Competitive Edge

June, 28th 2023

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

  • Carriers are struggling to secure volume commitments from importers, particularly ones with smaller volumes, as rates continue to fall on the open market.
  • With a tentative agreement reached between West Coast dockworkers and port employers, a lengthy ratification process to finalize the new labor contract is underway. Typically, this can last for up to three months, however stakeholders aren’t anticipating any friction here on out.

Rates: Rates remain low as carrier increases fail to stick. Possible port congestion surcharge for cargo scheduled to arrive at any U.S. or Canada port on or after July 5, 2023.
Space: Space is open.
Capacity: Open but carriers are aggressive with managing their excess capacities and sagging margins.
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?
  • Pay special attention to how carriers are reacting to this lull in the market.
  • 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 are continuing to fall.
Space: Space is open.
Capacity: Capacity is open.
Equipment: Availability on both origin and destination sides, unless advised otherwise.

  • Book at least three weeks prior to ready date.
  • Rates, while falling, are still high compared to other trades. Carriers still possess a degree of power in the transatlantic over the shipper.
  • 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

  • Export movement on the West Coast will benefit from a new labor contract as declining import volumes due to prior labor uncertainty led ports to roll back worker shifts. As a result, exporters were facing delays and higher transport costs.
  • Despite West Coast stability, agriculture exporters are still eyeing to diversify their routing options to the East and Gulf coasts as well.

Rates: Rates are low and level. 
Space: Space is open but tighter on U.S. Gulf Coast 
Capacity: Capacity is widely available for all services.
Equipment: Availability at virtually all inland points and seaports. However, chassis access remains posing challenges for 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.

Interlog Insights: Look out for our upcoming poll!

Over the months, we’ve introduced a few segments throughout our weekly sign-up newsletter, Interlog Insights! Each segment has its own value for shippers, like yourself, and our team is interested to hear which one would be the most relevant for everyone’s current situation.

Here’s a quick rundown on what each segment is about:

Magic Freight Ball (Market Predictions from Interlog’s Experts) – International shipping and logistics are uncertain industries. Even in a softer market, outlook will always appear murky. Interlog’s team of experts lay out their predictions on what they’ll expect in the coming months in respects to trade lanes, capacity, and rates.

Shipper Hotline (An Industry Question and Answer) – Everyone has questions, but not everyone has the answers. In our segment “Shipper Hotline”, we encourage you to ask your most pressing and urgent questions about the industry to our experts. They’ll try their darndest to provide you with clarity and clear up any uncertainty or confusion you have.

Submit questions to our survey and we’ll find you an answer. We may even feature your question and our answer in an issue of Interlog Insights. Don’t worry, it’s completely anonymous! Also be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, where we post our Shipper Hotline surveys and other polls!

RFQ Rescue (Guidance on Awarding Freight) – To contract or not contract, that is the question. We launched this segment at the start of year when it came on our radar that 2023 was going to be a little different from past years when it comes to how shippers award their freight volumes.

Some pursued a traditional, pre-pandemic, route of an all-encompassing contract for their freight, while many mixed things up by designating certain lanes and volume to contracts, and holding off other shipments to the floating market.

With “RFQ Rescue”, our team of experts analyze these different approaches and provide shippers with the tips and tricks to navigate the contract versus open market dynamic.

Make sure to sign up for Interlog Insights today and get our first July edition next week!

Freight News

BREAKING NEWS: Is Yellow Trucking Headed Towards Bankruptcy?

Yellow received around a $700 million loan during the pandemic and is headed towards bankruptcy. According to the New York Times, “The company lost more than $100 million in 2019 and has more than $1.5 billion in outstanding debt.”

Yesterday, Yellow filed a $137 million breach of contract lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for blocking the company’s plan to change how the carrier operates.

This could have a rippling effect on supply chain so our team advises strongly to make sure you have options. Click here to read more about this breaking news.

Agricultural Shippers in the U.S. Analyzing “Risk” of Moving Some Exports From USWC

Even as congestion has cleared and a tentative labor agreement has been reached out on the USWC, some U.S. ag shippers are wondering if moving some of their exports through ports on the USEC and USGC could be beneficial.

Lets take a look… 

  • In 2022, processed and unprocessed beef exports out on the USWC dropped 14 percent from the year prior. (May 2022 was when negotiations began, July 2022 was when the ILWU contract officially expired). 
  • In 2022, USEC ports saw their beef exports increase by 6 percent and USGC saw beef exports increase 62 percent. 

Additionally, another option that’s considered by some is to consolidate their refrigerated exports at several consolidation centers throughout various inland hubs such as Kansas, Chicago, Texas, etc.

As we continue normalization after the pandemic, and now USWC labor talks have reached a tentative agreement, it’s also a good reminder to remain proactive. And it doesn’t hurt to look into the pros/cons with diversifying your cargo.

Watch Last Week's Webinar!

Topics: The importance of first & final mile: Familiarity and consistency is critical, on time delivery with no demurrage or per diem, how forwarders and drayman work together, and more!

Sign Up For Our July Webinar!

Our next webinar is on Wednesday, July 19th, at 10am CST!

Topics will be announced in 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 Episodes Here!

Did You Know: Low Water Levels at the Panama Canal

In May the Panama Canal Authority announced that it was the driest month since 1950, with water saving measures continuing to be a priority for the PCA.

Draft restrictions have been in place since April when they lowered the maximum from 50 feet first to 47.5 feet, then again down to 46 feet in May.

Another draft restriction is expected to take place from June 25th, which would impose a new draft limit of 43.5 feet.

Read More: Maritime Executive

Blogs of the Week

FreightFM - EP9 - YT Thumbnail

A Podcast by InterlogUSA: FreightFM Episode 9

Check out our latest episode where some of our team took a company outing to Top Golf, for some team bonding. Listen as some of our team shares what their favorite summer activity is!

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 final insights for the month of June. Topics included peak season, USWC labor talk updates, I-95 bridge collapse, and more.

Sign up today so you can receive exclusive insights!

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