Competitive Edge

October 18th, 2023

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

Rates: Rates have declined in most lanes. While volumes are steadily improving, this development signals that weak demand remains a contributor to softened rates.
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: 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)

Rates: Rates mirror pre-pandemic levels.
Space: Space is open, except for a few pockets.
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:

  • 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 are elevated.    
Capacity: Schedule reliability is currently erratic.
Equipment: A Golden Week-led equipment imbalance at WC ports has mainly subsided.

  • 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 Today'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!

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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.

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Freight News

The Ever-Changing Retail Import Forecast

In the latest monthly import forecast by the National Retail Federation (NRF), import cargo volume should gradually slow as we head into the holiday season.

“Cargo volumes will be strong the rest of the year, but not as high as we expected a month ago,” Jonathan Gold, Vice Present for supply chain and customs policy at NRF, said in their monthly report.

This forecast is largely due to a combination of retailers having enough inventory and consumers, while still spending, are concerned about the impact of inflation and high interest rates.

For the month of October, the NRF forecasts import volumes to dip 3.1 percent year-over-year.

Check out today’s webinar where our experts discussed this in more detail!

Taiwan Exports See a Positive Month in September

Taiwan exports have seen improvements during the month of September, rising 3.4 percent year-over-year. This comes after recording year-on-year declines for the last 12 months.

Still, Taiwan’s exports decreased by 13.8 percent in the first nine months of 2023, compared to that same time frame in 2022.

Taiwan’s exports of electronic related goods accounted for about 40 percent of their total exports – but those electronic exports fell by 4.3 percent year-over-year. Semiconductor exports recorded a contraction of 2.6 percent year-over-year in September.

An area that saw strength was exports of information/communication and video/audio exports – which rose 59.8 percent year-over-year in September.

Additionally, exports to the U.S. increased by 17.7 percent year-over-year, due to higher exports of ICT products.

Last Week's Port Poll Winner: Port of Shanghai

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 Shanghai in China. 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 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 appetizers/side dishes. Take a look at a few of the dishes some of our team made! 

Follow our LinkedIn to see more Crocktober dishes and 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

In our second week of October Insights, we discuss the latest updates re: Port of Savannah ship backlog, and Canada is awarding the Port of Montreal $150 million for future expansion projects at the port. 

Plus, we touched on how October is cybersecurity awareness month. 

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