Competitive Edge

November 1st, 2023

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

  • Mexico’s Port of Lázaro Cárdenas is capturing more regular calls from transpacific ocean carriers as an alternative route into the U.S. Midwest that avoids the Panama Canal’s current draft limits.

Rates: While volumes are staying afloat, weak demand remains a contributor to softened rates. Major carriers have announced potential general rate increases (GRIs) for November.
Space: Space is generally open, but certain services have seen tightening.
Capacity: Blank sailings are expected to continue into Chinese New Year as carriers remain managing their overcapacity.
Equipment: Aside from a few pockets, equipment is widely available.  


  • Hold your logistics partners accountable for frequent updates regarding blank sailings, rate increases, or any other forms of carrier maintenance.
  • Establish a firm timeline for future import activity.

IMPORT: Europe to North America (TAWB)

Recent Developments:

  • Carbon-related surcharges have been announced by ocean carriers ahead of the shipping industry’s indoctrination to the EU emissions trading system in January. For more information.

Rates: Rates are low and level following a moderate spike in early October.  
Space: Space is open.
Capacity: Capacity is plentiful.
Equipment: Availability on both origin and destination sides, unless advised otherwise.


  • Book at least three weeks prior to the ready date.
  • It’s unclear yet how carriers will react to this trade’s softened state, but be on the lookout for certain tactics, like blank sailings or rate increases, from them as a means to reduce their lossmaking.

EXPORT: North America to Asia

Recent Developments: Western Canada’s Port of Prince Rupert is undergoing a project that will boost its export capacity. Check out last week’s port feature for a closer look!   

Rates: Rates have fallen during October.
Capacity: Schedule reliability can be fickle in pockets.
Equipment: A tricky import market may always lead to potential imbalances impacting exporters.


  • Insufficient communication with sailing schedules can lead to higher detention and demurrage fees as well as higher trucking and storage costs. Ensure your logistics partners are not keeping you and your cargo in the dark.


We Hope Everyone Had A Safe and Happy Halloween Yesterday! 

Take a look at the graphic on the right for some Halloween fun facts!

Watch Last Month's Webinar!

Topics: Timeline of industry events during the pandemic, diving into this summer and today’s market, consumer/holiday spending, 2024 predictions, and current events!

Sign Up For Our November Webinar!

Our next webinar is Wednesday, November 15th, at 10am CST!

We’ll be announcing 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!

Freight News

Strong Demand for Ecommerce is Taking Up Significant Belly Cargo Capacity

Air cargo space on the trans-Pacific trade lane has been reported to be lackluster due to a strong demand in e-commerce, which has ‘outstripped’ passenger flights and the belly cargo capacity those flights add on eastbound routes.

Since the first quarter of 2021 ecommerce sales volume has increased dramatically by 74 percent – an important note is about a half of those increases was due to the spike in the second quarter of 2021.

However, during the second quarter of this year, there was a total of $277.6 billion in retail e-commerce sales, per the Census Bureau. This is an increase of 2.1% over the first quarter of 2023 and 7.5% year-over-year.

As we approach November, some notable ‘big’ days for retails sales include Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Breakbulk Capacity at U.S. Ports

Is the lack of breakbulk investments at U.S. ports impacting breakbulk shippers? Some reports are saying, yes the lack of investment is impacting some breakbulk shippers.

One trend that is being seen is the increase of new container facilities at ports, a trend that has been increasing since the pandemic. A report from the JOC lists the ports of Boston, NY/NJ, Virginia and Miami as examples of such.

Back at the end of last year, Georgia Ports Authority said they would no longer handle breakbulk at their Ocean Terminal in Savannah. The GPA continues to put investments towards their ro/ro facilities at the Port of Brunswick.

As the article mentions, Panama City, FL, Port Arthur and Beaumont, TX are locations that being seen as ‘breakbulk-friendly secondary ports.’ As well as Houston, New Orleans and Mobile to name a few others.

Another is how labor issues/challenges have played a factor as some ports are moving away from breakbulk cargoes, the report details.

Why may you ask? Well, when handling breakbulk cargo, it requires a more ‘labor-intensive process’ in order to handle the cargo safely and efficiently.

When looking towards the long-term, it’s hard to predict what the growing project demand will have on U.S. breakbulk capacity at ports.


Last Week’s Port Poll Winner: Port of Prince Rupert

Every other week we post a poll on our LinkedIn page (give us a follow if you feel inclined), where you can vote on which port you would like to see featured in our deep dive this Friday!

Last Friday, the winner was the Port of Prince Rupert in Canada. Click the link below to read the entire excerpt.

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

Interlog's Annual Crocktober!

Interlog’s 2023 Crocktober event has concluded! The result are in and Crocktober champions are…. 

Team Flavortown!

Interlog’s annual Crocktober competition is over! Last week we had a variety of yummy dishes including the championship dish – cheeseburger sloppy joes – made by Flavortown team member Jacob!

We certainly will miss the delicious aromas around the office every Wednesday as another Crocktober is in the books. 

Follow our LinkedIn to see more fun events we do here at InterlogUSA!

Interlog Insights

Last week, we recapped our October insights! Stay tuned this Friday as we release our November week one insights. 

Sign-up and check it out for yourself!

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