Market Letters

Transpacific Westbound Market Update – Week 9, 2021

Market Conditions:    The export community continues to be impacted by lack of vessel space, equipment issues (carriers’ preference for empties over loaded export containers), and poor carrier response time.    The storms in Houston have added to the response time issues as many carriers’ operational teams are located there.  Securing export bookings is still a challenge.  For every booking request, only 25% of carriers will accept the booking/give a favorable cut/have local equipment.  The West Coast port congestion is causing rolls, splits, and/or delays to nearly every vessel services’ delivery and arrival.  Stephen King could not write a scarier story about exports that anyone would believe.

West Coast Port Congestion:   The extreme congestion at Los Angeles and Long Beach has spread to the port of Oakland.   Oakland currently has 17 container ships at anchor and combined, LA/LGB have 32.  Below are pictures of the current anchored vessels at Los Angeles and Oakland ports.

Coast Guard Flyover of LA/LB Port:  This is a great visual of what is happening at the ports of LA/LGB.

General Rate Increase:   The ocean carrier GRI train keeps rolling with March 1st announced increases.   However, for the first time in many months, the ocean carrier’s stance may be softening on this round of increases.  Stay tuned as we should have final confirmation at the end of February.

Trucking Availability:  Due to last week’s severe weather and the ongoing import surge, many Midwest truckers do not have capacity for export loads until the first or second week of March.     Please plan your export shipments accordingly.

MSC Suspends off dock bookings: Due to severe congestion and lack of truck power at USWC ports, MSC has announced all off dock rail ramps booking have been suspended till further notice.

NS Heavy Container Fee:     Effective March 1st, the Norfolk Southern Railway will implement a Heavy Container Fee of $40 from Kansas City, Detroit and Columbus rail ramps.    This fee is applicable containers that have a gross weight (cargo and container weight) exceeding the below amounts:

20’ – 44,000 lbs.

40’ – 52,000 lbs.

45’ – 52,000 lbs.

For over 70 years, Laufer Group International Ltd. has been helping customers improve the way they handle their logistics. To see how we can help, or for any questions, contact Marc Van Gorp, National Export Business Development Manager, or contact your local sales representative.