Competitive Edge

October 11th, 2023

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

  • China’s Golden Week concluded last Saturday, October 7. Limited port operations and closed factories in China during the holiday did not significantly impact import activity to the same magnitude of previous years. However, a modest pre-holiday volume increase has contributed to extended dwells at many West Coast ports.

Rates: Rates are steady, but above pre-pandemic levels and average contracts.
Space: Space is generally open, but certain services have seen tightening.
Capacity: Blank sailings are expected to continue into Chinese New Year (February 2024) as carriers remain managing their overcapacity.
Equipment: The West Coast is experiencing an imbalance with rail equipment. However, given relatively low import volumes in 2023, the implied severity of this situation does not mirror the equipment deficits in 2021 and early 2022.

  • 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)

Rates: Rates mirror pre-pandemic levels.
Space: Space is open, except for a few pockets.
Capacity: Major carriers are reallocating TAWB vessel capacity to the Asia-Europe trade.
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:

  • Downbound barge rates have cautiously alleviated in the last week, suggesting potential relief for harvest season exporters. Conditions on the Mississippi River still remain far from ideal, however.

Rates: Rates have increased at a sharp clip.   
Capacity: Schedule reliability is currently erratic.
Equipment: Pre-Golden Week arrivals of imports have stirred an equipment imbalance on the West Coast which has affected exporters.

  • Insufficient communication with erratic 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.

Watch Our September Webinar!

Topics: U.S. – Vietnam trade relations, loan interest rates, and the future outlook/buying patterns.

Sign Up For Our October Webinar!

Our next webinar is Wednesday, October 18th, at 10am CST!

Topics we will be discussing: 

Current market outlook/what the end of this year will look like/what we think 2024 will look like, how Covid has changed the shipping industry, consumer spending/holiday spending trends, and more!

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

How the Shipping Industry is Included in Europe's ETS Carbon Tax

Starting January 1st, the shipping industry will be impacted by Europe’s ETS (emissions trading systems). This is when all emissions on voyages and port calls within the European Union and European Economic Area, will be subject to the carbon tax (along with 50 percent of emissions on trips into or out of the regions).

There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding this carbon tax and how it will impact shippers.

All ship operators will be required to monitor and report their emissions and surrender allowances for every ton of CO2 they emit. Per the JOC, shipping will have to pay for allowances covering 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2024, increasing to 70 percent in 2025 and 100 percent from 2026. 

So far Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd are the only carriers who have implemented actual surcharge figures for the costs per container via the ETS, the JOC reports.

Typhoon Koinu Aftermath: China and Taiwan Reopen

Last weekend, Typhoon Koinu bustled through the regions causing at least eight ports having to close including, Hong Kong, Yantian, Shekou, Chiwan, Da Chan Bay, Fuzhou, Nasha, and Kaohsiung.

Many vessels “slightly changed” or “altered their speed and approach” when they approached ports in southern China, in an effort to avoid the storm.  

A spokesperson for Hapag-Lloyd told the JOC that Typhoon Koinu only affected a “handful of ships, but not on a huge scale.” 

This is the second major typhoon to hit the regions in the last five weeks. Typhoon Saola hit the area back in early September this year. 

Vote In This Week's 'Port of the Week' Poll

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!

Vote on this week’s port poll battle: Port of Portland vs. Port of Shanghai 

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 Competition:

Interlog’s annual Crocktober competition is well underway. During the month of October at our Minneapolis branch, our team breaks into groups for a shot at crockpot supremacy!

Last week the theme was breakfast foods. Make sure you stay tuned throughout the rest of this month to find out which team wins all the glory. 

Follow our LinkedIn to see more Crocktober updates!

A Podcast by InterlogUSA: NEW FreightFM Episode

Check out episode 12: “Golden Week Nuggets, plus Transpacific Market Update”

InterlogUSA’s Rachel Thielen and Emily Smith discuss Golden Week and Mid-Autumn Festival holidays over in Asia, plus a market update on the transpacific trade lane!

Take A Listen

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

Blogs of the Week

Interlog Insights

Last week was our first week of October insights!

We discussed the Port of Savannah seeing some congestion, plus the last few years of cyberattacks in the industry, and more.

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