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Aperture & Focus

Aperture & Focus 2024: Week 16

Apr. 19, 2024
Aperture & Focus

Global Aperture

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced plans to increase the number of daily transits and ship draft limits in response to improved water levels in Gatun Lake and optimistic rainfall forecasts. Booking slots in both the Panamax and Neopanamax locks will increase to 31 per day by May 15th and 32 per day by June 1st, with full normalization of daily transits and maximum draft planned by 2025.

On January 11, 2024, U.S. Customs deployed the Environmental Protection Agency Hydrofluorocarbons (EPA HFC) code two days earlier than planned, aligning with the American Innovation & Manufacturing (AIM) Act. This empowers the EPA to regulate HFCs, potent greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, due to their environmental and health risks. For detailed information on how this affects your supply chain, please refer to KWE’s latest Customer Advisory.

Regional Focus


Canada: On April 10th, members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) began their vote on a strike following almost two years of stalled negotiations with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) over issues such as wages, job security, and telework. While the results of this vote will not be made public until May 14th, the matter could be resolved earlier if the parties conclude before this date. If a strike were to occur, it would likely come in the form of a “work-to-rule” where staff would work no extra hours, leading to potential delays.

United States: Beginning October 1st, the Port of Portland will suspend container operations due to financial losses and failed negotiations with a potential third-party operator. This decision, attributed to mounting losses and lack of state financial support, will affect various sectors including agricultural and seafood sectors and will necessitate alternate transportation for goods with potential increases in operational costs.


India: The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMPK), also known as Kolkata Port, will begin a 30-day shutdown of Berth 17 in three 10-day phases starting April 22nd.  Intermittent windows for vessel operations, lasting 3 to 4 days, will be allowed between shutdown phases, with durations set by SMPK authorities.

Europe, Middle East & Africa

Europe: European ports are facing congestion issues due to a combination of factors, including delays in selling imported electric vehicles from China and fluctuations in demand. Industry experts anticipate ongoing challenges as car manufacturers struggle to adapt to changing market dynamics and address capacity constraints at port terminals.

United Arab Emirates: Dubai faces significant disruption and potential isolation in global trade networks following Iran's seizure of the containership MSC Aries, threatening its crucial role as a hub for sea-air corridors from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and North America. The significant risk this poses has prompted carriers to reevaluate vessel deployment and network strategies which may lead to disruptions in key ports and trade lanes.

On April 16th, Dubai experienced over 140 mm of rainfall—well over the annual average of 95 mm, leading to significant disruption across all modes of transportation due to flooding and road closures. While departures from Dubai International Airport remained operational, all incoming flights have been diverted as of April 16th. KWE is actively monitoring the situation and anticipates some delays in shipments to and from the United Arab Emirates.

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