Customize and download this report

Top story: Navigating complex freight challenges caused by Red Sea and Panama Canal

With recent alarming headlines, many global shippers are asking "Should I be preparing for 2021-2022 again?" Many shippers based in North America are monitoring situations in the Red Sea and Panama Canal and wondering when and how this could impact their North America supply chain and 2024 transportation strategy.

Panama Canal ships

As a global transportation provider, C.H. Robinson can help navigate complex situations with the full picture. Our global teams have outlined short-term and long-term impacts that shippers should be aware of when making decisions.

Short-term impacts (Q1) 

Ocean shipping

The situations in the Suez Canal and Panama Canal are having an impact on available capacity (supply), but low North America market demand is preventing a significant increase in overall ocean container prices. After an initial surge in spot pricing and additional surcharges based on original uncertainty with the Red Sea and Panama Canal crossings, ocean rates are showing signs of steadying and in some lanes slowly decreasing. Ocean carriers are increasing the chartering of vessels to help supplement the number of vessels needed to support the diversions. Carriers also seem to be managing rates in a manner to prevent a mass shift in volume to the West Coast, keeping existing capacity and networks intact. The daily number of vessels passing through the Panama Canal has decreased by one-third, from 36 historically down to 24 in mid-January. Recent rains allowed for a brief reprieve, but February bookings will be reduced to 18 per day. In response, some steamship lines are beginning to route freight across Central America via train where it is reloaded on vessels heading north to the Gulf and East Coasts of the U.S. to maintain an East Coast port strategy.

Outside of ocean container price fluctuations, the largest impact currently seems to be with transit times and delays in product arrival. These longer transit times have led to delays in repositioning empty containers in Asia, leading to an increase of new container equipment costs by over 20% in January. C.H. Robinson recommends creating contingency plans to ensure you have enough product on hand to allow for the additional transit time for ocean shipments, and considering if temporarily switching to air for critical shipments is a need. Many U.S. shippers have inquired about international air conversion. Despite seeing some shift from ocean freight to air, pricing has not increased significantly for air freight, making it a viable option for time sensitive shipments. C.H. Robinson offers service solutions for international modal conversions to meet customer demands.

U.S. ports and drayage

Some shippers are considering rerouting freight and building modal conversion contingency plans, should the impacts to their supply chain continue to be felt. There are several situations C.H. Robinson would like to make shippers aware of related to ports and drayage.

  • Overall port volumes by TEU are similar to the 2018-2019 pre-pandemic period
  • U.S. East Coast ports are seeing a downturn in volume due to rerouting vessels to the US West Coast and will result in ongoing blank sailings through Q1, if not longer.
  • Delays and transit time increases could result in vessel bunching which causes congestion at the ports and added constraints on both equipment and driver capacity to meet demand
  • While U.S. West Coast ports are seeing slight increases, there was no inbound spike leading into the Lunar New Year, which means demand is still slow to return into the U.S. from the ocean side
  • Fewer vessels arriving into U.S. ports due to lower demand, delayed arrivals, and blank sailings is causing an increase of empty containers dwelling in port and rail terminals
  • The equipment imbalance also impacts Marine Drayage as more empty containers dwelling in port and rail terminals increases shipper risk of Detention and Demurrage fees. The congestion and lack of efficiency negatively impacts Marine Drayage driver efficiency and increases both rates and accessorial charges.
  • Some terminals in L.A./Long Beach are already limiting the number of available return drayage appointments in a given day, which causes increased chassis charges and storage. As empty container volumes at the ports increase, more restrictions will be enforced to prevent overcrowding at the terminals.
Domestic U.S. surface transportation

At this point, C.H. Robinson does not anticipate domestic surface transportation disruptions in Q1 due to the Red Sea and Panama Canal situations. Overall, the truckload marketplace remains over-supplied without any near-term increase in demand that would create pressure on the market. The largest challenge could be on localized drayage levels in the West Coast as mentioned above. Intermodal capacity also remains in a state of over-supply with units available to return to service to adjust to market dynamics when needed.

