Digital Edition

January 2 2023

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 55 of 131

54 Journal of Commerce | J anuar y 2, 2023 EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK 2023 Maritime turn, also has affected export capa- bilities of products made in the US for foreign consumption. Demand has increased the pressure on and expectations of shippers. This change in behavior is not irrevocable, but moving for ward, embracing new oppor - tunities for f luid movement is critical. As we anticipate whatever the so-called "new normal" looks like, investments in infrastruc - ture, processes, and culture are essential. Ports and terminal operators face the challenges of major shifts in trade routes and the required investment in facilities to stay in front of the demand cur ve. Necessar y changes in processes include making data more visible to capitalize on the tremendous amount of information it provides to better plan for the near- and long term. Investments in termi - nal assets must be accelerated to provide capacity to handle spikes in volume. We need cultural shifts such as operating 24/7 in all segments of the supply chain, expanded use of multiple modes of transportation to and from ports, congestion relief through investing in inland depots, and increasing the throughput velocity of our nation's ports by reducing cargo dwell. Port of Los Angeles Gene Seroka Executive Director The upcoming year is likely to bring simi- lar challenges to what we've experienced in recent years: signifi- cant swings in the global marketplace and the need to pivot quickly. Experience tells us to expect the unexpected and be ready to tackle challenges before they become crises. How do we prepare? As the ups and downs of international trade become more dramatic, data ana - lytics that allow us to see around exposed deficiencies that we need to be better prepared for to deal with similar events in the future. The overwhelming demand burdened an industry that was teetering on the ability to handle annual small, incremental growth. Our industry has agonized over limited assets, including terminal capacity, chassis availability, ware - house space, truck fleet, and labor that were suddenly needed to keep up with rapid increases of import volume never seen before. This, in At Port Everglades, we had a front-row seat to the shift in the industry to alternative shipping methods. It wasn't quite a sea change. However, it was notable in how it highlighted our ability to collaborate and adjust quickly. Due to limited availability and a shift in trade routes, several of our customers pivoted to breakbulk and project cargo. For example, a usual container shipment of rice from Thailand began arriving in 1-ton super sacks. We also saw this occur with other port part - ners transporting tile and paper. Our goal as a major seaport was to be agile and accommodate our customers during these challenging times. We adapted as they adapted. In fact, in FY21 our bulk/breakbulk cargo increased 33 percent over the previous year and our containerized cargo rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with 1,038,179 TEU during the same period. It remains to be seen if the surging in South Florida goods movement to breakbulk versus con - tainers is a lasting change. As much as change is a constant, the econom- ics and cargo movement efficiencies will also be a driving force. One thing that has irrevocably changed for the better is the shared confidence we have as an industry that through technology, out-of-the- box thinking, and tenacity, we can keep commerce flowing during the toughest of times. Port of Houston Roger Guenther Executive Director The historic spike in demand over the last two years has been a wake-up call for the need of consistent movement of freight on the global stage. The challenges presented by disruptions in the global supply chain have shined a spotlight on essential resilience and fluidity in the supply chain and Port of Halifax Capt. Allan Gray President and CEO The container shipping industry can no longer operate as a collection of independent pieces, and ports must do more to integrate with their surround - ing communities. Over the past two years, we have all come to understand that the just-in-time system, which only functions well if schedules are maintained, cannot handle prolonged disruption or surges. The longer a disruptive event lasts, the greater the impact is on the supply chain and the more complicated it becomes to return the system to something that resem - bles balance. Scheduling remains one of the biggest challenges. The removal of randomness is critical to the optimization of assets. Otherwise, the sys- tem is being built to accommodate waste, which puts increased cost into the supply chain. From the perspective of a port authority, we can add value by work- ing as a trusted partner to control or better manage the factors that are under our control. This includes working with supply chain partners to continuously improve by establishing KPIs, encouraging transparency and open sharing of data and information, and investing in those assets, both digital and physical, that make it easier and more efficient to move cargo through our gateways. Port authorities have a role to play in advancing decarbonization across the supply chain — working with industry and the technology sector to develop green energy solutions applied to the next generation of cargo-handling vessels and equipment. We must do more to ensure that our surrounding communities are better able to share in the eco - nomic benefits that come with the shipping and transport industries, and that more people from all walks of life see themselves reflected in our collective industries. In short, we need to advance sustainability, to be inclusive and engaging, and take a leadership role in advancing the overall health and well-being of our surrounding communities. "The just-in-time system, which only functions well if schedules are maintained, cannot handle prolonged disruption or surges." ◀ "The challenges presented by disruptions in the global supply chain have shined a spotlight on essential resilience and fluidity in the supply chain" Roger Guenther

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Digital Edition - January 2 2023