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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Trucking

Trucking’s role in untangling the web of West Coast port congestion

Transport Dive Jim Stinson November 22, 2021

The global supply chain has been running above-average logistics operations for more than a year. It's led to plenty of speculation — inside and outside of the industry — on the problems and possible solutions.
Matt Schrap, CEO of Harbor Trucking Association, said the OTR driver shortage is one he hears a lot as a perceived solution to port congestion. He took to LinkedIn on Oct. 28 to tell people it's a false solution for ports. Adding drivers wouldn't help at all, he told Transport Dive. In fact, at the ports, there is no driver shortage at all, nor are chassis the main problem for port carriers, he said.
Schrap said he sees carriers sending drivers home because they cannot secure the appointments to return empty containers to free up chassis. More drivers would just cause more congestion given that fact, he said.
"There's not a driver shortage [at the ports]," said Schrap. The national OTR driver shortage is a "scapegoat" and "misdirection," he said.
"The empty containers are the crux of the problem ... It's choking out carrier yards," Schrap said.

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Freight activity changed little in total during the latest week.

FTR Freight Intelligence November 22, 2021

The Dry Van segment was basically unchanged at a 0.1% dip after falling 4.8% during the previous week. The segment is close
to its strongest level of the pandemic aside from distorted results in February and May.
Current Level: 245.6 // Bottomed at 45.3 week ending 4/24/2020. Current high is 392.4 for week ending 2/26/2021

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Holidays Are Looking Less Scary for FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service

The Wall Street Journal Paul Ziobro November 23, 2021

Subscription-Based

FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service may wind up having a much easier time dealing with the holiday crunch than some forecasters predicted. They say it is partly due to an uptick in people buying gifts in stores and doing their shopping early because of concerns about the global supply chain.
Those factors—along with added capacity, an extra shipping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas and Covid-19 vaccines available for workers—have shipping executives and consultants saying the peak shipping season may not be as bad as they thought.
“I don’t want to sound overconfident but we feel good about it,” said Bill Seward, UPS UPS 1.16% president of world-wide sales and solutions. He said 26 of the company’s top 30 retail shippers have started doing holiday deals earlier than usual. Mr. Seward also said increased consumer awareness of supply-chain problems has led to less procrastinating and that stretches out the peak season and helps ensure “we don’t exceed capacity on the peakiest of days.”

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Industry

LA-LB container fee delayed again as containers continue to move

The Journal Of Commerce Michael Angell November 22, 2021

Subscription-Based

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have delayed for a second time the collection of storage fees for long-dwelling ocean containers, saying that on-dock inventories of boxes have fallen by a third since the fees were first announced.
The two ports said in a statement Monday that after meetings with Biden administration port envoy John Porcari and port customers, the container dwell fee that was due to be assessed starting Nov. 22 will not start until Nov. 29. This is the second delay for the fee, which was originally scheduled to be implemented Nov 15.
The ports said in the joint statement they have seen a combined 33 percent drop in the number of long-dwelling containers in recent weeks since the fees were approved by their respective boards of harbor commissioners. “The executive directors of both ports are satisfied with the progress thus far and will reassess fee implementation after another week,” the ports said in the statement.

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Ports Report High Volume as Holiday Shopping Gears Up

Transport Topics Dan Ronan November 22, 2021

As the nation’s retailers and shoppers gear up for the holiday shopping sprint, two of the nation’s busiest ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach, say they are making progress clearing up the tens of thousands of shipping containers that have been backlogged at their facilities.
The Port of Los Angeles processed 902,644 20-foot-equivalent containers (TEUs) in October, an 8% decrease compared with October 2020 — the busiest October on record. Year-to-date, overall cargo volume remains 22% ahead of year-ago levels.
“Amid the array of challenges facing the supply chain, we continue to deliver more cargo than ever,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “The National Retail Federation is forecasting a record holiday season as many outlets such as Walmart, Target and Home Depot report strong sales.”

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Every Step of the Global Supply Chain Is Going Wrong — All at Once

Bloomberg November 22, 2021

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The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach became the most essential gateways for the American economy over the past century as the country expanded its economic reach beyond Europe and more toward Asia. But recently, you name a supply-chain issue, and the two West Coast hubs that account for almost 40% of the country’s imported goods are likely suffering from it.
Ships making the two- to three-week voyage across the Pacific are forced to spend just about that much time waiting in line in southern California before they’re allowed to dock and discharge payloads of thousands of containers.
The time it takes for goods originating in Shanghai to reach their destinations through the San Pedro Bay ports has more than doubled to 62 days since January 2020, according to freight forwarder Flexport Inc. Meanwhile, it currently costs $10,000 to $15,000 in the spot market to ship each 40-foot container from China to the West Coast, more than five times the pre-pandemic rate.

