Dec 01

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A long December, and there’s reason to Believe, maybe this year will be better than the last

5 minute read

Welcome back to the end of a full work week for most of us, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  And wow, hello December! I am sure this split month week has been particularly chaotic for most of us. We are nearing the tail-end of 2022 and usually more chaos occurs on the expedited side of things.  Don’t forget we have you covered with our Carrier911 team to get  your inbound domestic air freight and hot shot shipments moving with full visibility tracking and immediate Proof of Delivery uploads. We have you covered 24/7/365.  Follow us here or reach out to It will seem impossible .. until you see it yourself. 

What’s happening with the pending rail strike? On Wednesday November 30th , the House voted in favor 290 to 137 to force railroad Union workers to agree to the labor deal reached back in September at the White House, and now is waiting to be voted on by the Senate.

The House also voted in favor 221 to 207 to give rail workers seven days of paid sick leave; in a separate bill, the deal brokered by the administration didn’t include any.  Industry groups representing railroad customers expressed relief that this could possibly help the strike to be averted. The House bill is “a welcome sigh of relief to the retail industry and all of those that rely on this key component of our nation’s supply chain,” wrote Sarah Gilmore, vice president at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, in a statement.

Typically, the White House and Congress don’t get involved in labor disputes, aside from making public statements, but the railroad and airline industries are different, covered by a federal labor law that allows for intervention.

Without action this week, disruptions to our auto supply chains, food and other supply shortages and the ability to ship hazardous cargo will begin – also hindering the removal of hazardous waste from gasoline refineries will begin.

Without Biden’s intervention, it’s likely that the parties would still be at the bargaining table and the Unions plan to continue to put pressure on railroads to reform. The last time Congress stepped in to intervene in a rail dispute was in 1992 after workers had been out on strike for three days.

What is Sus’ in the rail market?

Union Pacific Dallas is still experiencing both congestion issues and chassis shortages. A decline in imports through December partnered with additional chassis being supplied, the UP could see some improvements for early 2023.

As we all know, the market is slow, which has allowed for the Chicago market to improve congestion. Although driver wait times are still a bit slow, there are still Chicago drayage drivers looking for work – and good news we have plenty of drayage capacity in Chicago! 

TEU Volume went down this week 3.7% from last week, mostly due to the short holiday week, port closures and many shippers being on shutdown for the latter part of last week.  Will we see volume increases next week?  December historically starts to wind down in all markets, but this is definitely the slowest we have seen in this industry in a few years. 

Cool things are on the horizon for 2023 with plans of building new and expanding current auto plants to accommodate the future of EV.  In fact, we have put together a team that is well versed in all things automotive for all your automotive shipment and plant project transportation needs. Our EV is EZ team is ready to help you expand into the EV/Auto market. Creative, innovative, outside the box thinking for the future of the supply chain is what our team offers. To stay up to date, follow us here.

What are the port hardships this week?

Houston: Houston has seen cargo flow improve since the new dwell import fees that were to go into effect December 1st were approved, however the December 1st start date for the “sustained import dwell fee” has been pushed back due to software enhancement delays. Houston Port Authority said it would provide a 30-day notice ahead of the fee’s new start date. The fee will still be in effect in the near future, so hopefully this will keep containers moving to avoid any future congestion.  

For anyone that was not aware, the new fee, approved by Houston in October, is one of two penalties on long-dwelling imports put in place in hopes they will help improve cargo fluidity. The other fee also approved in October is an “excess dwell import fee” that would only be implemented in situations of extreme congestion and would override the “sustained import dwell fee” under those conditions.. So this can go either way – congestion improvement great for carriers, extra fees bad for importers. 

What looks positive this week?

Southeast Ports: Chassis improvement is on the way! The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has approved the formation of a chassis pool in the Southeast US covering three ports in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, a move port officials say will expand the fleet and improve the quality and reliability of the equipment necessary to move containerized cargo. This exciting news comes from a JOC article posted November 28th. Check it out here.       

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