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  • Maggie Mildenberger

US Port Review - August 2023

General Notes:

  • The ILWU (West Coast Dock Workers Union) now have a tentative agreement with the PMA (Pacific Maritime Association).

    • The agreement has not been ratified by either group yet, and will be voted on by the union workers in the coming months.

    • At this time, we believe the risk for a strike, work slowdown, or other disruptions has been negated.

    • Read more here.

  • Port of Vancouver

    • Throughout July there were labor disruptions due to the lack of union contract. While a final agreement has not been ratified by the union workers, there is a tentative deal and the port is operating normally.

    • Read more here.

  • UPS Strike

    • A deal was reached days before their potential strike, union workers will vote to ratify this deal in August.

    • Read more here.

  • YRC Freight

    • Ceased operations as of July 28th, likely to file bankruptcy.

    • Read more here and here

  • At the start of August, we see that all US ports are operating with minimal delays.


Fuel Updates:

  • Ocean Fuel (VLSFO) trended down through Q3 and Q4, the price was volatile throughout Q1. Through Q2 2023, price has dropped slightly compared to Q1 and has been stable.

    • This fuel type is up roughly 25% over its 2019/2020 levels.

  • Diesel in the USA as the start of July is $4.12 a gallon (California is $1.03 more per gallon)

    • While diesel has seen slight declines throughout the first half of the year, the price continues to keep freight prices high.

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


Data Analysis:

  • June imports continue the overall 2023 trend of mirroring 2019, with slight growth.

  • East / Gulf Coast Ports volume compared to the West Coast ports is nearly identical.

    • The west coast ports could overtake the east coast ports now that overall reliability is good and union contract issues are likely no longer a factor.


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