West Coast intermodal spot market still strong despite falling rates

A photograph of a Union Pacific train hauling intermodal containers across a field.

Although U.S. West Coast demand for intermodal rail service in late January might not be as tight as what the market witnessed in the fourth quarter of 2020, the spot market is still showing some signs of tightness, according to FreightWaves’ SONAR charts.

Intermodal tender rejection rates show that carriers are still struggling to meet customer commitments, according to Mike Baudendistel, FreightWaves’ market expert for rail and intermodal. 

“Intermodal tenders are rejected by carriers at much...


Port of LA offers $7.5m ‘beat congestion’ incentive to terminal operators

The port of Los Angeles (PoLA) is stepping up its battle against congestion at its container facilities.
With a new financial incentive programme for terminal operators, it is offering a total of $7.5m for faster truck turnaround times and for dual transactions.
The scheme starts on 1 February and terminal operators that cut their truck turn time between 5% and 20% will receive $0.50-$2.75 per teu, the compensation rate increases with the …

The post Port of LA offers $7.5m ‘beat congestion’...


FreightWaves Flashback: LA/Long Beach set records

FreightWaves Classics articles look at various aspects of the transportation industry’s history. If there are topics that you think would be of interest, please send them to [email protected]

The many industries that make up the world of freight have undergone tremendous change over the past several decades. Each week, FreightWaves explores the archives of American Shipper’s nearly 70-year-old collection of shipping and maritime publications to showcase interesting freight stories of...


Calls to vaccinate California port workers to prevent shutdown

If things weren’t difficult enough at the Los Angeles/Long Beach container hub gateway, what with soaring levels of congestion and some 30-plus box ships at any given time waiting at anchor to berth, rampant Covid-19 infection rates in California threaten to deplete the number of dockers available to work, LA port director Gene Seroka estimates that up to 1,800 dockers may already be on coronavirus-related sick leave, according to Maritime …

The post Calls to vaccinate California port workers to...


Spot rates ease – but it could be too little, too late for some

Container spot rates have peaked and appear to be declining slightly on the main tradelanes, albeit from record high levels.
But it could be too little and too late to save some businesses.
“Carriers have started to extend rates into mid-February, and prepaid space seems to be available at the Chinese main ports,” said Christoph Baumeister, senior trade manager, Asia-Europe, at Flexport.
Today’s Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) recorded the first decrease in …

The post Spot rates ease...


COVID outbreak could cripple California container ports

ports workers Los Angeles

Los Angeles County is at the epicenter of the current COVID surge. That county’s Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex is simultaneously at the epicenter of America’s import surge. These two spikes are now converging as hundreds of California dockworkers catch COVID.

The doomsday scenario — COVID-induced terminal closures in California at the very height of the import boom — is generally considered unlikely. But it’s being openly talked about.

“If the catastrophic infection rates continue, there...


Peloton: The poster child for Containergeddon

This is an excerpt from Thursday’s Point of Sale retail supply chain newsletter.

In early November, mounting delays for Peloton exercise equipment led me to title the second  Point of Sale edition ‘Can Peloton avoid disaster this season?’. At that time, there were rumblings from restless customers and estimated shipping times of four to six weeks, more than double PTON’s “normal” (pre-COVID) window of two weeks. Now, it’s no longer rumblings but rampage and not four weeks, but 10. The answer to...


Port of LA will pay container terminals for efficiency gains

The Port of Los Angeles is willing to pay out $7.5 million to San Pedro Bay container terminals over the next year if they turn trucks faster.

“We see this as an investment in our efficiency,” a port spokesman told American Shipper Wednesday.

The port announced this week that beginning Feb. 1, it will reward container terminals for both improving truck turn times and completing dual transactions.

The port said the incentive program is designed to help move trucks faster and more efficiently...


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