Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in mining was down over the month.
Transportation and warehousing added 19,000 jobs in February, with most of the
gain occurring in couriers and messengers (+12,000). Employment in transportation
and warehousing grew by an average of 14,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
>> Click here to access the entire report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The top officials at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach said that it would take three months to clear the thousands of containers left stranded on nearly two dozen ships — the product of epic congestion exacerbated by contentious labor talks between dockworkers and management.
Expected post-Lunar New Year cargo growth will accelerate equipment, cargo handling and other costs going forward.
While the full impact on ocean carrier deployments to U.S. West Coat ports has yet to be measured, major players comprising the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) are standing firm on raising rates.
According to TSA spokesman, Niels Erich, container shipping lines have begun the slow work of repairing their networks as U.S. West Coast congestion difficulties ease.
“At the same time, forward bookings suggest that post-Lunar New Year cargo demand will resume after the week-long Asia holidays and continue to pick up pace,” he said.
Restoring service levels and further ramping up to meet sustained and rising demand will, in turn, entail significant operational costs, carriers are forecasting.
Member carriers in the TSA say that overall freight revenues must rise to levels that will address higher long-term rail, truck, equipment management and cargo handling costs, as a “new normal” in shoreside and inland operations grows out of recent congestion difficulties and the new longshore labor agreement.
Toward that end TSA has reaffirmed its March 9 general rate increase (GRI) of $600 per 40-foot container (FEU) for all shipments, and lines have also filed a previously announced April 9 GRI in the same amount.
“Carriers are mindful that all affected parties face higher operating costs as well as lost revenue and business opportunities amid the current situation,” Conrad said.
But Conrad added that it is also a reality that carriers are all not simply returning to “business as usual.”
To the extent the U.S. economy is showing sustained recovery and the dollar is likely to remain strong against Asian currencies for some time, carriers need to step up their game, reverse some of the retrenchment seen since 2011 and complete the service integration necessary to fulfill scale and efficiency objective in the market.
“The limited improvement in freight rates to date neither addresses costs accrued since last September nor the network investment necessary through 2016 to meet customers’ needs,” said Conrad.
>> Click here to access the entire article from Logistics Management.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the 26th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 69th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
The industry is working on solutions to the port congestion issue, from gray chassis to port enhancements. Still, smart retailers should look strategically at their supply chains, both to gain added value and avoid the pitfalls experienced in 2014.
With the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) recently agreeing to a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract last weekend covering about 20,000 port employees at 29 West Coast ports following roughly nine months of stops and starts and acrimonious negotiations, the focus for all port and supply chain stakeholders is firmly on the future.
U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $95.8 billion in December 2014 as four out of five transportation modes – truck, rail, air, and pipeline – carried more U.S.-NAFTA freight than in December 2013, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Table 1). Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows by all modes increased by 5.4 percent, with December marking the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year increases.
Welcome to the February 2015 Logistics Link, the MIQ Logistics monthly newsletter.
Supply Chain 247
For the past few weeks, a labor dispute has been unfolding at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.
After flying over the area while coming in to land at LAX, I saw all of these giant container ships anchored offshore and instantly knew that I had to photograph it.