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Aperture & Focus

Aperture & Focus 2024: Week 15

Apr. 11, 2024
Aperture & Focus

Global Aperture

Recent weeks have seen an uptick in attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, with two confirmed attacks reported by UK Maritime Trade Operations. While Houthis claim to have targeted various vessels, these assertions have yet to be independently verified, raising concerns about safety and potential disruptions in the region's maritime routes. 

Regional Focus


United States: The removal process of containers from the vessel that collided with the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge has commenced, with seven containers already offloaded onto a barge. To facilitate the vessel's movement to the CSX terminal, approximately 140 containers need to be removed to lighten it. This will be a crucial step towards reopening the Port of Baltimore. Engineers hope to restore normal capacity access to the port by the end of May. 

In the first two months of 2024, the Port of New York and New Jersey experienced significant growth  driven by increases in imports, rail volume, and auto shipments. Imports surged by 15.2% in February, contributing to the port's second-busiest February on record, while rail volume saw a notable increase of 17.2% during the same month. 

The Port Everglades in Florida welcomed three 53-meter-tall gantry cranes to enhance operational efficiency. These cranes can handle containers stacked eight high and span 22 containers across the deck, contributing to the port's efforts to elevate its infrastructure. 

Canada: Ports on the west coast of Canada are experiencing logjams due to a surge in imports, leading to increased container dwell times. Strained rail capacity has exacerbated the situation, with the potential for further disruption looming as Canadian rail workers prepare to vote on holding a labor strike.


China: Chinese airlines will increase bellyhold capacity on flights to the US in April after the US Department of Transportation authorized an expansion from 35 to 50 weekly flights. Meanwhile, US airlines have delayed resuming many flights to China until at least late October due to ongoing depressed demand. 

South Korea: South Korea's Busan New Port inaugurated its seventh container terminal, marking the country's first fully automated facility equipped with remotely controlled ship-to-shore cranes. This advancement is expected to boost productivity by up to 20% and enhance safety measures. 

Indonesia: Batam has inaugurated its first container shipping route with China which is expected to reduce shipping costs by approximately US$600 per container. The direct shipping link connects Batam with Guangzhou and Shenzhen in southern China, eliminating the need for transshipment in Singapore and providing opportunities for expanded direct shipping connections to other countries. 

Europe, Middle East & Africa

Belgium: Air cargo volumes at Liege Airport spiked by 16% in March compared to the same period last year, due in part to e-commerce demand and Red Sea diversions. The airport also noted a shift away from nighttime operations as part of its sustainability efforts, with daytime movements increasing by 26% compared to the previous year. 

Ukraine: A feeder service from Constanta, Romania, has facilitated the return of containers to Odessa's Chornomorsk port for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The arrival of these containers marks a significant step in expanding Ukraine's capacity for importing and exporting vital goods, easing the strain on logistics and supply chains previously disrupted by the conflict. 

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