Competitive Edge

April 12th, 2023

Note the above services are where the greatest number of blank sailings are occurring on the transpacific eastbound lane. Other services as well may have announced cancellations or delays. Please contact us if there is a specific service or trade you are concerned about.

We extend our thanks to our Chinese partner RS Logistics for providing these reports. 

SPECIAL UPDATE: Mid-April general rate increases (GRIs) are expected to be imposed, a first in 2023.

These GRI’s will impact Chinese base ports to all U.S. coasts.

If you have questions or concerns on how this impacts your current or upcoming bookings, please contact us below.

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

• West Coast contract negotiations (between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)) remain active. The existing labor contract between the two parties expired July 1, 2022. On Monday, job-related actions by dockworkers caused delays at many marine terminals at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. This comes after the ports’ terminals were closed Thursday night through Friday day due to related actions.

Rates: Rate levels sit near pre-pandemic; however, they will increase come mid-April..
Space: Space is open.
Capacity: Capacity is open as carriers continue with blank sailings.
Equipment: Unless advised otherwise, equipment is available at inland and coastal ports.
• Book at least two weeks prior to the ready date.
• Hold your logistics partners accountable on frequent updates regarding blank sailings and rate increases.

IMPORT: Europe to North America (TAWB)

Rates: Rates are still high compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, they remain falling.
Space: Space is open to all U.S. coasts as congestion is minimal.
Capacity: Capacity is open.
Equipment: Availability has improved on both origin and destination sides.
• Book at least three weeks prior to ready date.
• Premium services (i.e., no-roll options and improved cargo reliability) remain assurances shippers should add to the tab with transatlantic service.

EXPORT: North America to Asia

Low freight volumes related to shippers averting the WC has placed pressure on agriculture exporters. WC marine terminal operators are reportedly cancelling at least one work shift per week as labor talks continue to deter typical freight activities.

Rates: Rates remain low.
Space: Space is wide open.
Capacity: Capacity is widely available for all services going into Q2 2023.
Equipment: Availability at virtually all inland points and seaports. However, chassis can be hard to come by in pockets.
• Book at least two weeks prior to the time of departure.
• Blank sailings have not been routine for the market but remain in close contact with providers to be aware of any developments.
• Shippers with high volume projects should take advantage of carrier receptiveness to take on these opportunities. Space is wide open with a high acceptance rate.

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FreightFM - EP7 - YT Thumbnail

Check out our latest episode of FreightFM…In The News–Germany and France Strikes

We discuss when these strikes started, the reason(s) for them, and the impact they have had.

Did You Know: Georgia Ports Authority Will Start Offering Sunday Hours at the Garden City Terminal

The GPA will begin offering Sunday hours at Gate 4 at the Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah – in an effort to improve cargo efficiency for their customers.

Specifically, the truck interchange at Gate 4 will be open from 8am until 5pm on Sundays. The cut off time for pick up tickets is 4pm and for drop off tickets it’s 4:30pm.

Source: JOC

Freight News

Headlines of the Week

A ruling has been made regarding the jurisdictional dispute at Terminal 5 in Seattle. The U.S. NLRB ruled that those machinist jobs do NOT belong to the U.S. ILWU. Read more on this issue here.

Port Houston saw a decline in total breakbulk cargo, plus a dip in steel imports, for the first two months of 2023. These volumes suggest that breakbulk may be stabilizing after an abnormal last year. Read more on this issue here.

 International terminals at the Port of LA/LB closed part of Thursday April 6th into Friday April 7th day shift. Contract talks between ILWU and PMA continue into its 11th month. Read more on this issue here.

 Overall shipping volumes (globally) have slowed in recent months. However, the USEC and USGC ports continue to show strong resilience versus the USWC ports. Read more about this here.

 Terminals at the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) are looking to improve and adjust their receiving hours and gate closures. This would better accommodate the handling of Asia-bound cargo for agricultural exporters. Read more about this here.

Retailers Anticipate Slower Import Growth in the Near-Term

For the start of this year, import volumes were rather gloomy. As we head into the spring and summer, it is anticipated that import volume will ascend into the summer, as shippers are returning to more seasonal ordering patterns.

However, when comparing overall U.S. imports for this year to last year, the National Retail Federation notes that overall U.S. imports will remain below the year-ago comparison, at least through August.

But it’s worthy to note that when we look back to last year – which is somewhat of an outlier – the spring and summer were quite busy with consumers spending freely, and retailers bringing in lots of merchandise to meet demand (though some retailers were left with more inventory than anticipated).

This year is a little different, and it won’t be the same as last year. However, the numbers that the experts are expecting this year would have been considered “normal”, before the pandemic began.

Blogs of the Week

Watch Our March Webinar!


  • Strategies for succeeding in the freight market
  • Upcoming RFQ Season: Evaluating all areas of business
  • 2M split and how that will impact ocean shipping
  • Market Updates

Sign Up for April's Webinar

Our webinar is just ONE week away–Wednesday, April 19th at 10 AM CST!

Some topics that will be discussed are:

Labor Tensions Rise During USWC Port Contract Talks
Q1 Recap

What the Start of Q2 Looks Like
Current Events

Interlog Insights

Last week was the first week of our April Interlog Insights.

We introduced a new prediction for the month regarding GRIs.

We also discussed scheduled reliability increasing and what the outlook for the first half of this years has looked like.

Make sure you sign up so you don’t miss week two of our April Interlog Insights!

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