E-commerce Boom

November 29, 2021

The increased e-commerce volume generated by the pandemic has no end in sight—and signals a permanent behavioral shift of an indeterminate magnitude. In fact, it has provided an opportunity for carriers, vehicle manufacturers and tech companies to research, test and invest in alternative ways to provide pick up, transport, sortation and delivery.

Port of Vancouver flooding effect entire region's supply chain

November 19, 2021

The Vancouver gateway continues to experience disrupted rail and truck movement due to widespread flooding throughout the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is working with our supply chain partners including railways and terminals, and lead agencies at various levels of government.  As with everyone involved in the response to this situation, the current priorities are public safety and facilitating essential services.

US transportation hiring exceeds expectations

November 5, 2021

Transportation and warehousing hiring exceeded expectations in October, with the sector adding 54,400 more jobs than expected for a total of 97,300 actual jobs gained from September, according to data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Friday. Warehousing and storage businesses added approximately 50,800 jobs from month to month in non-seasonally adjusted numbers.

Tracking the shift to 24/7 supply chains

October 29, 2021

The time has come to overhaul how U.S. supply chains operate, according to port executives. An import surge throughout the pandemic laid bare the structural issues that have plagued businesses transporting products into and across the U.S. for years. But in few places have the issues been clearer than in Southern California, where the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have at times seen more than 100 ships waiting to dock and unload their containers.

DHL Express Sees Added Air Cargo Capacity Easing Supply Chain Snarls

October 28, 2021

German delivery firm DHL expects global supply chain bottlenecks to ease next year as the return of air travel adds cargo capacity and higher vaccination rates keep a lid on COVID-19 infections.  Traditionally, air freight has been a safety valve, giving shippers a way to get urgently needed parts to their destinations. But the coronavirus pandemic has limited the number of passenger flights, causing a squeeze on the amount of available cargo space.

NY-NJ terminal fee targets truckers who miss appointments

October 25, 2021

Container terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey will impose a new fee on truckers who miss appointments for import retrievals. The fee aims to spur more efficiency and speed up freight delivery, according to one terminal operator. Starting Oct. 1, truckers who fail to appear for an appointment in the NY-NJ port will be assessed a $62.49 administrative fee, according to the latest tariff from the New York Terminal Conference.

Savannah switches to fixed receiving dates for exports

October 15, 2021

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has begun offering fixed dates for exporters to drop off their containers in Savannah, addressing one of the top concerns for outbound shipments in the Southeast. Port officials are also working to align their cutoff times with ocean carriers so fewer exports are rolled and sit for days — or weeks — inside Savannah’s Garden City Terminal until space on a new vessel is found.

5 years of supply chain disruptions and the lessons learned

October 6, 2021

Supply Chain Dive highlights some of thier past stories that carry lessons still relevant today. These stories will be labeled “From The Archives” in our Daily Dive newsletter and added to this page. They will also publish new stories looking at the past, present and future of the most important topics within supply chain. You can find those stories at the top of this round-up.

Norfolk Southern to reopen Louisville depot for ocean freight

October 1, 2021

Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) is reopening an intermodal terminal in Louisville, Kentucky, that will specifically handle ocean freight from the Port of Virginia, which is seeing outsized growth in containerized imports this year. The Class 1 railroad said it will reopen the Louisville intermodal terminal on Oct. 4. The terminal will be open only for containers coming from Virginia’s two largest container terminals, Norfolk International Terminal and the Virginia International Gateway.

US truck spot rate hikes reaching further inland

September 28, 2021

US spot truckload rates have reached a high plateau and are poised to climb even higher, propelled by high import volumes and strong manufacturing and consumer demand. Rates are rising in key longhaul lanes as freight flows from coastal warehouses and storage facilities further inland to distribution centers in Chicago, Memphis, and other mid-US markets. Spot market dry van volumes from Los Angeles to Chicago jumped 13 percent last week, pushing seven-day average rates in that lane up almost 16 percent year over year to $2.94 per mile, according to DAT Freight & Analytics.

Only import relief will ease US chassis availability

September 22, 2021

Chassis providers warn that with equipment production maxed out through next year, only a reversal of rising dwell times by US importers will ease availability — and that can only happen if underlying volumes slow. “For 2021, we can’t build another chassis if our life depended on it beyond the thousands we currently deliver from orders placed in 2020 for 2021 delivery,” Ron Widdows, CEO of FlexiVan Leasing, told JOC.com. “There is no more production capacity to be had on the face of the earth that can help us for the balance of this year.”