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Containers Waited a Record 7.6 Days at L.A. Ports in October

Bloomberg Augusta Saraiva November 22, 2021

Subscription-Based

The so-called dwell time for containers waiting at marine terminals for trucks was 7.64 days on average at the U.S.’s two largest ports last month, up from almost 6 days in September, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association said in a statement Monday. Almost half of all containers unloaded had waited for more than five days, it said.
Meanwhile, dwell times for containers leaving the terminals by rail in October improved to 3.9 days from 5.5 days in September, resulting in the most efficient month this year.

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October U.S.-bound imports set new record, reports Panjiva

Logistics Management November 23, 2021

Total October U.S-bound containerized freight imports—at 2,995,176 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units)—saw a 2.7% annual gain, setting a new record, and were up 20.5% compared to the same period in 2019, with shipments—at 1,415,250—up 15.2% annually and up 34.7% compared to 2019.
Through the first 10 months of 2021, Panjiva reported that imports—28,845,059 TEU—posted a 21.1% annual gain, and shipments—at 12,796,622—were up 21.6% annually.
“This [data] is a positive sign for the holidays as it indicates that plenty of goods have entered the country—but with congestion still in place, extended lead times may make it more difficult for any reorders,” said Panjiva Research Director Eric Oak.
Oak added that this data highlights how logistics networks are running flat out, with U.S. import networks at capacity, bringing with it much of the congestion and supply chain issued faced by companies this year.

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Diesel Dips for First Time Since September

Transport Topics November 22, 2021

• The last time diesel showed a decrease was Sept. 13, when it dipped one-tenth of a cent to $3.372 a gallon.
• Trucking’s main fuel now costs $1.262 more a gallon than it did at this time in 2020.

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E-commerce fulfillment startup Deliverr unveils $250 million funding round

DC Velocity November 22, 2021

E-commerce fulfillment and technology provider Deliverr Inc. today said it will use a $250 million venture capital round to accelerate commercial operations and expand next-day fulfillment service to e-commerce merchants of all sizes across the country.
The “series E” fundraising round was led by new investor Tiger Global, alongside existing investors 8VC, Activant, GLP, Brookfield Technology Partners, and Coatue. The funding raises four-year-old Deliverr’s valuation to $2 billion, more than double the last funding round from earlier this year and safely above the $1 billion threshold known as “unicorn status.”
“The most effective way to address supply chain congestion is to move inventory closer to the end customer. Deliverr is the only company working to solve this problem through stronger inventory placement, while leveraging cutting-edge machine learning and optimization technology to build a smarter fulfillment network,” Abbott said.

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Cargo theft likely to spike over the next seven days

CCJ Jason Cannon November 22, 2021

Black Friday takes on a whole new meaning for carriers victimized by cargo theft over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Analyzing data over the past five Thanksgiving holidays – from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Monday – CargoNet discovered 137 recorded thefts (an average of 27 per year), and that Thanksgiving 2020 was the most active period in the analysis with 40 thefts recorded.
Cargo thieves targeted shipments of televisions, major appliances, mixed electronics and alcoholic beverages the most during the analysis period, pushing shipment value past $125,000.
Theft reports were most common in states that have cargo theft problems throughout the year, including California, Texas, Illinois, Georgia and Florida.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

USDOT Highlights State Benefits in $1T Infrastructure Law

Transport Topics Eugene Mulero November 22, 2021

A state-by-state summary and analysis from the U.S. Department of Transportation of the recently enacted $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill highlights funding provisions tucked in the law. Included are projects ranging from freight connectivity and transit operations to investments in electric-vehicle infrastructure, all aiming to improve nearly every corner of the country’s transportation landscape.
Specifically, the law targets roads and bridges, but it also establishes a national network of electric vehicle charging stations and seeks to upgrade airports and ports, among other systems.
“Americans rely on our transportation infrastructure every day, to get to work, school, loved ones, and to move goods across our economy,” said Secretary Pete Buttigieg regarding the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Nov. 18. “The once-in-a-generation investments in the bipartisan infrastructure law will improve people’s lives in every state in the nation by increasing access to safe, clean, reliable transportation.”
Link: U.S. Department Of Transportation State by State Fact Sheets Highlighting Benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

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Canada to require vaccine for cross-border truckers

Landline November 22, 2021

The Public Health Agency of Canada announced last week that certain travelers, who are currently exempt from COVID-19 entry requirements, will be allowed to enter the country only if they are fully vaccinated with one of the approved vaccines. Those groups of travelers include truck drivers and other essential service providers, professional and amateur athletes, international students who are at least 18 years old, individuals with a valid work permit, and individuals who are reuniting with family.
“After Jan. 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will only be allowed to enter Canada if they meet the criteria for limited exceptions, which apply to certain groups, such as agricultural and food processing workers, marine crew members, those entering on compassionate grounds, new permanent residents, resettling refugees and some children under the age of 18,” the Public Health Agency of Canada wrote in a news release. “Exempt unvaccinated travelers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements. Nonexempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited entry into Canada.”

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