Will Cuba be the Next Major Transportation Hub?

Posted by PLS Logistics October 18, 2016 at 9:50 AM

For cargo shipping, focus is on the Cuban port, Container Terminal Mariel (TC Mariel) which opened in January 2014. The Obama Administration has made it easier for container services to add Cuba as a port of call since they’ve reopened embassies and ended a 54-year diplomatic standstill with the country. In May 2016, the first US cruise ship docked in Cuba since 1978 - opening the door to more travel and business with Cuba, but there are still limitations on trade in goods and services - the US trade embargo is still in place.

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control broadened allowances for US vessels carrying certain agricultural or otherwise approved cargoes, extending them to non-US vessels. “Cuba does have the potential to act as a transshipment hub for US cargo, in a similar way to how Freeport, Bahamas does now,” said Drewry.

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3 Ways Megaships Provide Opportunities for U.S. Ports

Posted by PLS Logistics May 10, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Efficiency in the international cargo transportation network is a critical factor for the health of the global economy. It’s no secret that U.S. ports lack in efficiency, capacity and technology compared to Asian and European ports, especially since the arrival of megaships.

Megaships, the largest of which can hold up to 20,000 TEUs, have created congestion at U.S. ports, and they’ve revealed deeper problems with American container transportation infrastructure.

What’s Wrong with U.S. Ports?

There are many challenges that create congestion and inefficiency at U.S. ports, but major problems include:

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Ocean Capacity: Bad News for Commodities Shipping

Posted by PLS Logistics April 4, 2016 at 9:30 AM

The Chinese economy drives demand for freight on the seas, and its economy’s existing weakness is weighing on the global shipping industry. Ocean shipping is necessary to the global economy, but shippers are experiencing somewhat of a crisis: low demand and surplus shipping vessels for hire. China’s slow economy is reducing demand for commodities like coal and iron ore, which affects dry bulk ocean transport.

The dry bulk shipping downturn began in 2008, after the beginning of the US financial crisis, and got worse in 2015 as the Chinese economy weakened. 2009 was the worst year on record for container shipping: the industry lost $20 billion.

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The Causes and Effects of Demurrage

Posted by PLS Logistics October 20, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Importers and exporters are facing a problem: demurrage. It’s often a surprise for them -- both in terms of suddenness and financial loss. Fall 2014’s peak season proved how port congestion can make steamship lines increase demurrage charges and worsen the situation for importers. Careful planning and monitoring of loading/unloading operations and the drayage process can help shippers avoid demurrage fees.

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How Do Low Oil Prices Affect Different Transportation Modes?

Posted by PLS Logistics October 1, 2015 at 11:00 AM

The price of oil, mainly due to increased output from North American fracking, has dropped significantly in the past few months. Oil affects just about every industry in the US economy, especially freight transportation.

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Shippers Turn to Intermodal for Savings

Posted by PLS Logistics March 31, 2015 at 8:00 AM


Choosing the best transportation mode is a crucial step in shrinking time and cost of moving freight between a shipper and a point of purchase. There are pros and cons to each mode of transportation, depending on the type of freight being moved, and there is an optimal route for every shipment.

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