Sep 08

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This Week’s FreightWaves Market Update

5 minute read
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The News

It’s crazy how the roads change when school is back in session. I took some reflection time on Tuesday during my seasonally overly congested commute to work to think about how truly amazing it is that traffic changes the instant summer comes to a close. And the wakeup call reminder that mindlessly (but cautiously) driving 80 miles an hour just isn’t gonna cut it anymore…until next summer! In the freight world more traffic slows everything down. Welcome to preholiday season, everything is so hot but the weather and traffic are so not. 

The post Labor Day holiday week allowed for a little bit of relief as the week comes to an end, but some key ports and rails will be heating up into the next. Port congestion continues at many ports and rails and the rail delays are not improving on the West Coast either. As of yesterday, there are estimates of delays of 12 days at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. For containers that are moved by a combination of truck and rail, delays are at 30 days. The congestion on the rails is also impacting inland rails, with delays. We are seeing wait times for a container pickup at a rail yard in Dallas between 40-50 days. Other railyards in Kansas City and Memphis are also stacked with containers.

There are some ugly backups in Kansas City right now, the Kansas City Norfolk Southern is having issues with unloading trains. Carriers are needing to bring in their own chassis whether it be pool or private. There are over 3000 containers still on train cars in storage on tracks – to quote my one of my KC drivers “It’s Bonkers!”

In an article posted by JOC on 9/7: Norfolk Southern Railway opened an auxiliary lot Tuesday in Kansas City amid a deluge of import containers that has overrun its terminal there, forcing the eastern US railroad to reconfigure operations to create more available capacity.

The holiday Monday caused imports to slow down this week, incoming TEU volume down 26% from last week. With Monday being a federal holiday, it is likely there wasn’t much time to play catch up.

  • NY/NJ There was a decent increase in volume last week, and another big spike this week. Chassis shortages and empty returns are starting up again and driver wait times at all NY/NJ terminals make it a great time for drivers to be alive in the era of Smart Phone internet. Can you imagine what drivers had to do waiting in long lines way back when? 
  • Baltimore Volume still increasing, chassis still decreasing
  • Norfolk Key bad word: Exports! Some steamship lines have almost no empty equipment for exports, including street turns. Bookings are getting rolled and warehouses are getting full. Still some chassis shortages
  • New Orleans/Houston/Mobile the Gulf coast ports seem to be where it is at for imports the coming up week. 11 container ship vessels at anchor in Houston currently, port congestion and driver wait times are still in effect. If you ever meet a Houston drayage driver and want to have some fun, ask them about City Docks. They will either tell you a really cool story or traumatize you for life.  Reefer empty equipment is running dangerously low at all 3 ports

What looks a positive this week?

  • LA/Long Beach There are no major issues with containers being stopped and handled for port pickups, rail dwellings remain an issue
  • Seattle more volume coming through, heavy wait times still remain, chassis are available. 
  • Oakland and Denver We have capacity at both! Reach out to us with your Oakland and Denver drayage needs  
  • Savannah Still rockin’ and rolling, no issues to report, not much has changed from the last few weeks. 

Here is a topic that gets brought up almost daily. EV Batteries are hazardous cargo BUT there are exceptions. Class 9 batteries are hazardous on ocean and in air but NOT hazardous over the road. A driver picking up or delivering a class 9 container from or to any airport, port or rail (to /from ocean transit) MUST be hazmat certified. If a road driver is picking up a class 9 load at a warehouse and delivering to a warehouse they will not need to have hazmat certification. We know shipping Hazardous cargo is confusing, we are here to help. Port X Logistics makes shipping EV E-Z!

Did you know? We have a full-service warehouse, staff and experts on hand in Savannah. We want to be in a long-term relationship with your trans loads! Contact Tyler and the team today

Contact the leadership team via for any questions or concerns.

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