FMC votes in favor of enhanced carrier oversight

September 15, 2021

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has approved two initiatives that aim to rein in what shippers call the egregious billing practices of ocean carriers around the use of containers, part of the FMC’s efforts to better police international shipping. The commission said Wednesday its five members voted unanimously to approve the initiatives, which stem from Commissioner Rebecca Dye’s probe of how COVID-19 disrupted ocean supply chains.

Transportation hiring surges as US peak season begins

September 3, 2021

Transportation employment last month reached its highest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as imports poured into the US and domestic freight demand increased. Although labor shortages were reported up and down supply chains, transportation and warehousing firms added 47,200 employees in August, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released Friday.

Pandemic-closed Ningbo container terminal fully reopening

August 24, 2021

The Ningbo-Zhoushan port’s Meidong container terminal will officially reopen Wednesday, two weeks after the facility was closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak and one week after cargo operations resumed on a limited basis. In announcing that restrictions on the Meishan Island International Container Terminal (MSICT) and associated bonded trade zone would be lifted Wednesday, port officials said truckers could begin picking up containers, but their arrivals would be staggered to avoid congestion. As of Tuesday evening local time, there were 26 containers ships at berth and at anchor at Ningbo, the third-busiest global container port, and 3 ships at MSICT, according to AISLive, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit.

Cargo airlines cancel hundreds of China flights amid COVID outbreak

August 13, 2021

Logistics professionals say the growing scarcity of long-haul aircraft could push freight rates near $20 per kilogram on certain trade lanes within a few weeks, making air transport five or six times more expensive than normal for the fall rush. The most current data from logistics providers and risk intelligence analysts shows that 531 flights, or 43% of the daily total, were canceled from Beijing and that airlines scrubbed 408 flights, a third of the daily total, at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, as of Aug. 6. Two-thirds of the flights were canceled in Xiamen. And Sunan Shuofang International Airport, which serves the cities of Wuxi and Suzhou in southern Jiangsu province, is not accepting import cargo.

Ningbo marine port in eastern China suspends operations due to COVID-19 case

August 11, 2021

A container port in China’s eastern marine hub Ningbo has suspended operations after a member of staff tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday (Aug 10), said a port official at a press briefing on Wednesday. Ningbo Meidong Container Terminal Corp, a subsidiary of Ningbo Zhoushan Port Company, has also suspended all inbound and lift-off services from 3:30 am local time on Wednesday. Ningbo Zhoushan port, China’s second-largest container port by handling volume after Shanghai, handled 18.68 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in the first seven months, up 17.1 per cent on-year.

Savannah adding capacity amid record cargoes

July 26, 2021

The Georgia Ports Authority is working to open more than 600,000 TEU of new capacity in the Garden City Terminal in anticipation of continued strong volumes and extra-loaders through Lunar New Year in February.

UP suspending USWC–Chicago hub services to clear Global IV boxes

July 15, 2021

Union Pacific Railroad will halt all international intermodal service from the West Coast to its Global IV terminal in Joliet, Illinois, for up to seven days beginning early Monday, an emergency measure designed to get thousands of ocean containers in stacks to their cargo owners. The railroad confirmed the suspension from the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, and Tacoma, saying it is necessary to relieve the “significant congestion at our inland intermodal terminals, most notably in Chicago.” The move goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. PDT July 18.

Fuel costs push rates higher faster in 2021

July 10, 2021

Truckload spot rates continue to trend higher in 2021, averaging $3.18/mile over the past two months compared to $2.96/mile (7.4%) from November to December of last year, according to Truckstop.com’s average top 100 lanes. What can get lost in the cost of transportation is the rising underlying costs such as maintenance, insurance and the most easily tracked — fuel.

Truck capacity constraints worsen on US-Mexico border

July 7, 2021

US businesses shipping goods to and from Mexico are being forced to innovate and consider new ways to move goods as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts transportation networks on both sides of the border. However, shippers find that alternative transportation options are limited, as capacity constraints that were tight even before the pandemic worsen as the disruption persists.

Major VAT and customs changes will be introduced by the EU from July 1, 2021.

July 1, 2021

The European Union (EU) is making important changes to its value-added tax (VAT) rules, which come into effect on July 1, 2021. This will impact businesses that sell across EU country borders (also known as distance sellers) and businesses exporting goods to buyers in the EU. These changes will lead to simpler procedures and reduced administration, as well as possible broader implications for how merchants conduct business in the EU.

Canadian passenger airline WestJet to launch freighter division

June 24, 2021

Calgary-based WestJet announced it will acquire a small fleet of converted Boeing 737-800 freighters and begin dedicated cargo service to support the needs of freight forwarders, shippers and other Canadian firms amid robust demand for air transport.

