Contract negotiations between shippers and 20,000 dockworkers at West Coast ports are progressing toward a tentative agreement in November, the head of the largest harbor said.
Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said he speaks daily with negotiators for both sides on a new accord for ports from San Diego to Bellingham, Washington, which together handle almost half of all U.S. maritime trade.
“American Trucking Associations’advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was unchanged in September, following a gain of 1.6% the previous month. In September the index equaled 132.6 (2000=100), the same as in August and a record high. Compared with September 2013, the SA index increased 3.7%, down from August’s 4.5% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 3.2%.”
Lloyd’s Loading List
Lines offering Asia to US services will further ramp up charges in the coming weeks by introducing new ‘intermodal door delivery charges’.
Most member lines of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement will start charging customers US$100 per FEU and USD$90 per TEU on all cargo moving under ‘intermodal store-door delivery through rates’ from Asia to the US.
Global Trade magazine named MIQ Logistics one of America’s Top 3PLs (third-party logistics providers) and one of the Top 10 providers in its Most Versatile category in their September/October 2014 issue.
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Asia-U.S. container lines, still heavily reliant on intermodal service, have now been forced to respond with intermodal door delivery charges to recover those costs.
Congested U.S. port terminals, harbor and over-the-road truck and driver shortages, slower trains and longer rail terminal dwell times due to increased domestic rates have not only disrupted service but also driven intermodal rates and cargo handling costs up sharply.
The Los Angeles Times
The Port of Los Angeles in September saw its busiest month in eight years, as larger cargo ships called at the port and retailers rushed in goods for the holiday season. The port said cargo volume — including imports, exports and empty containers — rose 9% from a year earlier. The 775,133 container units that passed through the port last month were the most since August 2006. Imports increased 11%, while exports rose just 0.2%, the port said this week.
“The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, rose 0.6 percent in August from July, rising for the second consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). The August 2014 index level (120.9) was 27.8 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession. The level of freight shipments in August measured by the Freight TSI (120.9) reached its all-time high (Table 2A). BTS’ TSI records begin in 2000.”
“Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to see a final surge and set a new monthly record in October as the holiday season approaches, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.”
“Increasing congestion at the nation’s ports as well as the ongoing West Coast labor negotiations are ongoing concerns and retailers are making one last push to make sure they’re stocked up for the holidays,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers are working hard to make sure customers can find what they’re looking for regardless of what happens at the ports.”
“The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles continue to cope with Peak Season congestion, but operations are still sluggish. “While we were not blind-sided by the volumes coming in now, terminal operators may not have expected such a dramatic ebb and flow,” said POLA Director of Media Relations Phillip Sanfield in an interview. It’s a difficult balancing act, with the rate of cargo discharge being the main problem.”
“The freight logistics sector was relatively flat in September, with a drop in North American shipment volume and a slight increase in total freight expenditures, or payments. Other freight indicators have shown that shipment weights have been rising steadily, so a decrease in the actual number of shipments does not necessarily indicate a drop in freight activity. In a typical summer trend, the economy as a whole cooled in August and September.”