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The Maritime Industry Is Desperate for Crew

Young job applicants are not stepping up to fill the gaps

(Newser) - To anyone seeking adventure and gainful employment far from a 9-to-5 desk routine, the maritime industry awaits with open arms. That's the message conveyed in a recent New York Times report, which begins aboard the Millennium Falcon , a tugboat that hauls barges on weekslong journeys from coast to coast...

No, That's Not a Desert— That's the Mississippi River

Drought, record-low water levels are mucking up ship routes and commerce along trade super-route

(Newser) - Every year, 589 million tons of freight moves up and down the Mississippi River, which CNN deems "America's most important trade waterway." But you may need to take "water" out of that description along many sections of the route, as a historic drought has caused the...

Miss. River Barges Are Getting Stuck at 'Worst Possible Time'

River is nearing record lows in some areas, snarling corn, soybean shipping

(Newser) - The unusually low water level in the lower Mississippi River is causing barges to get stuck in mud and sand, disrupting river travel for shippers, recreational boaters, and even passengers on a cruise line. Lack of rainfall in recent weeks has left the Mississippi River approaching record low levels in...

Shipping Industry's Big Woe Has Turned on Its Head

Before, a backlog. Now, a lack of demand

(Newser) - For what seemed like a very long time, shipping-related news was one-note: The backlog was wild, shooting up prices and causing long delays. There was a months-long lag on furniture shipments , shipping containers skyrocketed in price , and America's busiest port shifted to 24/7 operations. Now, a new tune: As...

Trucker Protest Brings Busy US Port to a Standstill

Independent truckers at Oakland are protesting California labor law

(Newser) - Truckers protesting a state labor law have effectively shut down cargo operations at California's Port of Oakland, it was announced Wednesday. "The shutdown will further exacerbate the congestion of containers" and port officials are urging operations at shipping terminals to resume, a port statement said. The protest that...

Stuck in California: Billion Pounds of Almonds

Industry has turned to 'almond express trains'

(Newser) - More than a billion pounds of almonds—enough to give everybody on the planet a good-sized handful of the nuts—are stuck in storage in California because of supply chain issues, and farmers aren't sure what they're going to do with a harvest of 2.8 billion pounds...

Long-Awaited Words on Supply Chain: 'Worst Is Behind Us'

'Wall Street Journal' expects port backlogs to disappear in early 2022

(Newser) - Headlines about supply chain logjams have been prominent amid the pandemic, but now the Wall Street Journal offers a note of optimism. "Globally speaking, the worst is behind us," Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics tells the newspaper. The gist of the story is that issues that have led...

America's Busiest Port Is Shifting to 24/7 Operations

Administration says it is working to fix major supply chain issues

(Newser) - The busiest container port in the US is going to start operating around the clock seven days a week to deal with supply chain issues that are hitting American businesses hard. The White House said Wednesday that it had brokered a deal to keep the Port of Los Angeles open...

Companies Abandon Ships, and Crews, in Record Numbers

Workers often are stuck aboard as food runs out, with no way to get home

(Newser) - After the Ever Given was freed from the Suez Canal, its crew was held on the ship for four months while the owners agreed to a financial settlement with Egyptian authorities. It's not unusual in the shipping industry for crews to be detained or merely abandoned, without pay, with...

FedEx Has to Reroute 600K Packages a Day

It's all because of a labor shortage

(Newser) - FedEx is rerouting 600,000 packages a day, resulting in longer delivery times, because of a labor shortage that could stretch into the holiday season. About 6% of the average daily volume of packages is being rerouted across the FedEx Ground network, President and COO Raj Subramaniam told investors during...

We're in the Middle of a Shipping Container Struggle

They're crazy expensive and in demand these days

(Newser) - There have been plenty of stories about COVID-related shortages of everything from semiconductor chips to toilet paper . CNN adds shipping containers to that category. What used to be a fairly cheap commodity—as recently as a year ago you could rent a 40-foot steel container on a ship bound from...

Just Ordered a Sofa? You May Be Waiting Awhile

Shipping delays, material shortages, COVID overseas all contributing to furniture delivery lag

(Newser) - Kept at home due to the pandemic and spurred by recent stimulus checks, Americans have increasingly invested in sprucing up their homes, including by purchasing new furniture. But that rush on sofas, beds, and coffee tables has caused a backlog, leaving some consumers waiting for months to receive their shipments....

The Ship Captain Died in April. A 'Grotesque Odyssey' Followed

No port was willing to accept the captain's body due to COVID restrictions

(Newser) - Shortly after setting sail on a cargo ship, a 61-year-old Italian sea captain came down with symptoms consistent with COVID. That was April 2, 2021. On April 8, MV Ital Libera captain Angelo Capurro was dead and his crew stranded in Indonesian waters. In a piece for CNN , Teele Rebane...

Crack in Major Bridge Could Lead to Monthslong Shutdown

Closure of Memphis' Hernando DeSoto Bridge connecting Tenn. to Ark. is causing a big headache

(Newser) - A big crack in the steel framework of a bridge over the Mississippi River has led to the bridge's closure, throwing traffic and shipping into disarray for the indefinite future. On Tuesday, the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, which connects Memphis, Tenn., and West Memphis, Ark., was shut down for emergency...

Sailor Goes Home After Years Trapped on Cargo Ship

With the captain ashore, a court declared that he was the ship's legal guardian

(Newser) - The International Transport Workers Federation says cases of shipowners abandoning sailors on cargo ships are on the rise —but few cases are as egregious as that of Mohammed Aisha. The Syrian man has finally returned home after four years stranded on the Bahrain-flagged MV Aman, which was detained by...

Captain Stonewalls Canal Investigation

Egypt says it's out $1B, and companies could try to collect compensation from Ever Given

(Newser) - The Ever Given is free, but it's not going anywhere. The Suez Canal Authority said the captain of the cargo ship, which was stuck for six days before being freed Monday, hasn't turned over the ship's black box or documents needed for the investigation, despite several requests....

It Could Take 'Days, Weeks' to Unblock Suez Canal
That Stuck Ship Is a Mess,
and There's No End in Sight

That Stuck Ship Is a Mess, and There's No End in Sight

Removing load from cargo ship wedged across Suez Canal could be risky

(Newser) - One of the world's biggest cargo ships is blocking one of the world's busiest waterways—and nobody seems sure if when it can be shifted. The Ever Given has been wedged across the canal since Tuesday and a traffic jam of more than 150 ships has built up,...

Massive Traffic Jam Builds Up at Suez Canal

Vital waterway is still blocked by cargo ship

(Newser) - A skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across Egypt's Suez Canal further imperiled global shipping Thursday as at least 150 other vessels needing to pass through the crucial waterway idled waiting for the obstruction to clear, authorities said. The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe,...

A Lot of Gifts Didn't Arrive in Time This Year

Etiquette experts advise tipping off some recipients, but certainly not children

(Newser) - Joanna Goldstein ordered Christmas ornaments as gifts on Nov. 17, from a store 80 miles from her home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was notified on Dec. 11 that the ornaments were in Columbus, Ohio. The package then went through Warrendale, Pennsylvania; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Lansing, Michigan, before apparently...

Hawaii Boaters Warned After Ship Loses 1.9K Containers

It ran into violent storm en route to California

(Newser) - A cargo ship en route to Long Beach, California, from China lost almost 2,000 containers in a violent storm this week—more than the entire industry loses at sea in a typical year. The Coast Guard has warned Hawaii mariners about the approximately 1,900 lost containers, 40 of...

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