Peter Tirschwell is vice president within the Maritime & Trade division of IHS Markit, publisher of The Journal of Commerce, JOC.com, PIERS maritime trade data, and JOC events such as TPM. In his expanded role within IHS Markit, he is responsible for all editorial content appearing in Maritime & Trade media and events. A career transportation journalist, Tirschwell was a reporter, West Coast bureau chief, editor-in-chief, and publisher of The Journal of Commerce in his nearly 30-year career with the company. He is the founder and chairman of the annual TPM Conference in Long Beach, California, one of the world’s largest shipping events, and led the development of the JOC Port Productivity project, the first global database of port performance. He writes a regular column in The Journal of Commerce.
The marine container network faced exceptional challenges in 2020, and recovering will last well into 2021. From a carrier perspective, there was no downtime in the second half of 2020 to recover as operations, berth occupancy, and terminal utilization in Asia and North America reached record levels. The introduction of extra loaders exacerbated the situation. Weather, including elevated wave heights and numerous storm systems created further delays, as did COVID-related diversions to crew change locations and COVID testing of crews. Ocean Network Express CEO Jeremy Nixon will explain why carriers expect the industry's marine network to face continuing challenges in the first quarter of 2021, and potentially beyond.