This year has been a rough ride from start to finish, creating new and interesting challenges to overcome. First it started with container congestion on the US West Coast just beginning to rear its ugly head, signaling the maelstrom we’d be experiencing later in the year. There was the confusion about Vietnam ports where things were being shipped there from China to avoid tariffs, creating a bit of a trade war.
Then of course there was the ship that made its way into everyone’s newsfeed – Ever Given. Being stuck in the Suez Canal after being hit with a sandstorm was no joke – well at least not to those involved. For everyone else, the memes and jokes were abound. But that put the global supply chain on the map for everyone to start talking about it. You know the old trick to open with a good joke? Well we took that seriously.
Granted, there were plenty of good things that happened too – the Port of Virginia coming in strong with new and improved $800 million infrastructure investment being one of them. But all good things aren’t always shareable as the bridge over the Mississippi River cracked, leaving 700 barges waiting. Summer came in strong with the heat highlighting hazmat dangers like Vivo phones igniting on ships because of the recorded temperatures. Vancouver itself was also cut off from the rest of the world by land for several weeks as flooding came with major rain storms.
But some good things are shareable, even if they have to be taken with the overwhelming side. Like how LA and LB ports processed 10 million TEU’s (that’s twenty foot equivalent units), in a 12 month period! That was record breaking for the western hemisphere. The Port of Virginia itself thrived this year with the new infrastructure in place. And the state won a bill for $1 trillion in infrastructure changes – everything from broadband access to making sure roads and bridges are reinforced and maintained, and much more.
Though there were problems with air cargo following the ocean cargo and getting congested, things were still looking up as Norfolk soared during the rough ocean freight market. Overall, while the year has been seen as one problem after another and congestion, congestion, congestion, Nelson has worked hard to make sure to keep your products moving.