🙃 Port of Los Angeles volumes drop by 43 percent year-to-year
As ports continue to report volume results from February and March, the Port of Los Angeles announced a significant drop in import cargo volume in February. Year-to-year, the busy west coast cargo terminal saw a 43 percent drop. The only other time that cargo volumes dropped this low was in March 2020, just at the beginning of the international COVID-19 pandemic. It isn’t to say that Long Beach, the sister port next door to LA, is faring any better. As we wrote in a previous edition of our newsletter, Long Beach was down 31.7 percent from February 2022’s record when long dwell times were plaguing the twin ports on the high-traffic San Pedro Bay.
🐖MSC updates “billable days” policy on detention and demurrage fees
Ocean carrier MSC emailed its customers that they had updated their policy dealing with billable days and detention and demurrage fees amid a regulatory inquest initiated by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). This is a noteworthy development given that the FMC, the chief competition regulator for the maritime industry in the United States, announced that it is looking into potential abuses of detention and demurrage compliance levied by carriers to shippers. The email to customers, seen by Supply Chain Dive, notes that “MSC will no assess demurrage, detention or per diem charges for any day in which a terminal is closed due to holidays, weekends, or other port closure events.” Working day per diem charges will only be applied to holidays and weekends “in which marine terminal operators are open for business” as usual.
🤬World Shipping Council trashes bill seeking to end vessel sharing arrangements
Washington, D.C.-based World Shipping Council announced that it is concerned with HR 1696, a bill to end vessel-sharing arrangements among foreign and domestic ocean carriers. Dubbed the Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act, WSC president & CEO John Butler released a statement saying that the lawmakers who introduced HR 1696 (pending in Congress) clearly misunderstand how vessel-sharing arrangements “help the supply chain work better.” “We look forward to working with the bill’s sponsors to better understand their policy objectives,” he said.
😎Milwaukee to build air cargo hub to compete with Chicago terminals
In a bid to compete against air cargo hubs at Chicago O’Hare and other air freight activity in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, the Milwaukee Mitchell Int’l Airport secured funding from Crow Holdings, a private real estate investment and development firm, worth about $24 billion to operate a brand new 288,000-sq-ft air logistics hub in exchange for a multidecade ground lease. Mitchell airport is a short-ish 70-minute drive from O’Hare. That is a huge competitive challenge to a region dominated by inland and Great Lakes terminus at the Illinois Int’l Port District and the multi-billion-dollar cargo activities at O’Hare, Midway Int’l, and Chicago Rockford Int’l Airport.
💥Ohio legislature adopts bills on rail industry after East Palestine incident
Lawmakers in Columbus, Ohio, have agreed on new rail safety measures after the Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical burn in East Palestine earlier this year. The measures are riding a $13.5 billion transportation budget request passed by the legislature recently. The compromise budget funds infrastructure overhauls over the next two years and featured broad bipartisan support in a legislature dominated by the Republican Party. Mike DeWine, the Republican governor of Ohio, is expected to sign the budget proposal into law.
📈 BY THE NUMBERS: Important numbers impacting freight and logistics
⛽ Diesel: $4.128 / gal (⬇️ from $4.185 last week) – Source: EIA
✈️ Air Cargo Index (Feb ‘23): 184.4 (⬇️ from 190 in Jan ‘23) – Source: FRED
🚢 Global Container Index: $1,492 (⬆️ from $1,463 last week) – Source: Freightos
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