Disruption Report #69: Ocean Freight Carriers Are Panicking, Bob Iger Returns As CEO of Disney, and Railroad Strike a Real Possibility in December

Shipping cargo container lost in the sea or ocean. Cargo isurance concept. 3d illustration

Railroad Strike During December Is a Real Possibility

We have been progressively concerned about the possibility of a railroad strike. Those worries appear to have been well-grounded as four railroad worker unions have voted down the contract their representatives negotiated with the railroads. If one union walks out, they all have to walk out.

30% of all freight goes by rail. Let’s hope this settles.

Bob Iger Returns to Disney as CEO

Bob Chapek is out, and Bob Iger is back as Disney CEO. Disney stock is down 40% from a year ago, so the Board of Directors offered Iger his job back.

The decision moved quickly as the job was offered to Iger on Friday and finalized on Sunday.

Investors are thrilled to have him once again reigning over the Magic Kingdom. Disney’s shares ended Monday up more than 6% on a day that the Dow Jones was slightly down. Second, Iger is moving fast — not even waiting a full 24 hours to announce sweeping changes — to dismantle Chapek’s reorganization of the company.

Bob Iger moves fast to dismantle Chapek’s reorganization of Disney, Oliver Darcy, CNN Business, November 21, 2022

Ocean Freight Carriers Are Panicking

Container rates peaked in September 2021 with a price of $20,586 for a container shipping from Asia to Los Angeles. Today, that same container, according to Drewery, costs $2,130. Virtually one-tenth the cost.

To give you a flavor of how the ocean freight carriers are reacting, consider this headline from GCarrier,  “Carriers in ‘Panic Mode’ as China Bookings Plummet.” Here is how the author, Mike Wackett, puts it:

The transpacific, short-term rates from China to the US west coast are sinking to sub-economic levels, dragging down long-term rates as carriers are forced to offer customers temporary reductions on contract rates.

Carriers in ‘Panic Mode’ as China Bookings Plummet.”, Mike Wackett, GCaptain, November 18, 2022

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