Long-term (Q2 and beyond)

The situations in the Red Sea and Panama Canal are very fluid, changing by the week. Should challenges persist throughout the year with both the Red Sea and Panama Canal, we anticipate changes and roll outs will be slow. With economic forecasts anticipating muted growth in 2024, we do not anticipate the level of disruption experienced during the pandemic period.

However, there are factors that we would encourage shippers to consider in their scenario planning and strategy creation.

  • A wave of new ocean vessel capacity that began entering the market in Q4 2023 will continue into 2024. The vessels are mainly expected to be added to the Asia trades, which will further widen the gap between capacity and demand. However, if this capacity is fully absorbed by the vessel diversions through the Cape of Good Hope, the impact of this new infusion of capacity could be fully neutralized. 
  • The domestic U.S. surface transportation market, particularly in truckload, is anticipated to begin tightening in the second half of 2024 as the market finds balance primarily driven by capacity exits, see our truckload trends and forecast section for more details. This capacity tightening will be experienced differently across various regions, but particularly in California as produce season begins in late spring and summer. Shippers should keep this in mind as they consider changing from East Coast ports to West Coast ports.
  • Shippers should make decisions based on the total cost and total transit of a global order before adjusting a transportation plan. Switching from a U.S. East Coast port to a U.S. West Coast port after Q2 may improve the ocean transit time but could increase the total transit time and associated costs due to inland drayage and over the road trucking. As truckload shipping rates are expected to increase in the second half of 2024, shippers should not anticipate that the rate out of California they can procure in Q1 will be the same rate they will procure in Q3.
  • Intermodal market dynamics historically follow truckload. Therefore, including intermodal as a strategy integrated into your supply chain creates the ability to secure capacity that can lead to a smoothing of predictability as the market transitions into the next cycle. 
  • From a Marine Drayage lens, the threat of equipment shortages and vessel bunching could bring back concerns about container dwell and detention/chassis accruals at elevated levels.

To learn more about the direct or indirect impacts to your supply chain, please connect with your C.H. Robinson representative. You can also sign up to receive timely updates via our Client Advisories.

Dry van LTR (load:truck ratio)

The winter weather storms inflated the LTR for a few weeks in January, but the market has loosened in recent weeks since the storms have passed. Week 6 shows a LTR of 1.4:1 as compared to the 5-year average of 3.5:1.

Refrigerated van LTR

The refrigerated spot market TL shows a similar pattern and softness as dry van. Similarly, winter weather storms temporarily caused tightness in January, but that has since subsided. Week 6 shows a LTR of 2.3:1 as compared to the 5-year average of 7.1:1.

Flatbed LTR

The flatbed LTR continues to be historically low, with very little change to that narrative. The weekly ratio has been softening each week this year, despite the winter storm disruptions in January. Week 6 shows a LTR of 6.7 as compared to the 5-year average of 31.1:1.

U.S. spot market forecasts

Our 2024 Dry Van linehaul forecast is being slightly altered from the previously stated 3% y/y to 4% y/y growth. The adjustment here does not reflect any change in our view of the future, but rather, reflects the temporarily elevated costs in January due to the disruption caused by the winter storms. We still predict that most of the first half of the year costs will return back to the low levels experienced in 2H 2023, excluding the last couple weeks of the year, which was inflated due to expected holiday constraints. We don't expect the market to see lasting increases until the back half of 2024, after more carrier supply has exited.

