Competitive Edge

August 16th, 2023

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

  • Last week, Tropical Storm Khanun breeched South Korea dumping heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding across the country. Port cities, like Geoje and Busan, saw impacts to air and ocean freight operations.
  • Labor uncertainty on the U.S. and Canadian West Coast has receded. Canadian ports Vancouver and Prince Rupert now eye a gradual recovery to their operations, including rail movement to and from their facilities.

Rates: Demand and rigid capacity management have propped rates up. The second-half August rate increase isn’t nearly as high as anticipated, however. 
Space: Space is generally open, but as the market strengthens, certain services are likely to tighten.
Capacity: Carriers continue to use their discretion on reducing capacity.
Equipment: Overall availability is fluid. In recent news, the administrator of a new chassis pool covering Southeast Coast ports plan to charge $100 per day to trucking companies that use equipment without prior registration for the pool.

  • Establish a timeline for future shipments. Will you import before the holidays and within peak season? Are you holding off until 2024?
  • Hold your logistics partners accountable for frequent updates regarding blank sailings, rate increases, or any other forms of market maintenance.
  • Don’t get complacent with the favorable market conditions the past several months. Tightening capacity and higher rates could pose booking challenges through peak season. Plan ahead!

IMPORT: Europe to North America (TAWB)

Rates: Rates continue to steadily fall and are reminiscent of pre-pandemic times.
Space: Space is open, except for a few pockets.
Capacity: Major carriers have plans to reallocate vessel capacity to the Asia-Europe trade from this one.
Equipment: Availability on both origin and destination sides, unless advised otherwise.

  • Book at least three weeks prior to the ready date.
  • Premium add-ons (i.e., no-roll options and improved cargo reliability) remain assurances shippers should consider with transatlantic service.

EXPORT: North America to Asia

Rates: Rates are low and level. 
Space: Space is open but tighter on the Gulf Coast. 
Capacity: Capacity is widely available for all services.
Equipment: Availability at virtually all inland points and seaports. However, chassis access remains a wildcard against fluid intermodal movement.

  • Book at least two weeks prior to the time of departure.
  • Shippers with high volume projects should take advantage of the carriers’ receptiveness to take on these opportunities. Space is wide open with a high acceptance rate.

Watch Today's Webinar!

Topics: U.S. Import Forecast, Argentina’s market/shipping regulations, recently election results, and more!

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Freight News

Will August be a More Optimistic Month for U.S. Imports?

Cargo volumes at some of the major U.S. ports are expected to hit their highest levels in almost a year, this month.

According to a Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, ports in the U.S. are expected to handle a little over 2 million TEUs throughout August. If that does happen, that would mark the first time U.S. ports have handled over 2 million TEUs since October 2022.

We expect to see a smooth shipping season ahead of the winter holiday shopping season,” Jonathan Gold, NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy had to say.

Detailed in the report is a projection that U.S. ports will handle 22.3 million TEUs throughout the entirety of 2023, though that would be a 12.8% year-on-year decrease.

Hapag-Lloyd Predicts Second Half Demand to Pick Up

After experiencing a decline in first half earnings, Hapag-Lloyd and HMM still expect demand in the second half to pick up.

Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said in a first-half earnings call that “most of the [rising volume] will be from the Asian export trades that have been down a lot.”

HMM expects to see volume, particularly on the trans-Pacific, to improve in the second half.

Did You Know: Retail Sales See a Sharp Increase in July

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows overall retail sales in July were up 0.7% from June and up 3.2% from year-over-year.

The National Retail Federation credits the increase due to Prime Day, back-to-school sales and rising wages.

More data from the NRF shows online and other non-store sales were up 1.9% month-over-month seasonally adjusted and up 11.8% unadjusted year-over-year.

Source: JOC

Blogs of the Week

Check Out Last Week’s LinkedIn Port Poll Winner: The Port of Los Angeles, CA

Every other week we post a poll on our LinkedIn page, where you can vote on which port you would like to see featured on our deep dive on Friday!

Last Friday, the winner was the Port of Los Angeles in California. Click the link below to read the entire excerpt.

Also, consider subscribing to our biweekly “Port of the Week!” newsletter, to continue to take a closer look at various ports (and inland ports) globally, and domestically.

Interlog Insights

This month we celebrate our ONE YEAR anniversary of Interlog Insights!

In the second week of insights, we mention the congestion/delays at the Panama Canal and how they are likely to continue, due to the draft restrictions and limits on the daily transit capacity.

We also discussed the trans-Pacific and how carriers are reentering an approachable market.

FreightFM - EP11 - YT Thumbnail

A Podcast by InterlogUSA: NEW FreightFM Episode 11

Check out episode 11 – In the News: August Rates, Yellow Corp Bankruptcy, Panama Canal Congestion, and More!

InterlogUSA’s Rachel Thielen and Emily Smith discuss the latest industry news during the episode.

Listen Today!

FreightFM features short-form video interviews with InterlogUSA’s industry experts offering insights into breaking news, market trends, our company’s history, and more!

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