(516) 872-5570 info@jmrodgers.com
Baltimore Port Reopening, Trans-Pac Spot Market Surges, LTL Expansions, and More Industry News

This week:

  • The Port of Baltimore set to reopen; import bookings rebound in response
  • Federal agencies and shipping carriers map out Port of Baltimore recovery plans
  • Importers booking “as much cargo as possible,” thanks to favorable Trans-Pac spot market contracts
  • Continued ocean trade lane disruptions lead to a strong 2024 for air cargo
  • LTL carriers purchase new trucks and trailers, expand networks
  • Continued global port congestion leads to delays and logistical headaches

Baltimore Shipping Port Set to Reopen as Import Bookings Rebound

The Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine terminal was tentatively set to reopen on Monday, June 10. This follows months of closure due to the Dali cargo ship’s collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The accident caused extensive debris, hindering access to Baltimore’s main shipping channel. News of the planned reopening led to a sharp rebound in import bookings, expected to increase over the summer.

The US Coast Guard and port officials had targeted a complete restoration of port activities earlier this month. However, recent surveys revealed the need for additional dredging. The Dali has been relocated to Virginia for debris removal and repairs.

Subscribe to JMR’s Weekly Supply Chain Roundup!

Stay informed with the latest supply chain news, trends, and insights. Get it delivered directly to your inbox every week.

Federal Agencies, Shipping Carriers Plan Baltimore Port Recovery

Federal agencies and shipping lines continue to work on recovery plans for the Port of Baltimore.

The White House Supply Chain Task Force recently convened to address potential bottlenecks at the port. Agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce are working with stakeholders to ensure a full recovery of Baltimore-bound cargo.

Meanwhile, carriers like MSC, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE Line, and OOCL all recently announced plans to resume full operations or accept future bookings for the port. However, Maersk announced it was suspending its TP20 Asia-US East Coast service to reallocate the TP20’s capacity elsewhere in its network. The TP20 had lately been operating on a scaled-back port rotation of Shanghai-Yantian-New York-Baltimore-Houston.

According to observers, the return to full capacity at the Port of Baltimore will be gradual. For the next few months, some shipments will still be redirected to other ports.

Trans-Pac Spot Market Surges as Importers Book “as Much Cargo as Possible”

The Journal of Commerce (JoC) reported last week that importers are rushing to book eastbound trans-Pacific shipments at significantly lower rates. Freshly signed annual service contracts have created rates that are about one-quarter of typical spot rates, causing the surge in demand.

Analysts expect demand to remain strong as imports from Asia reach high levels. An ocean carrier executive who spoke to the JoC on the condition of anonymity said importers are booking as much cargo as possible under the allotments in the newly inked service contracts. Many of the advantageous rates went into effect on May 1, causing the demand surge that remains strong one month later.

Ocean Shipping Disruptions Put Air Cargo on Track for a Strong 2024

The Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster and disruptions to ocean shipping in the Red Sea have caused shippers many headaches this year. On the other hand, air cargo has picked up the slack. The JoC reported this past week that volume and rates on the leading air cargo trade routes out of Asia have been on an upward trajectory all year, with exceptionally sharp increases in May.

Analysts expect demand to remain strong, even as detours and delays in the Red Sea continue to decline. While air freight rates haven’t reached the peak levels seen during the pandemic, a narrowing price difference with ocean freight indicates a strong 2024 for air cargo.

eCommerce shipments from Asia continue to drive increased air freight volume. While industry observers expect demand in this sector to remain strong, shippers and forwarders currently favor shorter-term contracts as ocean trade routes stabilize.

US Less-Than-Truckload Carriers Purchase New Trucks, Expand Network

American less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are adding trucks and trailers to their fleets while expanding their US terminal networks.

The Illinois-based LTL carrier Roadrunner recently expanded its network by acquiring and refurbishing a former YRC Freight terminal in Atlanta. This will enable Roadrunner to expand its presence into more than 40 US metro markets. Roadrunner chose the Atlanta location for its proximity to major interstates. New trucks and trailers will help the carrier service the increased demand.

Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings announced in April that it will have opened 32 new LTL terminals by the end of 2024. That includes 24 facilities Knight-Swift acquired from the defunct LTL provider Yellow. Seven of those facilities were opened in Q1 2024, helping to expand Knight-Swift’s growing regional network.

Global Port Congestion Still Causing Delays as Capacity Worsens

Congestion at Mediterranean and Asian ports continues to contribute to irregular vessel schedules, causing downstream effects as shippers scramble to coordinate box moves. Additionally, carriers are often told to delay the delivery, prompting industry concerns about future container capacity disruptions.

Unless the Red Sea crisis ends or demand slows, industry experts predict delays and congestion will continue throughout the summer.

The global container fleet is expected to reach 30 million TEUs in June. According to Fabio Santucci, president of Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s US operations, port congestion ties up between six and seven percent of that capacity.

Source: cegoh | Pixabay

Services

Duty Drawback

Customs Brokerage

Freight Import

Freight Export

Contact Us

Want to learn more? Our duty drawback and logistics experts are glad to help.

Contact Us

Our dedicated team of experts is available to discuss your duty drawback and logistics needs.

Contact Us
Lauren Welby, CFE Foods
We transitioned over to JM Rodgers last year. This was the smoothest transition with a brokerage to be expected. Our expectations were met and exceeded. ...
...Read More
CFE Foods
We transitioned over to JM Rodgers last year. This was the smoothest transition with a brokerage to be expected. Our expectations were met and exceeded. They work with us not just as a customer, but as a partner keeping our concerns just as important as their own. We have been extremely happy with the choice we have made and look forward to the continued relationship we build with JM Rodgers.
Lauren Welby, CFE Foods
Lauren Welby, Import Operations Manager
CFE Foods
Josh Nkomo, Steelite
I wanted to follow up and inform you that [your team] continues to shine and is doing a splendid job for your organization. [They are] ...
...Read More
Steelite International
I wanted to follow up and inform you that [your team] continues to shine and is doing a splendid job for your organization. [They are] a pleasure to work with, always attentive to detail, and very responsive to our inquiries. It is very rare to have people of that caliber in any situation and JM Rodgers is certainly lucky to have [them] on your team. To us, [they are] the face of JM Rodgers and helps the organization put on a great show.
Josh Nkomo, Steelite
Josh Nkomo, Logistics Manager
Steelite International
Greg Carter, LCB
J.M. Rodgers was a valuable partner that contributed to our success. They were always available to share insights and identify excellent opportunities to increase ...
...Read More
Global Trade Compliance, Albermarle
J.M. Rodgers was a valuable partner that contributed to our success. They were always available to share insights and identify excellent opportunities to increase refunds.
Greg Carter, LCB
Greg Carter, LCB
Global Trade Compliance, Albermarle
Kim Guimond
J.M. Rodgers has an expert level of knowledge around regulatory & trade compliance. They put together a package wrapped around my exact brokerage needs!
Chief Administrative Officer, Modern Mill
J.M. Rodgers has an expert level of knowledge around regulatory & trade compliance. They put together a package wrapped around my exact brokerage needs!
Kim Guimond
Kim Guimond
Chief Administrative Officer, Modern Mill
Urban Carter
I love the J.M. Rodgers Co. approach to Customs Brokerage services. They are easy to work with, have fantastic staff, and offer nothing but ...
...Read More
Logistics Director, BCI Brands
I love the J.M. Rodgers Co. approach to Customs Brokerage services. They are easy to work with, have fantastic staff, and offer nothing but results!
Urban Carter
Urban Carter
Logistics Director, BCI Brands

J.M. Rodgers Co. Inc.