Trendwatch: White House eyes Russian uranium import ban while House bill stalls; New import customs clearance rules create 'chaos' at UK border points; First container ship since bridge collapse arrives at Port of Baltimore

White House eyes Russian uranium import ban while House bill stalls

The Biden administration is considering banning imports of enriched Russian uranium using executive authority as congressional efforts to block the Kremlin’s shipments of the reactor fuel stall, people familiar with the matter said.

Officials from the White House National Security Council, the Department of Energy and other corners of the administration have been in talks on limiting Russian uranium imports, including a ban similar to legislation that easily passed the House last year, the people said.

To be sure, no decisions have been made on the issue. The administration — and the nuclear industry — still prefer the matter to be handled by Congress, because undoing a law is harder than overturning actions done using executive power, the people said.


New import customs clearance rules create 'chaos' at UK border points

Chaos returned to the UK border yesterday, with the implementation of the second stage of the post-Brexit Border Target Operating Model (BTOM).

Stage one came online in January, requiring imports designated as medium- or high-risk to be accompanied by export health certificates; stage two requires those imports to undergo physical checks at the border before being permitted entrance.

One broker described the scenes at Dover and Hull as “shambolic”, with the IT system failing.


First container ship since bridge collapse arrives at Port of Baltimore

The first container ship has arrived at the Port of Baltimore since the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

According to the port on social media, MSC Cargo's Passion III arrived on April 28, moving through a temporary 35-foot-deep channel. The ship offloaded almost 1,000 containers, in a major milestone toward the full reopening of the Port of Baltimore. Commercial traffic in the area has been closed since March 26, when the Dali container ship crashed into the Key Bridge, killing six people and blocking the primary path into the port.

There are currently four temporary channels in use, mostly limited to smaller essential vessels needed to clear and repair the wreckage around the bridge. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that the main permanent 50-foot-deep channel into the port will likely reopen by the end of May.


Reverting impact of Red Sea Crisis on schedule reliability

Sea-Intelligence has released the latest edition of the Global Liner Performance (GLP) report, featuring schedule reliability data up to March 2024.

The report of the Danish shipping data analysis firm encompasses schedule reliability across 34 trade lanes and over 60 carriers.

As round-Africa routings return to normal and carriers' service networks stabilize, there has been a noticeable improvement in schedule reliability. In March 2024, the figure rose by 1.6 percentage points month-on-month reaching 54.6%.

However, it still falls short of pre-crisis levels. Year-on-year, schedule reliability in March 2024 decreased by 7.9 percentage points. The average delay for late vessel arrivals decreased by 0.52 days month-on-month to 5.03 days, showing a slight improvement compared to the pre-crisis figure recorded in November 2024.


Port of Gothenburg breaks container record

The Port of Gothenburg has achieved a new record in container volumes handled during the first quarter of 2024, building on the momentum of 2023, which marked a milestone year in container handling for the Swedish port.

In 2023, buoyed by robust export volumes, the Port of Gothenburg achieved its highest-ever container handling performance. However, the import side faced challenges, experiencing a notable decline of nearly 20% throughout the year. Factors such as elevated interest rates and a weakened Swedish krona dampened domestic consumer demand, contributing to the import downturn.

However, the landscape has shifted noticeably in 2024. Import volumes have rebounded, recording an 11% increase during the first quarter compared to the same period in 2023.


That sinking feeling: US coastal port cities sinking

Many cities along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts that are also port cities are sinking. The effect is caused by coastal lands subsiding at the same time as sea levels are rising, according to a study published in the scientific magazine Nature.

The study says the effects of rising seas and subsiding land will be felt most prominently in Gulf coast states including Biloxi, Mississippi, Corpus Christi, and Galveston in Texas.

On the Atlantic coast, Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia will be impacted.