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  • Maggie Mildenberger

US Port Review - April 2024

Updated: Apr 2

General Notes

  • Key Takeaways for International Logistics

    • Nearly all Ocean lanes are affected by the congestion in the Panama Canal and vessels avoiding the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

  • Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse and the Port of Baltimore

    • On Tuesday, March 26th, the container ship Dali collided with a support pillar of the Key Bridge, resulting in the collapse of the bridge.

    • Most ocean cargo vessels sail under this bridge to access the ocean terminals at Baltimore. The collapsed bridge is blocking access to most of the ocean terminals as of April 1.

    • The Port of Baltimore does handle containerized freight; however, they handle a much larger volume of vehicles and bulk freight (ore, grains, etc.).

      • As of April 1, containerized freight that was bound for Baltimore is moving to Norfolk, VA for unloading

      • As of April 1, the bulk freighters are waiting outside Baltimore for a plan of action.

  • Panama Canal Congestion

    • Restrictions due to drought are still in place holding the vessels allowed to transit per day at 24 down from 38.

  • Suez Canal and the Red Sea

    • Starting in November 2023 and continuing into April 2024, Houthi Rebels have conducted attacks on vessels transiting the Red Sea.

    • This has led to most steamship lines avoiding the area, with vessels now routing around Africa (Cape of Good Hope), which increases transit time by several days.

    • The image below shows container vessels inbound to the USA, note the large amount using this new route).

    • The US military has a presence in the region and is coordinating with other nations to provide security for trade vessels.


US Port Overview

  • US East / Gulf Coast Dock Worker Contract

  • The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) contract expires on September 30 2024. Negotiations are underway for a new contract.

  • The ILA represents workers at 36 ports along the Gulf and East Coast.


Fuel Updates

  • Ocean Fuel (VLSFO) is up roughly 10% since the start of the year

  • Compared to 2021 and prior the cost is still up 50% +.

  • Diesel in the USA as the start of April is $4.03 a gallon

  • Diesel is still roughly 30% higher than 2019 levels, which is keeping freight prices elevated.

  • Additionally, average diesel prices reported by are typically lower than truck stop prices, and are average across large sections of the country.


Data Analysis

  • February imports were nearly 30% higher than 2023 and 2019.

  • East coast port load share edged ahead of the east coast in February.

The PDF below is port-by-port review across the U.S. in April 2024 compared to 2023 & 2022.

US Port Review April 2024
Download PDF • 770KB


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