The port claims they are seeing a rush of container deliveries; perhaps it’s a presage of Brexit starting January 1, or simply a rush of winter orders. But this was entirely foreseeable. I guess their eye wasn’t on the ball for this crisis.
Imposing the ban was clearly a mistake, and a shock. It only took a couple of days for port management to realize they had screwed up the supply chains of everyone using the port.
Maersk is in the forefront of expanding their supply chain control into the hinterland. The Port of Vancouver is in a very closed in space, a bit like San Francisco, with little room to expand facilities. Maersk has finally grasped the idea that they should cooperate with supply chain members rather than simply do business deals.
Maersk is now finally positioning itself as a full service logistics provider instead of simply an ocean carrier. It’s taken many years, as ling as I’ve been working in it, for maritime companies to see this, and Maersk is way out in front of their rivals.
It will be useful for Maersk to transload containers inland, where there is much less congestion and where a special purpose facility can be built, and where there’s a direct link to a large rail network through Western Canada down into the Midwest. I think there is even a CP terminal in the Chicago area.
It’s typical of IT projects to ber late or never get finished. Here we seem to have an example that is severely impacting everyone else in the supply chain.
Here at Felixstowe, you can’t return empty containers. You have to return them inland, at considerable extra cost and expense. It’s England, so the truckers are companies, and they can pass their costs along.
If this were the US, the individual owner-operators would have to take the expense, because they get a piece rate for a trip, regardless of where they have to return the container. they would have no way to pass on the cost. We see similar debacles occasionally at US ports.