When you hear the phrase ‘March Madness’, most people assume that you are talking about sports. However, they could also be talking about the exciting World of international freight shipping. After all, the best way to describe this March 2014 in shipping would be ‘Madness’, because of all of the crazy news that is circulating around the shipping world.
CMA CGM made some unusual news in March by announcing that they will begin servicing the port of Buchanan in Liberia, beginning the first carrier there in 20 years. However, the big news with CMA CGM in March concerned their P3 Alliance with Maersk and MSC. The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the US maritime regulators, approved the P3 Alliance in March, and next up on the horizon could be approvals from regulators in Europe and Asia. The P3 Alliance would control a large slice of shipping in the Atlantic and Pacific. Some smaller carriers view the P3 Alliance as problematic and could potentially increase the ocean freight shipping rates. So the recent news of the US approval is certainly a fierce subject.
Also this month, a truck driver strike has plagued the port in Vancouver, Canada. The reasons for the strike resulted from complaints on wages and waiting at the port too long. This strike could hurt the Canadian shipping industry and their Government could intervene to solve it. It is certainly a hectic situation.
If you are concerned about some of these crazy stories in March, speak to your trusted freight forwarder.