Competitive Edge

August 30th, 2023

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

  • Officials at the Panama Canal have extended their vessel restrictions through September 2.

Rates: After ascending since late June, rates have begun to cool from their rise. They still remain above pre-pandemic and average contract levels though. 
Space: Space is generally open, but certain services are likely to tighten if there’s any restocking surge.
Capacity: Carriers continue to use their discretion on constricting capacity.
Equipment: A new chassis pool at Southeast ports (excluding Charleston) will go live October 1.

  • 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.

IMPORT: Europe to North America (TAWB)

Rates: Rates have plummeted over the last several weeks—mirroring pre-pandemic levels.
Space: Space is open, except for a few pockets.
Capacity: Major carriers are reallocating 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.
  • Be aware of how carriers react to their minimal profitmaking on this trade. Aggressive tactics, like blank sailings, may be on the rise in the coming weeks.

EXPORT: North America to Asia

  • U.S. grain exports could fall 15 percent in 2023 due to droughts that affected harvests last year. Refer below in the newsletter for more details.

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 Our August Webinar!

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

Sign Up For Our September Webinar!

Our next webinar is on Wednesday, September 20th, at 9am CST!

We will be announcing topics in the coming weeks!

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!

Freight News

U.S. Grain exports have declined; what does the remaining outlook look like?

Wheat and corn exports have been below expectations and are lower than they were a year ago

U.S. soybean, maize, and wheat exports potentially could fall 15 fifteen percent this year, due to the droughts that impacted harvest last year.

However, soybean exports have remained fairly healthy. China remains a major buyer of that commodity, though they have been buying a lot of corn and soybeans from Brazil. 

Some of the Class I railroads are struggling with the dip in grain volumes, and are trying hard to get movement out West going.

“When those West Coast grain movements drop significantly, we not only lose that business, but we also lose that volume. It disrupts our crew schedules, our [deployment of] locomotives,” says Jay O’Neil of H.J. O’Neil Commodity Consulting, in an interview with Freightwaves.

In addition, grain traffic across all Class I railroads in the U.S. is at a four-year low, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

Port of Hamburg Sees a Decline in First Half Volumes

Just like other North Europe ports, the Port of Hamburg saw a dip in first half volumes.

One of the largest container ports in Europe saw a 11.7 percent (3.8 million TEUs) year-over-year decline. For reference, Rotterdam was down 8.2% year-over-year, while Antwerp saw a 5.2 percent year-over-year drop in volume, per the JOC.

Some more gloom… import volume at Hamburg was down 9 percent (at 2 million TEUs), while exports dropped 9.5 percent (1.9 million TEUs).

But, in some optimistic news, Hamburg saw a rise in first half trade volume with North America, India and other parts of Asia. And, as the JOC notes, an increase of the number of megaships have been calling at the port. 

Did You Know: Port Houston Sees Great Success in Cargo Volumes during the Month of July

In the month of July, Port Houston saw a record high in container volumes, handling 344,163 TEUs. This was a 5 percent year-over-year increase, compared to the same time last year.

Additionally, so far this year the port has handled 2.2 million TEUs at both their terminals, which is only 1 percent less than the first seven months of last year.

Source: Freightwaves

Blogs of the Week

Check Out Last Week’s LinkedIn Port Poll Winner: The Port of Charleston, SC

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 Fridays.

Last Friday, the winner was the Port of Charleston in South Carolina. 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 last week’s insights, we recapped the month of August. September 8th, the first Friday of September, we’ll be releasing our week one insights for the month.

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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