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On 03.04.2023, two Greek Managed tankers had a situation that amounted to what was termed as ‘’fender bending moment’’ at the Suez Canal. The Canal, which has a greater importance in driving markets in Europe and Asia risked suspension of activities due to this incident. Whereas, the incident did not interfere with the movement of the other vessels at the Canal, the occurrence served as a greater call for more steady risk management at the Suez Canal.

Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, issued a statement in which he referred to the incident as a “minor friction” saying that there was no pollution. He said navigation was moving normally in the canal after the incident.

The Lyric Magnolia, a 109,999 dwt Aframax crude oil tanker managed by Orpheus Marine Transport of Greece was at anchor in Great Bitter Lake as part of a southbound convoy. The tanker registered in the Bahamas was built in 2016 and is 820 feet in length. The AIS signal shows she had departed Stigsnaes, Denmark on March 18 and was bound for Saudi Arabia.

The Aligote, a 74,000 dwt product tanker registered in the Marshall Islands was also in the lake and had begun to move from its anchorage in the waiting area when it made contact with the Lyric Magnolia. The Aligote is managed by Roxana Shipping of Greece and its AIS shows it had departed Tunisia. 

The Suez Canal Authority responded to the contact between the vessels and reported that there was no significant damage. They were retaining both vessels however for a more thorough investigation. Initial speculation centered on “an increase in the wind speed in the area.” Winds were also cited as a contributing factor in the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez.

The authority expected that both vessels would be underway today, April 5. Their AIS signals confirm that they were permitted to proceed and cleared the southern terminus entering the Red Sea.

Last month, a record 107 vessels made the daily crossing in the Suez Canal, the highest number ever in a single day for the canal. On that day, 51 vessels were in the southbound convoy. The authority also reported a strong increase in the number of tankers making the transit. In January 2023, they reported a new monthly record for the number of tankers transiting the canal.

Our analysts at Observater Surveys and Services Limited have reviewed this incident and reasoned the causative factors of the occurrence. Whereas we found no alarming cause for concern. It was noted that while crossing channels/ Canals, the vessel crew and pilots need to remain alert at all the times to the behavior of the vessel or any nearby objects.

Port of New York and New Jersey Once Again Shine with Record Cargo Volumes

The Port of New York and New Jersey is once again shined amongst piers in the United States surpassing the container TEU volumes of its traditionally busier West Coast rivals in Los Angeles and Long Beach both on the volume of imports and exports. While shipping volumes globally have slowed in the past few months, the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast ports have continued to excel in attracting massive cargo units compared to west coast ports which receive most of their volumes from China.

Data released by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey shows the combined port handled 571,177 TEUs during February, traditionally the slowest time of the year for all U.S. ports due to overseas production slowdowns and closures related to the Lunar New Year holiday. Import volume was down by a quarter year-over-year during February with the port moving 288,314 TEU loaded imports arriving at the terminals while exports were down only five percent versus 2022 with the port handling 98,692 TEU loaded exports. 

The volume was the highest in the U.S., exceeding the Port of Los Angeles by more than 83,000 TEUs and the Port of Long Beach by more than 27,000 TEUs. Equally significant, NYNJ exceeded the volume in Los Angeles both for loaded imports and exports and after the first two months of the year is slightly ahead on a year-to-date cumulative basis with a total of 1,216,607 TEU versus Los Angeles’ 1,213,860 TEUs. Los Angeles’s volume was down 30 percent in January and February versus a 20 percent year-to-date decline in NYNJ. 

It is also not the first time the Port of New York and New Jersey has recently claimed the title of the busiest seaport in the U.S. For months from August through November 2022, the port exceeded its rivals in volume. In August and September, NYNJ handled more than 840,000 TEUs per month, declining to 792,548 in October and 723,069 in November.

“The Port of New York and New Jersey is again No. 1 in the nation,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “After years of unprecedented cargo growth, we are using this traditionally slow period to work with our port stakeholders who need to increase capacity throughout the regional supply chain. We expect a stronger second half of the year, as we have been in discussions with many importers that shifted volume to us from elsewhere and are now committed to keeping that volume in our gateway.”

One of the steps that the Port Authority has been taking to improve operations during this period is aggressively clearing out its empty container inventory. So far this year they note empties removal has reached 390,000 TEUs. Port officials highlight that the evacuation of empty containers helps improve seaport operations and fluidity by ensuring more container terminal space for imports to be processed quickly at the port in the future. Last year. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had announced plans to introduce an imbalance fee for carriers that offloaded more containers than they removed to reduce the backlog of empties that they said were clogging their terminals.

In 2022, the NYNJ port handled a total of nearly 9.5 million TEUs, the highest annual amount of cargo in its history. Los Angeles by comparison exceeded just over 9.9 million TEU but NYNJ beat Long Beach which had a total throughput of just over 9.1 million TEU. 

With strong demand on the East Coast routes and carriers sending larger vessels to the U.S. eastern seaboard ports, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey expects to experience growth in its volumes. 

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Cargo Ships

When we did the Pirate Ship Cruise out of Port Isabel, we saw this massive cargo ship coming from the Port of Brownsville. Our tour guide said that it was likely empty, because of how high it was sitting on the waters of Laguna Madre Bay. You can see the relative size by the boat […]

Cargo Ships