We are estimating the average 2023 linehaul carrier breakeven at $1.65/mile. This breakeven estimate has proven less useful in this down-cycle due to many of the dynamics that we have noted in the past, primarily due to increased cumulative profits amassed by many owner operators during the up-cycle shortly after the pandemic when spot pricing increased significantly. However, it is still important to estimate this breakeven level, even if it differs significantly for different carrier segments, as it does ultimately set the floor for how low rates can go over the medium to long term. While we do not yet know where this breakeven estimate goes in 2024, if we assume it remains flat with 2023 at $1.65/mile, this represents an almost two-fold increase in the annual rate of truckload operating cost inflation from a low 2% CAGR in the 10-year pre-pandemic period to a 4% CAGR from 2020-2024. (The breakeven estimate is a product of ATRI (American Transportation Research Institute) 2022 cost per mile operations cost and our analysis of the first three quarters of 2023 operations costs of public trucklines.)

Our 2024 refrigerated linehaul forecast similarly remains unchanged for the back half of the year, although adjusted to account for the previous winter storm pressures, at 3% y/y growth. We expect the pattern to follow that of the dry van forecast as well, as the dynamics surrounding the temperature-controlled truckload marketplace are the same as those in the dry truckload space.

Contract truckload environment

The contractual landscape has remained relatively unchanged since last month. The contract environment tends to follow the spot environment, so given our forecast above for spot pricing, we don’t see too much change within this space holistically for several months. Although one thing to keep in mind is the duration of said contracts, as longer-term commitments may see different pricing than shorter-term commitments.

Generally speaking, Q4 and Q1 are when the majority of RFP activity happens, as shippers are preparing for the new year. During this time, it is important that shippers segment their freight. Freight characteristics, attributes, and geographies make lanes very different from each other and thus a strategic, data-driven approach is essential to determine which lanes should go out to bid in the RFP versus which are better off in the spot market. Talk to your C.H. Robinson account team about how they can help you utilize this segmentation logic to make the best decisions for your procurement process and avoid costly tender rejections that inevitably will move in the spot market.

Route guide performance

The majority of shippers' freight portfolio are managed through contracted capacity and pricing arrangements. These truckload agreements are most often managed as committed pricing for six or twelve months at defined load volume awards. Most successful executions of these agreements are in Transportation Management Systems (TMS) where loads are tendered to transportation providers. Those tenders are accepted or rejected. Two key metrics are used to discern the success of the truckload award plan. First Tender Acceptance (FTA) is the percentage of tenders awarded to transportation providers that are accepted. Route Guide Depth (RGD) is an indicator of how the back-up transportation provider strategy works if the awarded provider rejects the tender. A robust trucking budget should plan for less than 100% tender acceptance due to the reality of forecasting by the shipper and capacity communities. In today's market, that variance to performance is small and incremental costs for back up strategies are lower than they were in tight years like 2021 and 2018.

The following insights are derived from TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson, which offers a large portfolio of customers across diverse industries throughout the United States.

RGD by U.S. region

The regional view of route guide performance displays a pattern of high performance in all regions. The January North America average RGD average of 1.18 (1 would be perfect performance and 2 would be very poor) is the lowest/best RGD for January in the last seven years. The North American average RGD has shown little variance recently even during the winter storms mid-January, decreasing (improving) 1% m/m and 2% y/y.

Week 6 posts a decreasing national average RGD of 1.20. All regions of the USA experienced similar route guide performance. This view of contract truckload route guides performing exceptionally well is yet another evidentiary point that the truckload market continues its pattern of oversupply.

Overall, route guides are performing very well, with primary service providers accepting loads at pre-pandemic levels, and the first backup provider accepting rejected tenders most of the time.

The chart above from TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson, reflects weekly routing guide depth regionally across North America.

January FTA for North America increased from 89% to 90% y/y

FTA of 90% in January 2024 was better than January 2023 posting of 89% and flat from December 2023, reinforcing that today's market continues to be oversupplied.

January RGD across distance bands

A stable RGD performance for each of the three shipment distance bands continues. Route guide depth is largely around 1.2 depending on the distance band, with short haul doing the best and medium distance loads showing the most first tender rejection and deepest route guide performance. That said, even the mid and long-haul segments are performing close to the short haul distance band.

