A few things that popped out to us this week that are worthy of note and conversation.
NY-NJ terminal alters free time to prod Saturday gate usage
The move by Maher Terminals effectively shortens the time a shipper is given to remove their cargo from the port before fees kick in, while putting pressure on motor carriers and warehouses to operate longer hours.
Some LA/LGB terminals have opened up Sunday hours and will have some appointment exempt empty returns to try and help alleviate empties in the community.
The Georgia Ports Authority will be adding 1 additional hour to the time that gates are open in Savannah to help move even more cargo through the terminal.
Our takeaway is that the industry needs to understand that containers are moved by human drivers not machines. So, while making more weekend hours available and encouraging them to use weekend gates, the impact may not be as great as hoped. Drivers are still working long hours. If you put in 5 or 6 ten to twelve hour days, do you really want to work on Saturday or Sunday? These “people” have families, lives, and many perform maintenance on their own trucks also. The weekend gates look great on paper, but we just don’t think they will have a major impact. AND they are cutting the free time at the port, so the BCO and consumer continue to be hurt by these additional fees.
The GPA gets a bingo for a pragmatic plan. That one hour may make a bigger impact than having a terminal open on Sunday. Just our two cents.
Overall volumes across North America will be up next week. Here’s a rundown of some highlights around the country.
- NY/NJ seeing another spike at the end of next week. Looks like 8/25 based upon our data. Some of the empties got slightly better this week. SOME. Silver lining, but we will set what happens when the spike hits.
- Baltimore volumes rise next week significantly. As of last night, there was 1 20’ chassis and 18 40’ chassis available at the pool. With volumes up we could see them run out of chassis again soon.
- Norfolk gets a huge bump of containers expected from Aug 23 to Aug 25. Get orders in early.
- Charleston has a huge spike coming next week. Chassis MAY be an issue? Just remembers 20’ chassis don’t grow on trees. Especially tri-axles. Communicate early and understand where your cargo is coming into.
- Miami is a seesaw. It’s hitting highs at the end of next week (Aug 25)
- LA/Long Beach does not have a lot to report from a volume perspective over the next week, BUT there are a lot of vessels that just arrived. We are being told 16 ships arrived over the last 24 hours. Total of 49 container vessels at anchor this morning. No new intel on the ILWU contract. Also note the Sunday gates at LBCT and Trapac mentioned above.
- Savannah doesn’t get a huge break, but no spikes. As mentioned above they have extended gate hours and are now down to 31 vessels at anchor.
- Houston gets a bit of a chance to catch up. Inbound volumes from Aug 16 to Aug 25 are down. Only 10 vessels at anchor right now.
- Seattle is relatively slow over the next week with inbound. Should be smooth sailing in the pacific Northwest.
- Oakland after the AB5 protests and backlogs, we expect things to be more normalized next week.
Still anticipating a surge after Labor Day. It seems like a bit of a game of whack a mole right now. One thing gets better, and another gets messy.
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