Freight News: Week of April 10th, 2024

More on the Baltimore Bridge, Future Outlook on the East Coast Ports

The Port of Baltimore continues to remain closed indefinitely, while salvage crews have started to remove the containers from the cargo ship involved in the bridge collapse.

We are noticing ocean freight container rates on this realm to be steady and stable.

Additionally, with diverted cargo being rerouted to other ports on the East Coast, this can create some challenges including more travel times and potential bottlenecks. Those transporting hazmat goods are facing other adjustments, such as an extra 15-20 minutes being adding to their travel times as they have to go to the western side of Baltimore via Interstate 695.

But what about the future outlook along the East Coast ports?

Something to keep in mind regarding the future outlook on East Coast ports is the impact of the labor negotiations. No new agreement has been reached, as the contract between the ILA and the United States Maritime Alliance expires on September 31st, 2024.

If a contract is not reached by the expiration date, there is concern that significant and widespread disruption will occur on the East Coast ports. This could have a domino effect and lead to increased rates and/or have some shippers reroute some cargo to the USWC.

Some of the key discussion points of these contract talks are labor provisions, wages, benefits, automation and working conditions.


Europe’s Decarbonization Efforts Need More Funding to Reach ‘Ambitious’ Goals

An association of 43 groups that represent various sectors of transportation in Europe said at a conference last week, without extending the funding via the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) instrument, decarbonization goals for 2030 and 2050 will be challenging to achieve.

“Extending the CEF budget for key priorities such as ERTMS on-board deployment (a train speed monitoring platform), whilst ensuring funding is available to small and medium railway undertakings, is fundamental for enabling modal shift,” the Secretary-General of the European Rail Freight Associations said in a statement.

The EU Green Deal has put a variety of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Meeting these goals largely depends on shifting the amount of volume from road to rail.


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