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American Shipper
Post Date
06/20/2022

Current FAK rates have continued to decline on the TPEB lane to the USWC. Several new carriers, who once only operated ter vessels, have entered the market with regular weekly sailings adding much needed capacity. These carriers are not part of an alliance and are thus not constrained to maintain a set price point. Rates on the TPEB lane to the USEC remain steady as no additional capacity has been added and port congestion continues to be an issue.

Rates have likely reached their lowest points as signs of peak season are already showing. Carriers are starting to reduce IPI bookings due to increased congestion at inland US hubs and chassis shortages. Railways are struggling to supply Los Angeles/Long Beach ports with sufficient stack cars to cover the inbound volumes leading to increased congestion at the ports. Several carriers have already announced increases on their inland rates effective from July 1st.

Shanghai reed on June 1st but has since had seven districts placed back on a temporary lockdown for additional testing as new infections rebounded. There is concern that the city may be sliding back into lockdown as officials are fearful of a resurgence of infection after reing. Production and manufacturing has resumed in Shanghai, however with the new quarantine measures and restrictions on truckers, drivers are reluctant to enter the city, reducing the trucking capacity and in turn slowing Shanghai’s recovery.

Amid record high diesel rates, trucking companies have been passing through weekly fuel increases ranging from 10-20% since March. The amount of the increase varies between truckers and market location. Please make sure you are budgeting for these increases.
Supply chain disruptions continue to abound. Containers continue to roll both at origin and transhipment ports. Chassis availability has deteriorated due to importers leaving containers dwelling at the ramps and terminals and not returning empties in a timely manner. Truckers are having trouble locating chassis in most markets leading to an increase in turn times. We are still seeing ports and ramps unable to accept empty returns due to congestion at the terminals.
The ILWU and PMA are committed to negotiating a new contract without disruption as they expect talks to ext beyond the July 1st expiration of the existing contract. The involved parties issued a joint statement advising that neither side was preparing for a strike or lockout. However, when an existing contract expires, so does the deal’s no-strike/no lockout clause, and the possibility of disruption increases.

Los Angeles port has seen an increase in rail containers of 20% over the past month and long dwelling boxes have increased 71%. UP and BNSF Railways are placing the blame on shippers failing to retrieve their containers quickly from rail ramps in Chicago and other inland locations. The lack of movement is a major reason the railways have been unable to return trains fast enough from inland hubs to relieve congestion on the docks in Los Angeles.

US retailers on Wednesday projected near-record import volumes for this summer into fall, warning that already stressed ports and inland supply chains should prepare for continued challenges through the peak shipping season. Monthly import volumes through October are fore to be a mixed bag compared to last year with slightly more in some months and slightly less in others. But those volumes are expected to be about 20 percent higher that pre-Covid 2019, meaning relief is unlikely anytime soon for the US stressed supply chain.

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act was passed by the House of Representatives on Monday and has been termed the most widespread reform to US shipping laws in almost a quarter of a century. The new bill shifts the burden of proof of detention and demurrage billing practices from shippers and consignees to container lines. The bill will also strengthen the US Federal Maritime Commission’s monitoring of container lines’ responsibility to load exports, otherwise known as their common carrier responsibilities. President Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law later this week.

Norfolk Southern Railway has put limits on international intermodal volumes shipping through five inland markets due to a shortage of marine chassis, longer street dwell times, and importers not picking up their containers in a timely manner. This latest disruption affects imports from New York, New Jersey and Virginia ports to Columbus, Cleveland, Pittsburg, and St. Louis.

Port congestion on the East Coast continues to be an issue as Savannah ports announced that more than 20 vessels were currently anchored offshore. The uptick in anchored vessels was due to recent construction work that took a second berth out of commission. Strong import volumes enroute to the port could keep backlog elevated through the of June.

Air cargo warehouses throughout the U.S. continue to experience delays in cargo availability, and many have shortened their free time from 48 hours to 24 hours. Truckers are still experiencing longer than normal wait times to pick up freight.


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