Bubble Chart showing the flow of good in the supply chain
west coast ports

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Sees Potential 2-5% Cargo Shift to West Coast

According to Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, there could be a 2-5% shift of cargo from East & Gulf Coast Ports to the West Coast. Uncertainties in this year’s ILA contract covering Atlantic & Gulf Ports and continued problems of ocean carriers accessing the Panama and Suez canals have resulted in the possible shift of cargo to the West Coast. Seroka stated: “So, we’re starting to see companies talk about shifting two, three, five percent of their business to different gateways to diversify a little bit.… There’s also the East and West Coast rate differential right now, with East Coast rates having a wider gap than those here out West in recent memory. A lot will be made of that as contracts are negotiated … Don’t be surprised if we see peak season cargo coming here to the West Coast just a bit earlier than usual… Here in LA, we’re running at about 75 to 80% of peak capacity. We’re ready to pivot and handle whatever comes our way.” Read more at AJOT

TPM 2024 logo

Heard at TPM 2024

At the Transpacific Maritime Conference held in Long Beach, CA on March 3-6,2024, industry leaders made the following comments:

  • “The many conflicts and rising nationalism occurring throughout the world right now threaten the types of trade agreements and economic cooperation that underpin the container trade.” – Robert Gates, former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency.
  • When asked his advice to Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs): ” BCOs need accurate forecasts, need a Plan B, and should adopt some type of digitalization. All stakeholders should be connected through digitalization.” – Jon Monroe, President, Jon Monroe Consulting;
  • “Shippers should be prepared for the Red Sea situation to last into the second half of the year, and that longer transit times should be built-in to customers’ supply chain planning.” – Charles van der Steene, Regional President for North America, Maersk;
  • “Researchers have begun to see signs of the inventory cycle turning, with demand for raw materials picking up. Record high stocks built up during the pandemic had largely been whittled down.” – Christopher Williamson, Chief Business Economist, S&P Global;
  • “The rerouting of vessels around southern Africa adds 10 days or longer to the typical transit times through the Suez Canal and adds hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs to each voyage – costs that carriers seek to recover through higher freight rates and surcharges.” – Lars Jensen, CEO of Vespucci Maritime;
  • “I expect East Coast importers will bring in holiday season goods early this year or send more cargo from Asia to ships scheduled for West Coast ports.” –    Jeremy Nixon, CEO, Ocean Network Express.
Union Pacific railroad

UP Announces New Daily Intermodal Service from Inland Empire to Chicago

UP Railroad announced a new daily domestic intermodal rail service from its Inland Empire Intermodal Terminal (IEIT) in Fontana, CA, to its Chicago Global 2 Terminal in Northlake, IL, beginning April 1, 2024. The new service from the Los Angeles Basin’s busiest warehouse district, located directly in the heart of Chicago, will supplement the existing service between IEIT and the UP Chicago Global 4 Terminal in Joliet, IL. Read more at UP

JB Hunt Intermodal train

J.B. Hunt to Acquire Walmart’s Intermodal Assets in Strategic Service Deal

J.B. Hunt, a top intermodal rail service provider, announced a multi-year intermodal service agreement with Walmart, which includes J.B. Hunt’s acquisition of Walmart’s intermodal container and chassis fleets. The strategic service agreement increases the companies’ current volume and capacity commitments and enables the development of comprehensive intermodal solutions to drive long-term value for both organizations. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Fernando Cortes, Senior VP Transportation of Walmart, stated: “Walmart’s long history of working with J.B. Hunt has many milestones of innovation and growth. This agreement will strengthen our commitment to delivering goods at an everyday low cost to our customers and members.” Read more at J.B. Hunt

Yellow line trucks

Equipment Auctions of Bankrupt LTL Carrier Yellow Freight Commence

Liquidation auctions of the equipment of bankrupt Less-than-Truckload (LTL) Carrier Yellow Corp. began in Fort Worth on March 12th.  The auctions across the U.S. and Canada are expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars for Yellow, the 3rd largest U.S. LTL Carrier, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2023. The auction of Yellow’s real estate portfolio has thus far raised over $2 billion from such companies as XPO, Estes, Saia, and Knight-Swift. Yellow’s equipment, which included 12,700 tractors, 42,000 trailers, chassis, forklifts, and mobile offices, are located at over 300 terminal locations across the county and the Auctioneer: Ritchie Brothers’ facilities. Read more at Logistics Management

parked IMC Logistics trucks

IMC Logistics Acquires CA Drayage Carrier American Pacific Transportation

IMC Logistics, the largest marine drayage provider in the nation, announced the acquisition of American Pacific Transportation, a leading provider of domestic rail drayage, intermodal harbor drayage, truckload, and dedicated distribution services in CA. The acquisition includes two new locations for IMC in Lompoc and Calexico, CA. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Joel Henry, CEO of IMC, stated: “As a result of this acquisition, we will have more than 500 trucks in California, signifying our commitment to our customers in this region”. Read more at IMC

aerial view of CenterPoint South Bay

CenterPoint Acquires 4-Building Industrial Portfolio in Los Angeles South Bay

CenterPoint Properties acquired a four-building industrial real estate portfolio in the supply-constrained Los Angeles South Bay submarket close to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports. Michael Longo, Broker of CBRE, stated: “The portfolio is located in one of the strongest industrial markets in the country, less than 13 miles from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and with direct access to routes servicing the West Coast.” The portfolio acquisition increased CenterPoint’s South Bay portfolio to 30 total assets and two active development projects. The four facilities in Compton, CA, total 546,866 square feet and feature 113 dock-high loading positions, 12 ground level loading doors, ample auto and trailer parking spaces, and secure yards. Read more at CenterPoint