US truck freight volumes slip, but not rates or demand

June 23, 2021

US truck freight tonnage dropped in May, but not through lack of demand. Instead, a lack of capacity and supply chain disruption were the most likely culprits… The DAT Freight & Analytics Truckload Volume Index for May fell 6 percent from April and is off 9 percent from its peak in March, although it remained 38 percent higher than a year ago, according the truckload spot market load board operator and market analysis provider.

Supply chain constraints, spot posts push up trucking rates

June 21, 2021

The capacity shortage in the trucking market continued into May as spot load posts were up 290% YoY and truck postings were down nearly 15% YoY… This dynamic kept the load-to-truck ratio elevated, increasing almost 220% YoY for vans, 674% YoY for flatbeds and 324% YoY for reefers.

LTL sector reaching ‘turning point’ for carriers, shippers

June 13, 2021

FedEx Freight is not the only LTL carrier trying to control volume, although other carriers are taking different approaches on a different scale. They may dial back the number of shipments in certain lanes, bypass congested terminals, or refuse shipments to certain locations. Carriers are also turning away non-contractual volume and using price and accessorial charges to change shipper behavior.

FedEx Freight prunes 1,400 customers to protect service levels

June 13, 2021

The heavy trucking division of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) began notifying select manufacturers, retailers and logistics companies on Friday that it will stop picking up their goods as of Monday, leaving them virtually no time to make alternative shipping arrangements. Other LTL carriers are also operating at maximum capacity and may not be able to absorb more freight in the near-term.

Container availability slumps in southern China ports on COVID-19 lockdowns

June 14, 2021

Ports in southern China impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns that are further disrupting the global box trade have seen a significant slump in container availability in the last two weeks, according to the latest data from Container xChange. Yantian and Shekou ports, near Shenzhen, and Nansha port, part of the Guangzhou box hub, are most affected.

Yantian box disruption surpasses March’s Suez crisis

June 8, 2021

The number of containers unable to move from south China because of a Covid-19 outbreak around Yantian Port has already surpassed the volume of boxes held up in March when the 20,388 teu Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal in Egypt, statistics that serve to underline the severity of the latest supply chain crisis hitting liner shipping.

COVID-19 Outbreak in China’s Yantian Port

June 3, 2021

The container shipping industry and global supply chain from China are facing a fresh challenge due to a disruption at Yantian and the neighboring Shekou ports in southern China near Hong Kong. The province is facing increased restrictions, which are impacting port operations at one of China’s busiest export terminals, due to newly reported cases on COVID-19.

US railroads tightening free time at inland terminals

June 1, 2021

US Class I railroads on both coasts are tightening free time to speed the pickup of record import volumes flowing through their busiest terminals. The moves will narrow the window on many domestic and international shippers and is meant to encourage quicker turns of containers and chassis to relieve congestion on inland rail ramps.

Houston and Savannah Help Alleviate West Coast Ports

May 23, 2021

Those opportunities are in the Gulf Coast and the Southeast — specifically Houston and Savannah. Both ports have seen incredible increases in containerized volumes that began before the pandemic and since the resurgence last summer have only continued to soar.

Cyclone-related port closures in India

May 19, 2021

The severe cyclone that caused several of India’s container ports to suspend all operations over the weekend has dealt another blow to the pace of container flows in and out of the region, which was already suffering from lingering vessel capacity shortages and fresh COVID-19 lockdowns.

West Coast Ports Race to Clear Ship Backlog by August

May 17, 2021

Ship congestion outside the busiest U.S. gateway for trade with Asia showed glimmers of easing as port officials race to clear a backlog of arriving cargo before peak season begins in about three months. A total of 19 container ships were anchored waiting for entry into Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, as of Sunday, compared with 21 a week earlier, according to officials who monitor marine traffic in San Pedro Bay. The bottleneck has persisted since November, peaking around 40 vessels in early February.

Truckers Expect U.S. Transport Capacity Crunch to Persist

May 2, 2021

Freight industry executives expect a squeeze on trucking capacity that has been driving up shipping costs for U.S. companies to persist through the rest of the year, as strong demand in a rebounding American economy collides with a shortfall in truck availability.

Suez effects to stretch into June, container shortage to worsen

April 26, 2021

The effects on ocean freight capacity are beginning to increase a month after the Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal. When the Suez — one of the busiest trade lanes in the world — became blocked, ships arrived late to ports of call. Carriers had to respond by blanking sailings that were scheduled on these late ships.

Ports break records with off-peak import deluge in March

April 19, 2021

The Port of Los Angeles’ import volume rose nearly 123% YoY in March to reach 490,115 TEUs — up almost 65% compared to the same month in 2019. The Port of Long Beach had its busiest month of all time in March, despite the month being “traditionally one of the slowest months on the shipping calendar,” the port said in a press release.

