Competitive Edge

March 1st, 2023

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U.S. West Coast: An update regarding the West Coast labor contract. Dockworkers and their marine terminal employers “remain hopeful of reaching a deal soon”, the two sides said last week. Since talks began in early May of last year, the two sides have been at odds in reaching an agreement on a new labor contract. Their impasse is closing on ten-months and, while a welcomed display of public address that’s otherwise rare, this joint statement mainly rehashes prior talking points.

West Coast ports and American importers remain frustrated with the latter rerouting cargo away from the WC to circumvent any possible disruptions linked to these ongoing talks.

U.S. Gulf Coast: The Gulf Coast port’s dwell fee program went into effect February 1. The Port of Houston will charge $45 per unit per day to cargo owners if a container lingers for more than eight days.

U.S. East Coast: Due to the volume drag, Savannah will seize its offering of evening truck hours while also discontinuing its use of several inland pop-up storage yards. The single-digit vessel counts indicate the volume dip is apparent at all EC gateways.

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

• Carriers remain aggressive with blank sailings and general rate increases to buff up and stabilize low rates. 

• 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 on July 1, 2022

Rates: Rates to all US coasts remain low and level.
Space: Space is open.
Capacity: Capacity is open. However, expect a continued presence of blank sailings.
Equipment: Unless advised otherwise, availability is open at inland and coastal ports.
• Book at least two weeks prior to the ready date.
• Expect blank sailings to carry on through Q1 2023.

IMPORT: Europe to North America (TAWB)

Rates: With capacity increasing and demand dropping, rates remain falling for this trade. However, they are still notably high when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Space: Space is open to all U.S. coasts as congestion becomes an odd factor.
Capacity: Capacity continues to loosen as the market sees more ships, including larger ones, entering the market. It is set to increase even more as congestion had eased.
Equipment: Availability has improved on both sides of the trade.
• Book at least three weeks prior to ready date.
• Even as market conditions become more fair, premium services (i.e., no-roll options and improved cargo reliability) should still be considered.
• Blank sailings have not been routine for the market but remain in close contact with providers to be aware of any developments.

EXPORT: North America to Asia

Rates: Rates continue to slip downward at a slight clip.
Space: Space is wide open.
Capacity: Capacity is widely available for all services. No considerable changes to this market’s capacity through Q1 2023.
Equipment: It can be generally said that most inland points and seaports have balanced equipment availability. If any uncertainty exists, it would be chassis availability at select inland hubs.
• 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.

InterlogUSA Proudly Presents...Freight FM Ep. 5: Discussing the China Trade Lane

In our latest episode, InterlogUSA’s Rachel and Madison discuss the China trade lane and what importers can expect after Chinese New Year.

If you are a China importer, you’ll want to check this episode out!

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

Did You Know: Ports on the U.S. Gulf Coast See Mixed Results in January

Port of Houston:

The port saw container volume dip just slightly, at one percent, year-over-year in January.

Steel imports remain strong at the port as they continue to see resin demand increase which is helping the port drive their export loaded containers.

Port of New Orleans:

The port saw a 2.4 percent increase decline in containers and breakbulk cargo in January compared to the same time last year.

Top container commodities at the port in January were plastics, chemicals, forest products, and coffee. While steel, rubber, and bagged cargo were the top breakbulk cargo commodities during the month.

Port of Corpus Christi:

The port saw a 7 percent year-over-year increase in overall cargo in January, largely due to exports of crude oil, petroleum, and dry bulk cargo.

Read More


Freight News

Union Pacific is Ending Their Chassis Policy Starting May 1st

Union Pacific will be ending their chassis policy – which led importers having to pay storage fees on ocean containers they were unable to access inside terminals. The reason for the ending of this policy UP says, is due to the changes in the market, in a way to make retrieving containers more efficient.

The policy prohibited trucking companies from coming into terminals with private chassis when there were no pool chassis available. And any truckers who brought in their own chassis to clear a backlog of containers were turned away by UP rendering the cargo was inaccessible.

Now, starting May 1st, truckers will be able to retrieve containers even if there are no pool chassis available.

South Carolina Ports Have Eliminated Saturday Gate Hours

South Carolina Ports have eliminated Saturday gate hours at their Leatherman Terminal due to slowing calls.

These weekend hours first started July 2021 when the ports experienced a surge of import volumes, largely driven by the pandemic.

Saturday gate hours still remain at Wando Welch Terminal and North Charleston Terminal

In other news regarding the SC ports – the Ports Authority have turned to new providers that will lease 5,000 chassis for the ports.

This comes after last October when the ports experienced a sudden halt in chassis deliveries before they were set to launch an in-sourced chassis pool similar to the Port of Virginia.

Blogs of the Week

Watch Our February Webinar!


  • CNY/Trade Lane Predictions 
  • Blank Sailings 
  • Benefits of Outsourcing Your Logistics 

Sign Up for Next Month's Webinar

Our next webinar will be on Wednesday, March 15th!


We would like to hear from you. If you have any questions or topics you would like our experts to discuss in future webinars, please let us know!

Interlog Insights

In last week’s newsletter, we recapped our final thoughts for the month of February.

With a new month comes new predictions and insights. Stay tuned for our first March issue coming this Friday!

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