January distance band performance (“improved” means better route guide performance and “declined” refers to more backup carrier use):

  • Short haul (less than 400 miles) posted a 1% improvement in performance m/m and improved 2% y/y.
  • Middle distance (400–600 miles) posted a 1% improvement in performance m/m and improved 2% y/y. At 1.21, this is the lowest RGD for January in the last seven years.
  • Long distance (over 600 miles) RGD performance improved 1% m/m and 1% y/y. At 1.2 it is the lowest/best RGD performance for the month of January in the past seven years.

Voice of the carrier from C.H. Robinson 

C.H. Robinson has two customer communities, shipper customers and carrier customers. What follows are insights from conversations with carriers of all sizes to offer perspective into their top concerns over the past month. Below is a summary of the reoccurring themes and a display of some variety of market experiences.

Market insights
  • Freight volumes remained constrained, but the high levels of RFPs due to peak bid season provide optimism for later in 2024
  • Operating ratios have been sub-par due to increased inefficiencies within the market as well as low awarded volumes not materializing
  • Operating a decent amount of unprofitable business out of necessity currently, but will be looking to give back that business once possible

  • Speed and quality of maintenance is still a concern
  • Equipment is readily available in the marketplace

  • Carriers spending less on driver recruiting and marketing, as these funds are being reallocated to alleviate operating cost increases
  • The current labor pool doesn’t yield drivers who are fully aware of the lifestyle and expectations of being a long-haul truck driver
  • A growing consensus that carriers will not add drivers or equipment once the market conditions improve
  • A key value proposition of C.H. Robinson to our contract carriers is aggregating lane volume and demand pattern variability to a more predictable experience. Our carriers have more predictable volume from C.H. Robinson and as a result are interested in and able to offer consistent capacity and market pricing with high performance.

    Refrigerated Truckload

    Winter weather and holidays may cause temporary disruptions, but capacity should remain plentiful
    During January we experienced a relative and brief tightening in capacity due to the disruptions caused by the winter storms. We also saw some expected tightening regionally out of Florida due to the outbound floral rush for Valentine’s Day. The impacts from both of these events have subsided and we are now back to observing standard seasonal trends. The DAT U.S. LTR for week 6 is at the lowest point of the year at 2.3:1. The expectation is for this to remain relatively flat over the next several weeks nationally, although there will likely be some regional variance. Costs are expected to remain depressed during this time as capacity remains ample. There does still remain the risk of winter weather impacts in the coming weeks, but likely less so than the past few weeks. Work with your C.H. Robinson team to stay informed on regionalized opportunities and how to best schedule freight to capitalize on the best price and service.

    Flatbed Truckload

    Markets remain soft but seasonal tightening looms
    All of trucking's service segments have regional variance in capacity and pricing, as displayed earlier in this report through the spot market maps from DAT. Today's flatbed market is displaying balance between loads and trucks in most regions of the USA, but the Mid-South and Southeast have recently shown some signs of stress.

    Unlike dry van and refrigerated truckload, flatbed capacity was rather unaffected by the winter storms in January. The DAT LTR has decreased/softened w/w this year, including the weeks of the winter storms. Following the standard seasonal trends, we expect some tightening to occur in the back half of February and into March. This nationwide tightening will be driven by increased demand out of the southern states. The tightening of capacity will lead to an increase in costs as well, although due to the state of the market cycle overall, the decreases in capacity and increases in costs are likely to be somewhat muted in comparison to prior years past. For perspective, the DAT LTR 5-year average is 31:1 whereas current year in week 6 it is at 6.7:1.

