and Marseilles.

Port Houston to move forward with container dwell fee in February

A sustained dwell fee at Port Houston will go into effect on Feb. 1 following delays due to software issues.

Containers left to dwell at the Bayport and Barbours Cut Terminal will start accruing fees beginning on the eighth day after the expiration of free time. Shippers will be on the hook for $45 per container per day, port officials said in a release.

“We’ve seen during the recent increase in demand that containers sitting on terminals for an extended period of time are a challenge,” Executive Director at Port Houston Roger Guenther said in a statement.

Container shipping market outlook for 2023

The container shipping sector enjoyed an unprecedented boom during the pandemic but the coming year sees a difficult combination of sluggish demand and sharply rising fleet growth.

In the second part of our 2023 shipping market outlook series, we are focusing on the container sector with Maritime Strategies International (MSI) analyst Daniel Richards. He tells the Seatrade Maritime Podcast that there are three different elements that are important looking forward into 2023 for the sector: expected trade growth, pace and size of fleet growth, and issues around congestion and capacity.

On trade growth, Richards says there has been an overbuilding of inventories, pressure on housing markets due to interest rates, and also pressure on consumers’ disposable incomes.