There’s not much statistical sense in using 2020 data as the benchmark when looking ahead to 2021. The statistical coverage of railway freight volume changes in Canada, Mexico and the United States is excellent. But after the extreme changes week-over-week due to the COVID-19 business impacts, maybe it is time to consider a different method.
Freightwaves Breaking News
California Gov. Gavin Newsom got a letter Monday asking that the state take action to reverse the loss of market share at West Coast container ports.
Ocean container rates remain exceptionally high but may have finally hit their ceiling. Spot rates have not only stopped rising, they’ve pulled back by single digits. Is this a new plateau or the start of a longer-term reversal as liner alliances bring more capacity back online?
Spot rates in the trans-Pacific trade continue to reach epic new heights, leading to talk of price gouging. “Container lines have done well during the global pandemic, but are they profiteering from the crisis?” asked U.K.-based consultancy Drewry.
Over the next few days and then amplified by mid-month investor reporting, we will learn more about how U.S. rail freight is trending. Association of American Railroads six-month data is out. In the interim, Susquehanna Financial Group (SFG) data scientists have circulated their freight market view. As well, we’ve added some FreightWaves SONAR intermodal data to the mix.
The battle for Asian containerized exports rages on between West and East Coast ports. The East had been steadily gaining ground, but COVID-19 is changing the balance in favor of the West, at least in the short term. The most immediate effect of the coronavirus was a shift from air cargo to premium ocean service. Advantage West Coast ports. Former air-cargo shippers with time pressures don’t take the long route to the East Coast.
This will raise eyebrows no matter how innocently it arose: Carriers intentionally cut trans-Pacific sailings to align capacity with virus-stricken demand, but demand turned out to be higher than expected. Spot rates skyrocketed and some analysts now predict rates could fuel big profits for carriers in a year when U.S. importers face a pandemic-induced recession.
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on June 17 identified four key areas where the container shipping industry in the San Pedro Bay port complex of Southern California can overcome current supply chain disruptions.
The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) was on track for a record fiscal year—until the coronavirus spread across the globe.
The Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has outlined two scenarios for COVID-19 economic fallout: “Single Hit,” in which the virus continues to recede and remains under control, and “Double Hit,” in which a second wave of infections erupts by year-end.