    Winter weather considerations
    • Weather is still a risk at this time of the year and can cause significant issues in the flatbed market. Weather can affect driving conditions for all modes but load securement and protection for flatbed can impact capacity
    • Carriers often favor warmer locations to minimize tarping in the cold and reduce the risk of exposure when securing loads
    • Properly securing loads can take additional time to thaw dunnage or tarps, moving straps on rails
    • There is more risk of slip and fall and driver injury while securing or climbing on top of loads to tarp/strap
    • There is increased use for tarps on typically "no tarp" loads, as well as on equipment like Conestogas and curtain side vans, which can be loaded faster and protected easier. These are in more limited supply or often in regional carriers
    • Carriers prefer shippers with indoor loading facilities, heated waiting areas, etc.
    • Most permitted loads (over dimensional/heavy haul) can only move from sunrise to sunset, so these loads travel fewer hours per day than in the summer months due to the shorter days

    Collaborate with your C.H. Robinson team and talk about the proactive approach we can offer to your book of business as we approach this period of seasonal tightening.

    Tonnage decreased throughout the year due to low demand in the industry. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) supports the low demand figures with the 14th consecutive month of contraction, a streak longer than the one that occurred during the great recession of 2008-2009. Also impacting LTL tonnage was the modal conversion that occurred as some of the larger sized shipments moved via full or consolidated truckload services due to the soft, oversupplied TL environment. Despite the weak tonnage numbers, pricing continued to increase for the year primarily due to the demise of LTL carrier Yellow. The exit of Yellow from the market allowed for pricing power to shift back into the hands of the carriers, as the contraction or competition and terminals tipped the scales of supply and demand in their favor.

    2024 LTL tonnage and pricing outlook
    Current conditions and pricing pressures will likely continue to start the year; as it will take some time for the Yellow terminals auctioned off last month, as announced in our previous market update, to be operational again. Note that there will not be a return to previous capacity levels, as some of the terminals were not sold to LTL or transportation providers. There is also the unknown of what the purchasing providers will do with their previously owned terminals nearby, as they may or may not continue to be operational. Demand and tonnage will likely follow a similar trend. The full truckload market is expected to continue to shed carriers in the first half of the year to move from being over-supplied. If the forecast holds and full truckload pricing begins to increase in the second half of the year, then that could lead to a reversal of the model conversion that occurred in 2023. This conversion of freight to LTL would increase tonnage and create additional pricing pressure beyond what was previously mentioned.

    LTL market pricing
    December was abnormally quiet in regard to announcements of general rate increases (GRIs). This is because several carriers issued GRIs in November, 1 month earlier than usual. Most of these rate increases have already gone into effect, but some of them go into effect in February. Aside from increases to general rates, accessorial charges, rural locations and long dwell times will be something to stay on the lookout for, as carriers look to drive efficiencies.

    Please contact your C.H. Robinson representative for discussions about capacity strategies and customer specific pricing that well outperforms today's GRIs.

    Parcel industry is evolving

    Shown below is the total parcel revenue from carrier public records and CHR estimate of regional carriers

    The pandemic period brought a spike of parcel that triggered a volume shift from B2B to greater B2C and advanced the online consumer shopping mindset perhaps up to 7 years.

    parcel carrier review


    As a result of increased B2C, the average package size dropped and there was additional drift from LTL to parcel as some segments with LTL saw shipment sizes decline. As a result, carriers are imposing accessorial charges to avoid undesirable freight

    The regional carrier community (presented as 'other' in the graphic above) is taking advantage of the UPS and FedEx intentional strategies to decline servicing undesirable parcels.

    Market share by revenue is showing interesting evolution of the industry when comparing 2022 to 2010. The USPS package volume is growing, while total revenue is as a percent of the market is largely unchanged. UPS efforts in 2022 to strategically decline offering service in some B2C areas materially reduced their market share by revenue and FedEx picked up a meaningful increase over those years.

    In 2023 shippers are likely focusing on risk mitigation in their parcel supply chain. Some shippers made an immediate shift to FedEx during the UPS labor negotiations and perhaps plan to keep a portion of their volume in the FedEx network long term. Additional diversification such as shifting to regional carriers is a strategy that takes a bit more time to implement and we anticipate seeing that shift growing throughout the rest of the year. Additionally, experts anticipate that UPS will need to raise pricing by ~8% + to offset the cost of the new labor agreement. If and how they make that rate change for 2024 (FedEx will likely make a similar move) could impact which parcels shippers consider moving away from Nationals and into regional carriers.

