💥Ohio sues Norfolk Southern for East Palestine derailment
Dave Yost, attorney general for Ohio, announced that he had filed a civil suit against Class I rail carrier Norfolk Southern. Yost said this is in an attempt to hold the publicly-traded rail company financially responsible for what he refers to as an “entirely avoidable” incident in East Palestine. The case was a multi-count civil lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio. On February. 3, the Norfolk Southern derailment of over 1 million gallons of hazardous chemicals in East Palestine. Yost says that Norfolk is cited for 58 violations, including codes from federal and state environmental laws and the Ohio Common Law. Yost also accuses the company of “recklessly endangering” the health of area residents and its natural resources.
💰Biden introduces budget request for the fiscal year 2024
In a new fight, Democratic leaders in the Senate are now pitching the Biden administration’s plan for augmenting supply chains and supporting the freight segment. On Mar. 9, 2023, Pres. Biden released a $6.9 trillion budget for Congress’ consideration. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York proclaimed that day as an occasion “as a very good day.” According to the administration, $108.5 billion has been requested from the Department of Transportation. The Department of Transportation is the cabinet-level agency responsible for trucking and car safety regulations, maritime shipping competition and regulation, and highway safety initiatives.
In other news…
🦥Ports at Los Angeles and Long Beach are slow to reclaim market share
Even as trade resumes through the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, there’s also little to suggest that they will soon reclaim their pre-pandemic market shares. Long Beach reported another “soft month” in Feb amid full warehouses, reduced trends in consumer spending, and the slowdown in East Asia production due to Lunar New Year. 543,675 TEUs moved through the Long Beach port in February. That is down 31.7 percent year to date. Loaded imports fell 34.7 percent year to date, with 254,970 TEUs processed in February and 3 percent below January. Long Beach exports decreased 5.9 percent to 110.919 TEUs – 38.3 percent down year to date.
Los Angeles has yet to release February data at this time. According to Savills, the combined Gulf and East coast ports captured 51.8 percent of the market share in 2022. This is up from 44.5 percent in 2016. Houston saw a shift of 15.1 percent increase in TEU volume in 2022.
😑New York-New Jersey outperforms Long Beach
On this same note, the Long Beach Business Journal also reported that the Port of Long Beach continues to be outperformed by the Port of New York-New Jersey. For example, the major East coast port moved 645,430 TEUs compared to Long Beach’s 573,772 TEUs in January of 2023.
Long Beach Business Journal report
🍁China could face challenges from Canada on rare earth metals
Canada announced in December 2022 a plan to ramp up the production of raw materials to challenge China in the market. This would give European markets a viable, non-standoffish partner in the critical raw materials game. Estimated to have over 15.1 million metric tons of rare earth oxide, Canada has one the largest deposits of minerals in the world. Mary Ng, MP, the international trade minister for Canada, said in a recent television interview that “we’ve seen [that] the resilience of supply chains really matter[s], the way in which minerals maybe mined will really matter.” Canada is attempting to reduce the time required before mining projects become functional, as official data show that capabilities range from about 5 to 25 years.
⚠️Other stories we’re reading…⚠️
- “U.S. Inflation Cooled in February as Fed Confronts Bank Failures” – Wall Street Journal
- “The Political Case for a New Zealand-US Free Trade Agreement” – The Diplomat
- “Silicon Valley Bank collapse: What you need to know now” – Reuters
- “Big Oil Gets Its Mojo Back” – New York Times
📈 BY THE NUMBERS: Important numbers impacting freight and logistics
⛽ Diesel: $4.247 / gal (⬇️ from $4.282 last week) – Source: EIA
✈️ Air Cargo Index (Jan ‘23): 190 (⬆️ from 194.7 in Dec ‘22) – Source: FRED
🚢 Global Container Index: $1,790 (⬇️ from $1,984 last week) – Source: Freightos
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The current edition of our newsletter was written by Michael M., Freight Forwarding Weekly’s chief news analyst. Do you have a tip or do you want us to cover something? Tell us by replying.