BDP Trendwatch: Sleepy truckers get forgotten in supply chain crisis; Imports drop at Southern California ports as ship backup grows; Hapag-Lloyd revises WS3 service linking Chile with Peru

Sleepy truckers get forgotten in supply chain crisis 

President Joe Biden’s sweeping infrastructure law was supposed to ease problems for the trucking industry and relieve supply chain woes, but the law overlooked a vital necessity for truckers: Parking. 

Overcrowded truck stops force drivers to often spend hours scavenging for parking wherever they can find it, even in illegal and unsafe spots. The problem has simmered for decades, as transportation has been overwhelmed by the online shopping boom, lower inventories and federal mandates on driver rest. But truckers say the coronavirus pandemic has brought the issue to a breaking point. 

The word “parking” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Biden administration’s 2,333-word “Trucking Action Plan” released last month as part of the rollout of the new infrastructure law during the height of the pre-holiday emphasis on supply chain snags. 

Supply Chain Brain 

Imports drop at Southern California ports as ship backup grows 

Imports are tumbling at the nation’s busiest container port complex even as the backup of ships waiting to unload there breaks records. 

Combined inbound volume fell about 14% at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., in December compared with a year ago, according to preliminary data from the ports. It was the fourth straight month of year-over-year declines. 

That was even as the backlog of container ships off the coast of Southern California kept growing. The queue of vessels waiting to enter the port complex rose past 100 during December, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, and reached a record 109 ships in early January. 

The Wall Street Journal 

Hapag-Lloyd revises WS3 service linking Chile with Peru 

The German carrier Hapag-Lloyd will update the rotation and the vessel deployment in its West Coast of South America (WS3) service, connecting the Port of San Vicente in Chile with the Port of Callao, in Peru. 

Starting mid-February, Hapag-Lloyd will be restructuring the vessel deployment of its West Coast of South America (WS3) service linking San Vicente in the South of Chile to Callao, Peru. 

As a result, the 2008-built Hansa Ratzeburg on voyage 206 Northbound will phase out from the service on 14  February 2022 at Callao. 

Container News 

POLA and POLB push back consideration of “Container Dwell Fee” until January 28 

The Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) recently announced they have again postponed the implementation date for their ocean carrier Container Dwell Fee, which will now not be considered until January 28. 

This follows previous joint announcements by POLA and POLB, whom collectively account for roughly 40% of United States-bound import volumes, indicating that consideration of the fee would be pushed back each week going back to the week of November 22. 

Going back to when the fee was initially rolled out on October 25, POLA and POLB said that the ports have seen a cumulative 62% decline in the amount of aging cargo on their docks, a tally which has trended up going back to the initial announcement of this fee. 

Supply Chain 247

Britain and India aim to finalize FTA agreement by year-end 

Britain and India formally launched free trade agreement talks in New Delhi on Thursday with the aim of wrapping up a deal by the end of the year that could boost annual bilateral trade by billions of pounds. 

Britain has made a deal with India one of its post-Brexit priorities as, free from the European Union's common trade policy, ministers look to gear trade policy towards faster-growing economies around the Indo-Pacific region. 


U.S. goods trade deficit hits record high; inventories rise strongly 

The U.S. trade deficit in goods widened to a record high in December amid a continued rise in imports, suggesting that trade likely remained a drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter. 

But the report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed an acceleration in the pace of inventory accumulation at retailers and wholesalers, which likely offset the impact on gross domestic product from the larger trade gap.