September Cargo Volumes Experience Uptick at Port of Los Angeles
The Port of Los Angeles has observed a positive shift in its cargo handling capabilities this past September. The port managed a total of 748,440 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), marking a 5.4% rise when compared to the same month in the previous year. The increase was especially significant in the import and export segments, with imports rising by 14% and exports experiencing a dramatic 55% surge. This growth trajectory follows that of the neighboring Port of Long Beach, which also reported an upswing in cargo volumes. It is worth mentioning that this is the second month in a row that the Port of Los Angeles has noted year-over-year growth in cargo volumes.
The Executive Director at the Port of Los Angeles attributed the favorable numbers to several factors, including a stable long-term dockworker contract ratified in June, which contributed to the relocation of more cargo back to the West Coast. At the port’s monthly media briefing, the President and CEO of the National Retail Federation provided insights into retail trends for the upcoming holiday season, indicating a focus on value and household priorities among consumers. The first nine months of the year saw the port process 6,398,126 TEUs, which was actually an 18.6% decline compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, empty containers at the port saw a decrease, tallying 235,197 TEUs and marking an 18.5% decline year-over-year. It should also be noted that U.S. import cargo volumes are expected to decline this year, as indicated by the National Retail Federation’s Global Port Tracker.
SHEIN Advances Local Partnerships in Brazil
SHEIN, a global fashion retailer, has announced its strategic push into Brazil’s market by collaborating with 330 local suppliers and logistics providers across 12 states in the country. According to plans disclosed by the company, SHEIN aims for 85% of its sales in Brazil to be from locally-produced products by the year 2026. This aggressive growth plan includes an investment of 750 million Brazilian Reais within the nation.
Delivery Companies Adapt Pricing Strategies
With the approach of the busy end-of-year shopping season, numerous American delivery services have begun implementing seasonal surcharges. Contrastingly, the U.S. Postal Service announced last September that it would refrain from introducing any seasonal surcharges. This decision is attributed to ongoing infrastructure investments and a reduced need for seasonal hiring. Additionally, some of the country’s other major delivery services, which imposed surcharges in previous years, have indicated that they won’t do so this year.
Amazon Unveils Robots in Houston Warehouse
Amazon has introduced two types of robots, named Sequoia and Digit, at its logistics warehouse in Houston. The deployment aims to enhance both the efficiency of logistics operations and the safety of workers. Sequoia is engineered to integrate with multiple robot systems and offers substantial improvements in the speed of item recognition and inventory storage. On the other hand, Digit is designed as a humanoid robot capable of moving with agility within the warehouse space. It can also grasp and manipulate objects efficiently.
New Speedy E-Commerce Route to Southeast Asia
Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics arm, and COSCO Shipping Southern China have teamed up to roll out a rapid e-commerce shipping line serving Southeast Asia. This collaborative effort aims to streamline resources and create a seamless supply chain from Shekou and Nansha ports in China to ports in Malaysia and Singapore. The shipping line is specifically tailored for cross-border e-commerce operations and promises to be around five days faster than other market alternatives. To give customers additional peace of mind, the service also comes with a “late arrival guarantee.”
Significant Growth in TikTok Shop’s U.S. Market
TikTok Shop has expanded its scope in the U.S. market by opening up its self-operated mode to a broader range of merchants, including domestic entities and Chinese companies operating in the United States. The number of small stores on TikTok Shop’s U.S. platform has been on the rise since July 2023. By September, there were 18,000 small stores, an approximate 70% increase compared to August. The total sales for these stores reached $100 million in September, marking a 47% growth from the previous month
Strike Affects Maritime Trade in Canada
A labor strike has disrupted operations at Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway, an essential maritime corridor connecting the Great Lakes to the Port of Montreal. The strike began on a Sunday when 361 workers, represented by the Unifor union, walked off the job due to unresolved wage negotiations with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp (SLSMC). Prior to the strike, vessels were relocated from the seaway’s 13 locks between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie, but about 115 ships outside the system have been affected as of the following Monday.
New LNG Bunkering Services at Panama Canal
A U.S.-based maritime firm, Crowley, has revealed its intentions to begin offering liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering services on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. This new venture has received the first-of-its-kind permit from the Panama Maritime Authority. Under the guidance of Crowley’s advanced energy group, the operations will feature ship-to-ship LNG transfers. The company aims to start these services, which also include cryogenic tank cooldown options, in 2024.
Hurricane Affects Southern Mexico’s Coastline
Hurricane Otis touched down near the resort area of Acapulco in southern Mexico early on Wednesday morning with wind speeds of up to 165 mph. Authorities have issued warnings about life-threatening storm surges and the potential for landslides due to the heavy rainfall accompanying the storm. Power outages have been reported in the state of Guerrero, and school sessions across the region have been canceled as a safety measure. Communication difficulties have been cited by governmental authorities, who noted that roads have been blocked and material damage is apparent, although a full assessment is still pending.
Rising Congestion Costs Impact the Trucking Industry
The American Transportation Research Institute has released a study indicating a n increase in congestion-related expenses for the trucking industry. These costs reached $94.6 billion in 2021. Nevada, Louisiana, Georgia, and California witnessed the largest jumps in congestion costs compared to their 2016 levels. The study further outlined that these congestion costs were 22.4% higher than those in 2020 and 27% higher than those in 2016.