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  • Maggie Mildenberger

US Port Review - June 2024

Updated: Jul 1

General Notes on International Container Logistics

  • Rising Container Costs

    • Throughout March and April container rates decreased from the highs seen at the start of the year.

    • Starting in May and continuing into June container rates have quickly increased, and are now at a yearly high.

    • 40’ containers coming to the USA are now $8,000+

    • Factors causing this increase:

      • Carriers canceling planned vessels to ensure each boat that is moving is full which is leading to shippers fighting for the available space.

      • Container availability issues have started to occur, mostly due to the longer transit times boats have been facing for 8+ months.

        • Additionally, vessels are out of position due to longer transit times & delays.

      • Imports to the US are up 24% year over year.

  • Panama Canal Congestion

    • Restrictions due to drought are still in place, however in mid-May the canal increased the number of ships that can transit daily.

    • The canal is now allowing up to 31 vessels to transit, up from 24. This is lower than the previous maximum of 38-42.

  • Suez Canal and the Red Sea

    • Continuing through the start of June vessels are continuing to avoid the Suez Canal and Red Sea.

    • Starting in November 2023 and continuing into April, 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 US military has a presence in the region and is coordinating with other nations to provide security for trade vessels.

      • Below image demonstrates container vessels inbound to the USA, note the large amount of vessels using this new route around the Cape of Good Hope.

 

USA Port and Overland Overview

  • Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse and the Port of Baltimore

  • US East / Gulf Coast Dock Worker Contract

  • National FTL rates are steady throughout 2024, though still elevated from 2019 levels.

    • LTL and small package rates have continued to rise, due to the nature of how those networks function.

 

Fuel Updates

  • Ocean Fuel (VLSFO) as of June 2024 is flat over the year.

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

  • Diesel in the USA as the start of May is $3.75 a gallon.

    • Diesel is still roughly 38% higher than 2019 levels, which is keeping freight prices elevated.

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

 

Data Analysis

  • April imports were 15% higher than 2019.

  • US East Coast Port load share stayed ahead of the US West Coast through April 2024.

 

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

US Port Review June 2024
.pdf
Download PDF • 600KB

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