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A Hurricane, IUUF & Singapore Port Congestion: Maritime Global Trade Roundup

Hurricane

What’s inside?

    There was a 146% increase in the number of port calls by all vessels in Trinidad and Tobago between June 23-30 and July 1-7. Yes, Hurricane Beryl is definitely having an outsized impact. Find out more in this week’s Maritime Global Trade Roundup. 

    Windward also saw a 22% increase in dark activities conducted in a certain country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels classified in Windward’s platform as high/moderate IUU risk.

    We also have the details on how Houthi attacks and other factors are causing significant arrival delays to Singapore since April 2024, ranging from six to +70 days, and price hikes.

    Enjoy this week’s catch! 

    Hurricane Beryl’s Trade Impact

    • A tropical storm began in the Gulf of Mexico and rapidly strengthened into a hurricane as it advanced in the Caribbean Sea. The storm moved towards Texas and Houston (as of July 7), causing flight cancellations and shipping delays.
    • Windward’s Early Detection model shows that following the start of the hurricane, there were several activities that correlated with the weather. There was a 146% increase in the number of port calls by all vessels in Trinidad and Tobago between June 23-30 and July 1-7. 
    • During the same period, there was a 30% decrease in the number of port calls in Jamaica. Additionally, the data shows that there was a 666% drifting increase by all vessels in Haiti. It is possible that due to the hurricane, vessels did not enter the Caribbean Sea and instead stayed in Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti, as a logical stopping point. Jamaica, located deeper in the Caribbean Sea, was mostly avoided.
    Trinidad
    Port calls in Trinidad and Tobago
    Jamaica
    Port calls in Jamaica
    Haiti
    Drifting operations in Haiti
    • The port of Houston saw a 16% decrease in port calls by tankers and cargo vessels from June 23-30 to July 1-7. Also, last week shows a 11% lower rate of port calls than last year’s average. As the storm advances towards the Texas coastline, it is expected that the number of port calls in Houston and the surrounding areas might further decrease.

    Increase in Taiwanese IUU Fishing in Japan

    • The Taiwanese IUU fishing fleet is considered one of the largest illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing fleets in the world. The Taiwanese IUU fleet was reported to conduct illegal activities such as shark finning, capture and killing of dolphins, and harm to killer whales in the past. It has also been accused of human rights violations, such as providing below-minimum salaries, withholding wages, physical and verbal abuse, and excessive overtime work.
    • There are 644 fishing vessels sailing under the Taiwanese flag and classified by Windward’s Maritime AI platform for IUU fishing risk as of July 2024  – 82% high risk, 18% moderate risk. Windward data also shows that most of the Taiwanese IUU fishing fleet operated in the North Pacific Ocean at the border of Japan’s EEZ, the Indian Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean, and the South Pacific Ocean in June 2024.
    Map
    Clustering of IUU fishing operations by Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels classified as high/moderate IUU risk, June 2024.
    • There have been several incidents involving Taiwanese-flagged vessels in recent weeks. For example, on July 5, 2024, Japanese authorities arrested a Taiwanese fishing vessel that was conducting illicit fishing operations in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
    • Windward’s data show that between May-June 2024, there was a 22% increase in dark activities conducted in Japan’s EEZ by Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels classified in Windward’s platform as high/moderate IUU risk. Previous years showed a decrease in June, but June 2024 shows an increase. As suggested by public sources, sailing with an AIS transmitter deliberately off (dark activity) is a known practice of IUU fishing vessels to hide their illicit behavior.

    Dark activities by Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels classified as high/moderate IUU Risk in Japan’s EEZ, January 2021-June 2024.

    • Additionally, data shows that between May-June 2024, there was an 87% increase in dark activities conducted in the North Pacific Ocean by Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels classified by Windward’s technology as high/moderate IUU risk
    • Compared to the previous year, which saw no significant increase between May-June, June 2024 shows a more significant change. It should be noted that prior to May 2023, there is no data for dark activities conducted by Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels in the North Pacific Ocean.

    Dark activities by Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels classified as high/moderate IUU Risk in the North Pacific Ocean, May 2023-June 2024.

    • While IUU fishing by Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels is not a new phenomenon, in June 2024 there is a significant increase in IUU fishing activities in Japan and the North Pacific Ocean. Using Windward’s IUU risk model can help detect such activities and trends.

    Increase in Port of Singapore Congestion and Delays

    • The Transport Minister of Singapore informed parliament that around 90% of container vessels are arriving off-schedule due to the Red Sea crisis. To avoid Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, vessels are taking the longer route via The Cape of Good Hope. As a crucial transshipment hub, Singapore faces increased congestion at container terminals, leading to higher freight costs.
    • Windward’s Ocean Freight Visibility’s Port Insights data shows that in June 2024, freight costs for shipments between East Asia and the Mediterranean rose by 27.8%, while costs from the Mediterranean to East Asia increased by 3.1%. These increases might be occurring due to the Red Sea Crisis and congestion at major ports like Piraeus, Egypt, and Singapore. They are also affected by fuel consumption, service speed, and container availability. 
    • In addition, Windward’s Ocean Freight Visibility™ data shows significant delays in arrivals to Singapore since April 2024, ranging from six to +70 days. The majority of these delays are due to route deviations via The Cape of Good Hope. Maritime AI™ Predictive ETA indicates many shipments are expected to arrive between late July and mid-August 2024, likely increasing port congestion.
    Singapore
    Example of a shipment departing from Belgium to Singapore currently anchored at the port waiting area of Singapore, after route deviation caused by the Red Sea Crisis.
    • Windward’s Maritime AI™ data shows a 22% decrease in container vessel port calls in Singapore in June 2024, compared to the monthly average in 2023. Additionally, between January and June 2024, there has been a 22% decrease in port calls in Singapore by container vessels.
    • On the other hand, data shows that between January-June 2024, there was a 28% increase in anchoring operations conducted by container vessels at the port waiting area of Singapore, which might be an indicator for increased waiting times for these vessels before getting serviced.
    • It is possible that the decrease might have been caused by the delayed arrivals of the vessels to the port, due to the route deviation caused by the Red Sea crisis.

    Port calls in Singapore by container vessels, January 2023-June 2024.

    Anchoring operations in Singapore by container vessels, January 2023-June 2024.

    On July 1, the port of Singapore began operating three new berths to improve efficiency and cargo handling. Windward data shows that between June 16-23 and June 30-July 6, there was a 57% decrease in anchoring operations in Singapore by container vessels. Using Windward’s Sequence Search capability reveals that between the weeks of June 23-29 and June 30-July 6, there was a 15% increase in port calls in Singapore by container vessels that previously anchored at Singapore’s port waiting area. This might have happened thanks to the opening of the additional berths at Singapore, which increased the port’s capability.

    Port calls in Singapore by container vessels previously anchored in the port waiting area of Singapore. October 1, 2023-July 6, 2024.

    Sequence Search
    Sequence Search’s user interface.
    Map
    Sequence Search example for a vessel arriving at Singapore, anchoring at the port waiting area followed by a port call in Singapore.
    • Combining Windward’s Maritime AI™ and Ocean Freight Visibility™ platforms and data, along with our Sequence Search capability, can help better understand how geopolitical events affect the supply chain, and aid in  assessing how these events can lead to changes in freight prices and ETAs.

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