9 charts show the highs and lows of supply chains in Q1

April 14, 2021

The growth spurt in consumer spending that began last summer carried over into 2021, with knock-on effects to supply chains. Freight demand led to hikes in transportation prices and warehouse rents, alongside dips in capacity. And near the end of the quarter, a global disruption occurred: The Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal.  The charts in the article illustrate the story of supply chains in Q1 2021.

Timeline: How the Suez Canal blockage unfolded across supply chains

April 1, 2021

Days after the vessel was freed, hundreds of container ships were still waiting to get through the canal as a result of the backlog created by the blockage. In the article is what unfolded over the six days in which the container ship was stuck, and its lingering effects on the supply chain.

Suez Canal blocked by stranded Evergreen boxship

March 24, 2021

An ultra large container ship operated by Evergreen ran aground on the Suez Canal on Tuesday, blocking traffic on one of the world’s most important waterways. A large backlog of ships is now massing on either side of the waterway, waiting to go through. An Egyptian official who spoke to the Associated Press confirmed that efforts to remove the ship would take at least two days and blamed a strong 50 km/h gust of wind for the accident.

FedEx Express rates expected to remain elevated for next 12 months

March 19, 2021

FedEx expects the current airfreight environment will allow it to keep its elevated pricing on Express for the next 12 months, executives said on the company’s earnings call Thursday. FedEx Express has experienced higher demand over the last year as a result of the pandemic. Strained capacity due to the loss of passenger flights pushed airfreight shippers to utilize freighters.

Congress takes on truck driver shortage, reboots bill to permit under-21s to haul interstate loads

March 16, 2021

Two senators reintroduced the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act, known as the DRIVE-Safe Act, which would allow CDL holders under age 21 to haul interstate loads in certain circumstances. The regulation would apply to drivers who have completed, or are participating in, an apprenticeship program, according to the bill text.

Port Officials, Retailers See Congestion Lasting for Months

March 9, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of Peloton exercise bikes and other equipment have surged as the New York City-based exercise company saw its membership subscriptions reach more than 3.1 million, more than double the number of subscriptions compared with 2019, as people have avoided their local gyms and turned to exercising at home.

Shipper, trucker groups applaud FMC on 'strongest step' to demand container information from carriers

February 18, 2021

The Federal Maritime Commission issued an information demand requiring ocean carriers and terminal operators to provide details on their detention and demurrage practices, container returns, and container availability for exporters, the agency said Wednesday in a press release.

Port Officials, Retailers See Congestion Lasting for Months

February 10, 2021

An ice storm will spread across a dozen states over the next two days, making travel virtually impossible for truckers. Moisture feeding off the Gulf of Mexico will interact with cold air drifting into portions of the South. This will cause widespread freezing rain and ice Wednesday and Thursday from eastern Oklahoma and the mid-Mississippi Valley to the mid-Atlantic.

Shipper, trucker groups applaud FMC on 'strongest step' to demand container information from carriers

February 10, 2021

Historic volumes at the nation’s ports have knotted the flow of trade so badly that containers filled with December’s holiday items still are being processed through the ports, according to data and analysis from ImportGenius.

Why the empty container math doesn't add up in US exporters' favor

February 3, 2021

Imports surged, and so did the need for containers. To keep up with demand, ocean carriers prioritized shipments out of Asia for U.S. or European imports. This led to an uptick in empty containers leaving U.S. ocean ports as carriers didn’t wait for U.S. exporters to load their goods and instead prioritized more profitable businesses in Asia.

Maersk ship loses 750 containers overboard in Pacific Ocean

January 21, 2021

The company said the Maersk Essen, which has capacity for more than 13,000 containers, lost an estimated 750 of them on January 16 about halfway through its trans-Pacific sailing from China’s Port of Xiamen.

Congestion could clog California ports into February, Hapag-Lloyd warns

January 14, 2021

Hapag-Lloyd expects the current congestion at West Coast port facilities to continue into at least February, according to a recent update from the carrier. The back up has resulted in 35 ships currently anchoring away from the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach awaiting berthing spots, according to the notice, which also mentioned increased dwell times at the New York port facility.

West and East Coast Ports Report Strong November Volume

January 4, 2021

The nation’s ports continued their breakneck pace in November as imported products arrived and unloaded at a record or near-record rate at facilities on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. The Port of Los Angeles had a strong month as the nation’s busiest facility processed 889,746 20-foot equivalent units, a 22% increase compared with November 2019, when the facility moved 728,917 TEUs.

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