Competitive Edge

August 2nd, 2023

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

  • Whether labor uncertainty ends at Western Canada ports falls on ILWU Canada rank-and-file members. Dockworkers at Vancouver are expected to vote Thursday and Friday.

Rates: A new wave of general rate increases (GRIs) has arrived in August. In addition to these, July’s GRIs have kept rates propped up. If there’s any movement to rates in the coming weeks, it’ll be in an upward fashion.  
Space: Space is open, but could see some tightening amid aggressive capacity management and steady rises in demand.
Capacity: Capacity is still open, but carriers have been focused on tightening service offerings due to higher demand in recent weeks.
Equipment: Available at virtually all inland and coastal points. 

  • Keep a pulse on inventory and establish concrete timelines with ordering. Will you be importing before the holidays and peak season? Are you holding off until 2024?
  • 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!
  • Hold your logistics partners accountable for frequent updates regarding blank sailings, rate increases, or any other forms of market maintenance.

IMPORT: Europe to North America (TAWB)

Recent Developments:

  • August is a vacation month for Italy. Typically, citizens will take extended amounts of time off leading to possible lapses in productivity.
  • Many importers work around this holiday and place bookings before or after August, tightening space and raising demand as a result.

Rates: Rates continue to steadily fall and are reminiscent of pre-pandemic times.
Space: Space is open, except for a few pockets.
Capacity: Capacity is open.
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.

Freight News

The Port of Savannah Has Reopened Their Garden City Terminal

After reopening their Garden City Terminal, due to the newly rebuilt Berth 1 at the terminal, the Port has seen an increase in capacity.

The Garden City Terminal received a $250 million dollar expansion, which allows them to handle 7.5 million TEUs annually – which is a 25 percent increase.

The Georgia Ports Authority also has plans to invest $350 million into the development of two post-Panamax berths at its Ocean Terminal. The first berth is expected to be completed in early 2025 and the second in the following year.

A U.S. Appellate Court Rules Against SC Ports Appeal Against Leatherman Ruling

Last Friday, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the South Carolina State Ports Authority’s request to overturn a ruling. The court said the International Longshoremen’s Association’s lawsuit was allowed under its master contract with maritime employers – per the JOC

As Reuters reports, this goes back to 2020 when the SC Ports Authority said they would open the new Hugh Leatherman terminal by using non-union state employees as lift operators, while having ILA members do other work.

The ILA sued the Maritime Alliance after ships docked at the new terminal. ILA said they had violated its collective bargaining agreement with the union.

The SC Ports argued that since it did not sign the master contract, the ILA’s lawsuit was an illegal “secondary boycott” that was meant to force the port into giving the union crane work that it had never done before at Charleston.  

After some back and forth between all involved parties, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals announced their 2-1 vote on the matter, agreeing that the union “had a legitimate work-preservation objective.”

The SC Port’s Authority has 90 days to file a request for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. The President and Chief Executive of the port’s authority said they are “reviewing the opinion and weighing all options for appeal.”

Watch Last Month's Webinar!

Topics: July/August GRIs, peak season, update on blank sailings. What’s the latest on the Canadian Labor Strike? Plus, current events!

Sign Up For Our August Webinar!

Our next webinar is on Wednesday, August 16th, at 10am CST!

Topics will be announced soon!

Secure Your Spot Today! 

What is Coffee & Cargo? Every month, our experts sit down to discuss what’s currently happening in the shipping industry. Every so often we are joined by special guests, who share their specific expertise and experiences.

Check Out Past Webinars Here!

Did You Know: Cargo Ship Fire in the North Sea

Last week, a cargo ship carrying 3,500 new cars was set ablaze in the North Sea. Around 500 of the vehicles on the vessel were battery electric vehicles.

As of now, it is unclear what caused the fire.

On Sunday, there was an operation to move the vessel to a temporary new position, in an effort to prevent an ecological disaster.

Source: CBS News

Blogs of the Week

FreightFM - EP10 - YT Thumbnail

A Podcast by InterlogUSA: FreightFM Episode 10

Check out our latest episode on all things U.S. and Canadian West Coast! — UPDATE: As of 7/26/23: members of the union are expected to vote on the tentative agreement later this week.

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!

Browse Past Episodes

Interlog Insights

Last week we recapped our July Interlog Insights – if you missed those, check them out here.

Stay tuned as we introduce our August week one insights this Friday.

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Check Out Last Week's LinkedIn Port Poll Winner: The Port of Hamburg

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 Hamburg in Germany. Click the link below to read the entire excerpt. 

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

Past “Port of the Week” newsletters have included the Port of Nagoya (Japan), Port of Oakland (California), Port of Vancouver (Canada), and more.

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