COVID-19 Latest UpdatesFreight Market Update

North American Transborder Freight up 3.5% YOY in December, Suez Canal to Increase Tanker Surcharges Beginning April 1, Radiant Logistics Inc. Continues Aid Efforts in Türkiye and Syria.

By February 23, 2023 No Comments

Ocean 

Largest drop in container exports seen in over a decade. According to the latest McCown report, container imports into the U.S. saw their biggest decline in more than a decade in January. Inbound containers at the ten largest U.S. ports declined 17.9% year over year last month, making it the highest monthly decline since the financial crisis in 2008. 

Suez Canal to increase tanker surcharges beginning April 1. Beginning April 1, Suez Canal transit authorities say that transit fees paid by crude oil and petroleum product tankers passing through the canal will increase. According to the Suez Canal Authority website, surcharges on these ships will be raised from 15% to 25% of total transit fees. Surcharges on empty (ballast) tankers will also be raised, from 5% to 15%. Hellenic Shipping News reports that the charges will be applied on ships traveling through the canal in both directions.

Ports

Dwell times at Ports of LA and Long Beach improving. Container dwell times at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are beginning to return to normal. The improvement in dwell times follows the easing of the surge of pandemic-related cargo over the last several months. According to gCaptain, the National Retail Federation is predicting that containerized imports in the first half this year will reach only 10.9 million TEUs, which would be down 19.4% from the first half of 2022.

Trucking

North American transborder freight up 3.5% YOY in December. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, total transborder freight between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico was worth $121.7 billion in December 2022, up 3.5% compared to December 2021. Truck freight alone was worth $73.9 billion. 

North American Transborder freight

Infographic via Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Rail

Illinois representatives want STB to delay decision on Canadian Pacific/Kansas City Southern merger. Four congressional leaders from Illinois are asking the Surface Transportation Board to hold off on making a decision about whether to approve the merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern, according to FreightWaves. The representatives want the data used in the environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared by the board to be reviewed for accuracy and reliability by an independent party. In a letter last week to STB Chairman Marty Oberman, the representatives argued that an independent review would create a more accurate assessment of the impacts on the Chicago region.

Air

Forwarders want government financial support for air cargo. The AfA and National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America are asking the government to give financial support to developments to ensure a smoother flow of traffic through airports, according to The Loadstar. They have conducted a broad study of the critical issues impacting air cargo flows and say the challenges for the industry are “too enormous to be shouldered squarely by private enterprise.” Read more about the proposal here.

International

Shipping containers pile up at overcrowded Chinese ports. China’s shipping containers are piling up at overcrowded ports as overseas orders diminish. Container leasing and purchasing prices in major Asian ports have fallen sharply, and a rebound is not expected for at least a few months, according to Channel News Asia. An official statement from the port’s authorities back in November said that the volume of empty containers stored there had reached the highest level since March 2020, and that it would soon reach the highest level since the port opened nearly 30 years ago.

MSC orders 10 new build ships from China. Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has ordered 10 dual-fuel 11,500 teu ships from China. The ship orders were detailed by China International Marine Containers (CIMC), which has a 30% stake in Zhoushan Changhong International Shipyard. MSC opted for LNG dual-fuel, with the ships costing $120m per and delivering in 2025 and 2026. 

Humanitarian

Radiant Logistics Inc. continues aid efforts in Türkiye and Syria. Radiant continues to stand at the ready in this fluid situation in support of the aid efforts of the U.S. Government and other agencies across the globe. To date, Radiant has transported MREs, medical supplies and equipment, generators, hygiene supplies, and vital bottled water, amongst many other much-needed items. One of Radiant’s most important transports has been that of a team of rescuers from Fairfax, Virginia, who is now on the ground and currently on lifesaving & recovery missions still taking place. The ability to positively impact an otherwise terrible situation is just one reason that Radiant does what it does when it comes to humanitarian missions.

Don’t forget that you can also help: view USAID’s listing of vetted organizations that are responding to this crisis.

Other

New forced labor law published in Mexico. In the Official Gazette of the Federation, the Mexican government published an agreement on February 17 that forbids importing products made with forced labor. With the new rule, the USMCA’s mandate that parties take steps to prevent the importation of products produced with forced labor will be complied with. The Agreement will become operative 90 days after publishing.