1186 words, 5 minute read – let’s do this!
This is officially the last market update of 2022. We did it!
2022 was a long year with a lot of events, including the 5th year anniversary of Port X Logistics on October 2nd. The Port X Logistics Leadership team wants to give a huge thank you to our amazing customers and employees that have turned this journey into family. We honor and value each and every one of you! We are committed to making 2023 a fresh “day 1” start to guarantee amazing customer service and we have some real exciting growth planned.
The pandemic wrap up year started with clean up from the LA/LGB ports disaster of late 2021, and shippers make the switch from utilizing west coast ports to utilizing east coast and gulf coast ports, continued with port and rail congestion, unrepairable supply shortages and over inflated ocean and trucking rates and a rail strike almost happening – twice. As Q4 abruptly slowed down, we are now feeling the effects of typical market crunches. I guess we can confidently say we are back to normal. Time to buckle down and remember what it was like before the world changed. Both exciting and very different. Who else is looking forward to a fresh start?
Chassis shortages were a big topic of 2022 – and it is lingering on… Chassis pools not being able to replenish inventory or being able to repair any damaged equipment combined with the huge 2021 empty container overflow was the culprit of much of the port and rail congestion. Backlogs of containers accumulated at intermodal rail terminals in Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Memphis, and most of the northeastern rail heads. There are still a lot of hiccups with the plan for chassis replenishment. There is an ongoing dispute between US chassis manufacturers CIE Manufacturing and Pitts Enterprises states that when a Pitts subcontractor bought axles and landing gear legs from China, built the chassis in Vietnam, and transported the finished units to the US labeled as “Made in Vietnam.” US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found a “reasonable suspicion” that Pitts evaded duties based on an inspection conducted in September and is still being investigated. If the CBP investigation lasts into 2023, it could postpone the timeline for delivery of marine chassis purchased from Pitts subsidiary Dorsey Intermodal, which includes the South Carolina Ports Authority (SC Ports) as a customer. Unless other manufacturers can fill in production, this would delay launch of SC Ports’ new chassis pool and, quite possibly a continuation of chassis shortages in the crucial areas that are already suffering.
Not a huge surprise for a volume decline this week with two holiday weekends coming up, TEU volumes decreased 14.4% this week from last week. Not only is the holiday week keeping truck capacity low, much of the eastern two-thirds of the US is expected to get hit with storm weather before the weekend even starts – with expectations of heavy snow, damaging winds and even some heavy rainfall with extremely cold temperatures through the holiday weekend. Storm hazards will mostly include blizzard conditions. Some areas across the north-central US have been upgraded to major and extreme impacts as we head into the coming days. Deliveries and holiday travel in these areas will be impacted, but Santa will be very happy with the snow and crazy winds this weekend! Be sure to buy extra milk and bake extra cookies because he might just get stuck as your house guest!
What is going on at the ports this week?
NY/NJ: Congestion issues have drastically improved at the NY port (Global Terminal). While still moving slower than normal, it is favorable compared to the NJ ports, primarily PNCT, where drivers are reported waiting upwards of 5+ hours. What is to blame for the wait time? Empty return overflow and labor shortages mostly. The overall number of inbound containers into the NY/NJ port has dropped off extremely to close out 2022. As a result, chassis shortages are a thing of the past and chassis availability is normalizing again. We have plenty of capacity as a result of the number of inbound containers being very down which is freeing up chassis to move freight.
Norfolk: The ports here have actually been running pretty smoothly and we’ve had chassis availability for the last few weeks. Hopefully that will remain intact! A few SSL’s have struggled to have equipment available for export bookings but all in all things in Norfolk seem to have leveled off and operating every day has become a bit more palatable. We are pulling boxes for transloading a day or two prior to the last free day in most instances but from a warehouse storage space perspective our warehouse is bulging at the seams. Given delivery orders 72 hours prior vessel arrival, we can still get your palletized transloads rocked out in a 24 hour turnaround – in all ports!
LA/LGB: The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach announced today that the proposed fee will not be implemented and the option to collect a “Container Excess Dwell Fee” will be phased out on January 24th, 2023. All gates are open and we are seeing about a 24 hour delay for pickup and empty return appointments (depending on steamship line).
New Orleans: Chassis shortages continue this week, 40’ chassis are almost nonexistent. Expect further delays into next week as there are currently 56 vessels at anchor and scheduled to arrive over the holiday weekend. With port holiday closures, there will be a slow turnaround next week, also a short holiday week. This is a port we will watch into early 2023.
Charleston: Wando terminal and North Charleston terminal are both running smoothly with no issues operationally. The Hugh Leatherman terminal is not experiencing any operational issues either despite the reports of a slight ongoing labor situation. Regardless, there are no issues getting in and out. Chassis and capacity is wide open compared to how it’s been the last few months.
Reminder that with holidays next week terminals at all ports and rails will be closed or have minimal hours on January 2nd . Please check terminal and rail websites for more information
Did you know? This year give the gift that keeps on giving ~ The luxury that is Port X Logistics full-service Savannah operations. We are ready-set-and go down in Savannah with trucks and drivers, private chassis, warehouse operations for transloads and cross docks, a secured yard with plenty of yard space to store containers and a team of elite operators that can answer any of your southeast questions and handle all of your last-minute southeast drayage and transload emergencies. We even handle large out of gauge and high volume projects in Savannah as well as all of the US and Canada. Contact the Savannah team at SAV@portxlogistics.com, available 24/7/365. Our gift to you!
Contact the leadership team via firstname.lastname@example.org.