Archive for September, 2020

Tender volumes stay strong in Labor Day distorted week

Our Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) is calculated on a seven-day moving average basis to smooth out daily volatility. Due to this, the index is distorted for the week following a national holiday, like Labor Day. This renders weekly comparisons near meaningless this week. In a continuation from last week, the accepted tender volume level […]

Another Texas port closed as Tropical Storm Beta makes landfall

Beta made landfall along the central Texas coast overnight. As of early Tuesday, it was centered just east of Victoria, Texas, producing sustained winds of 40 mph. Monday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard placed the Port of Corpus Christi under port condition Zulu. This means inbound and outbound traffic has been suspended. The ports of […]

Ports closed as Tropical Storm Beta eyes Gulf Coast

Beta is spinning over the western Gulf of Mexico, drifting toward Texas. It will probably make landfall near the San Antonio Bay, Texas, area Monday night. With prolonged rainfall and storm surge in the forecast, some ports in Texas have already closed. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, these ports are Houston, Freeport, Victoria, Galveston […]

Are Intermodal’s “Green Shoots” Signs of Recovery?

The industry is starting to see a significant uptick in intermodal originations out in Southern California and Western Canada. In a recent Journal of Commerce (JOC) article, CN President and CEO JJ Ruest noted that his railroad is returning furloughed labor (and by association that should include assets that may have been on storage, or […]

Port of LA secures record month with 961,833 TEUs

The Port of Los Angeles had its best month ever in August, but Executive Director Gene Seroka wasn’t sipping champagne during Tuesday’s press conference on volumes. “One month or even one quarter does not make a trend,” Seroka said. “Despite this import surge that we’re seeing, the U.S. economy and global trade face significant challenges. […]

Intermodal rates go off the rails

The average national spot rate for intermodal shipments by rail have increased 58% since early June, or $0.79/mile. The normally rational intermodal market, a safe haven for many shippers, has succumbed to the pressure of the surging freight volumes arriving on the West Coast. What is more impressive than the absolute rate, which is the […]

IANA data points to August intermodal volumes seeing slight decline, amid signs of improvement

As was the case in July, August intermodal volumes mostly saw sequential gains, while year-to-date volumes, through August, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, were largely down, according to data provided to LM by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA). Total August shipments—at 1,575,928—were off 2.7% annually. Domestic containers—at 695,999—were up 4.4%, while trailers—at 108,901—were up 3.2%. […]

Red-hot ocean rates could spark government intervention

In tanker and dry bulk shipping, the rate is the rate. It’s whatever the market says it is. It can be below zero (net of costs). It can be six figures per day. No government can intervene. This is definitely not the case in container shipping. Record-high trans-Pacific spot rates and container-equipment shortfalls in Asia […]

Asia airfreight rates are high and climbing higher

After a three-week lull, prices for air exports from China have turned noticeably upward, a trend most international trade professionals expect will continue through the end of the year as the traditional peak shipping season overlaps with high demand for coronavirus medical supplies and online retail orders, and major product releases from big tech companies. […]