Top Freight & Logistics Headlines from the week
📣 More Deglobalization? Made in America Mandates for Infrastructure
In his third State of the Union address, President Biden announced tougher made-in-America mandates for federal infrastructure projects: “American-made lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cables, and on my watch, American roads, American bridges, and American highways will be made with American products.” Biden noted that such a requirement has been law since 1933, but has become so weakened by a swiss cheese of exceptions that a renewed mandate is necessary.
Biden also lauded progress in six consecutive monthly drops in inflation. More ammunition for team transitory?
🛍️February import volumes expected to be the lowest in three years
The National Retail Federation announced that import volumes for February 2023 are expected to be at their lowest in the past three years. Jonathan Gold, the federation’s vice president for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, explained that “February is traditionally a slow month.” What is different is that these numbers are lower, compared to the last three years suggesting a slow down in trade and a slump in volumes.
🤝 New data shows U.S. and China hit record highs despite tensions
Despite the meme-worthy spy balloon row between the United States and China, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released data indicating that trade between the two countries hit a record high, with U.S. imports from China soaring to $536.8 billion in 2022. U.S. export volumes to China also rose to $153.8 billion.
🌱 EPA’s WOTUS rule challenged by governors, lawmakers, and industry
A coalition of Republican governors, lawmakers, and industrial groups are calling on the Biden administration to prevent the WOTUS (Waterways of the U.S.) rule from entering into force. The rule, which would expand EPA authority over a wider range of navigable waters and wetlands, is currently being challenged in a Supreme Court case. We are closely following this dispute, the outcome of which will have implications for large swaths of the U.S. economy, from agriculture, to maritime transport.
⚠️Other stories we’re tracking… ⚠️
- “Amazon, DHL reduce US cargo flights as parcel volumes soften” – Freight Waves
- “Earthquake rattles Turkish ports” – Splash 24/7
- “FMC seeks answers from MSC on congestion charges” – The Loadstar
- “Can a French Shipping Giant Make Marseille the Capital of the Mediterranean?” – Foreign Policy
- “Why Chinese AI and semiconductors could fall decades behind under US chip ban ‘blitz’” – South China Morning Post
- “Shortages 2023: 4 goods facing tight supplies this year” – Supply Chain Dive
- “Fed Chair Powell: Inflation fight will take ‘a significant period of time’” – CNN Business
📈 BY THE NUMBERS: Important numbers impacting freight and logistics
⛽ Diesel: $4.539 / gal (⬇️ from $4.622 last week) – Source: EIA
✈️ Air Cargo Index (Dec ‘22): 199.9 (⬆️ from 192.4 in Nov ‘22) – Source: FRED
🚢 Global Container Index: $2,062 (⬇️ from $2,214 last week) – Source: Freightos
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