1458 Words 6 minute read – let’s do this!
Happy Super Bowl week everyone! Many of us Port X’ers are native to Buffalo, NY., which of course means we’re Buffalo Bills fans, for better or worse. This was supposed to be ‘the year’ according to all the experts. We were going to be the fresh face in the big game (man were those 4-in-a-row-losses that long ago!). Unfortunately, after a season filled with challenges never before experienced, we did not make the Super Bowl. Yet again, the game features two teams that have recently won it and who represent the top seeds in both the AFC & NFC; an “nonchaotic normalcy” at its finest.
The Super Bowl this year represents the current state of the freight industry. There is no chaos currently in the marketplace; there is a sense of some normalcy returning after several years of craziness.
While there are factors that I have mentioned in recent updates that could shake up the market and bring chaos back; for now it remains calm.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, our industry has its own ‘Big Game’ coming up; TPM 2023. We like to call it the ‘Super Bowl’ of containerized cargo. Yesterday I wrote a post of what it means to me to be a part of TPM 2023 as a TPM newbie in our fifth year of Port X Logistic‘s existence. If you are attending this year please stop by our booth outside and say hello! We put in a lot of time and grit into our booth and activities this year in the hopes to entertain and educate you with all that Port X Logistics has to offer. 2023 is a BIG year for us! (https://bit.ly/3JRtI87)
The Gulf coast ports have future plans to take on more containers arriving from Asia, which further takes a hit to the west coast ports. TEU volumes from Asia into the Gulf Ports have gone from as low as 40,000 TEUS in 2017 up to as high as 120,000 in 2022. The Port Houston has completed the first 11-mile segment of its planned widening of the Houston Ship Channel that will allow post-Panamax vessels to better maneuver around the tanker and bulk carrier traffic at the port and the Port of Mobile is also widening and dredging its ship channel to a 50-foot depth, with a scheduled completion date of the first quarter of 2025. Something I learned when I was today years old – Panamax refers to the largest size vessel that can traverse the Panama Canal. Current maximum dimensions are: length 294.1 meters (965 feet); width 32.3 meters (106 feet); draft 12.0 meters (39.5 feet) in tropical fresh water; height 57.91 meters (190 feet) above the water. Post Panamax refers to vessels that exceed these dimensions. (Source: http://bit.ly/3XiLown)
The decline in volumes from Q4 2022 through Q1 2023 has brought ocean spot rates down to pre-pandemic days for both East and West coast. In 2021 ocean carriers charged a premium for the rapidly increasing shift of containers coming into the East coast from shippers changing over to the East coast to avoid West coast port congestion and possible labor disruptions. That premium has been rapidly declining since November of last year to correspond with the sinking number of ocean imports. Rates are likely to go back up March/April but the amount of increase per FEU will depend on how much the volume will increase over the next month. According to the article in JOC “While US import volumes are expected to increase in the second half of the year, retailers say the strength of the recovery will depend on whether the economy experiences a “soft landing,” with declining inflation and stabilizing interest rates, or a “hard landing” in which the Federal Reserve continues to increase borrowing costs and consumers pull back on spending for merchandise (https://bit.ly/3Yn4vqo).
Import TEU volumes are down 16.8% this week – Post Lunar New Year slow down period is real right now. The bright side of a slow period is that capacity is abundant, most ports and rails are clear for pickup and chassis are available. Reach out to the Port X Logistics Team, we have you covered in all U.S. and Canadian markets. Don’t forget! You can monitor your own shipments, get your PODs and invoices and share our tracking links with your customers through our Turvo App. Schedule a demo with Tommy Turvo to make your life easier through the magic of technology: email@example.com.
What is going on at the ports this week?
NY/NJ: Severe congestion is intermittent in the Ports of NY and NJ with the most congestion being PNCT as it has been for previous weeks – Wait time is over 2 hours when picking up OR returning a container. If returning an empty AND pulling a new container, you may experience a 3.5-4 hour wait time. Chassis are generally available, and the volume dip lately has helped free up even more.
Oakland: Due to the decrease in volumes OICT will be temporarily changing its hours. The new night gate hours are Monday – Wednesday, 1800-0300, the first receiving of trucks into OICT on the dayshift is 0800.Even with lower volumes, the decrease in available labor s making for longer wait times for both full pickups and empty returns – keeping an eye on the possibility of congestion issues.
Vancouver: There has been a steady decline in vessel callings right across the Canadian West Coast (from Prince Rupert BC to Vancouver BC). That decline has now allowed the trucking capacity to open up, with an abundance of trucks looking for outbound freight running to the US, which in turn equates to lower trucking costs. On the opposite end of the spectrum though, rail containers continue to build up with limited rail car capacity as CN and CP continue to work on the backlog.
Currently we can pull a container from the Port of Vancouver BC and have the cargo anywhere to the midwest states within 2 days. YES that quick!
LA/LGB: YES WE HAVE CAPACITY! It might seem surreal that the LA and Long beach ports have capacity these days since we have dealt with the past couple years at an absolute standstill of no capacity, no chassis, grossly inflated rates and pickup and return appointments days and even weeks behind. Could there be a new and more efficient appointment process in the future? The Port of Long Beach is in favor of a proposed complex-wide system for truck appointments at the 12 San Pedro Bay container terminals – A single, interoperable system would lower costs and boost efficiency for drayage providers and Terminal Island’s container terminals. A new system would allow carriers in the drayage community to be able to book appointments across 12 different terminals in a more seamless way. The Port of New York and New Jersey lowered turn times by 45% after implementing a truck appointments program. No further information on if and when a new appointment system will happen, but we will keep on following that news. If you frequently handle containers at the LA and LGB terminals, you understand the headaches of not being able to control appointment dates and the upset it causes delivery locations to have further delays for their deliveries.
Did you know? We are the “Pros of Project Cargo” and we want to help you out in all areas of the US and Canada. We have handled many projects including flat racks, open tops, breakbulk, Ro-Ro and oversized and overweight shipments both imports and exports. We handle transloading of large cargo at the ports and can provide any kind of specialized trucking for deliveries. We have also handled projects where we contracted cranes and crew teams to set up and unload large cargo at final delivery for construction sites and warehouses that are not normally equipped for handling large cargo. We can do it all. Reach out to Jill and Ryan for quotes, upcoming shipments that you need help with or even if you need advice about handling project cargo or about past projects that we have managed through Port X Logistics: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.
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