    Volume growth holds

    Despite a hit from winter weather across the US to start the year, we are seeing volume trending up. So far 2024 has seen a 2.8% y/y growth in IMDL volume. Most analysts expect this volume to continue to grow slowly through 2024. One factor driving this is a recovery at the West Coast ports which saw a 12.5% increase y/y in December, which continues into 2024. The West Coast import volumes were returning, but with continuing issues with the Panama and Suez canals the recovery is being expedited.

    While volumes slowly recover across the rest of the nation, there are no capacity-constrained domestic container markets. Drayage and rail capacity is still abundant. As the rails and drayage providers see the volumes grow, the deep discounts we have been seeing are expected to temper throughout the first half of the year.

    Pricing prospects

    The all in IMDL spot rate continues to be negative YOY. IMDL spot rates are 9% lower than at this point last year. Spot rates are rising slowly with the increased volume, but most analysts don’t expect them to turn positive until the second half of 2024. Contractual rates are normalizing and are expected to be flat for 2024. FTR's pricing pressure index projects 0.2% increases for contractual rates in 2024. The rails are still offering capacity in historically capacity deficit markets. Making commitments before the second half of 2024 is critical in markets like southern California and outbound Mexico before the market shifts back to historic norms. Competing service to truckload

    Rail transits set a record reaching 94% on time to plan in the first weeks of January. The winter storms we saw are not yet in the data so this will fall a bit next month. Additionally, expedited service options provide savings with similar speeds to over the road in many lanes. The railroads continue to look for unique solutions to get more containers on their networks. As we go through bid season lock in your rates for 2024 or risk a rate increase in the second half of 2024.

    Ports and inland transportation

    Chassis changes
    • Effective January 1st, 2024, Evergreen will no longer include chassis to its customers. Motor carriers must secure chassis on their own for Evergreen containers.
    • Effective January 1st, 2024, all import containers arriving at Charlotte Inland Port (CIP) via Queen City Express (QCE) rail service will be grounded. Prior to that date, motor carriers did not need to bring a chassis to pick up containers. Today, motor carriers need to bring a chassis.
    • Effective February 1st, 2024, TRAC Intermodal will pull its equipment out of the MCCP chassis pool. They were one of the largest contributors, so with this change we are monitoring MCCP’s continued involvement.
    • The GA Ports has advised that they are experiencing a severe backlog in Nashville-bound intermodal containers on dock in Savannah. This is due to the weather/ice conditions in Nashville, as well as a shortage of chassis. In the interim, they advise we route intermodal cargo through the ARP ramp in Chatsworth, GA, and dray up to the Nashville area from the ARP.
    • We are seeing considerable challenges/congestion at CSX Fairburn in the Atlanta market. With long dwell times which are usually due to inoperable cranes. At times carriers are only able to schedule containers that have been pre-mounted because their drivers cannot sit idle waiting for a live-mount. There is an increase of rail storage or driver wait time fees as some are sitting up to 5 hours. Similarly, we are seeing challenges at the NS Austell ramp in ATL as carriers continue to work through the new appointment scheduling process for empty terminations and load acquisitions. With containers arriving late on Friday or Saturday with 24-hour free time carriers are not able to get appointments causing an increase in rail storage and demurrage.
    • SSA Marine has reached the halfway point in a $72 million project to expand and modernize the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal. Six new outbound truck lanes are also currently under construction and scheduled to open this February, with additional improvements to the terminal’s six inbound lanes scheduled for completion in late 2024.
    • While there have not been many issues with port congestion in Norfolk, our carriers are having issues with congestion and getting containers returned at the Pinners Point Empty Container Yard (PPCY). They are also still being challenged with scheduling and appointments due to vessels slipping out.
    • NY/NJ–The cost of goods is high, but customers are looking for aggressive rates. Customers do not understand the cost of maintaining a fleet for example tires, replacing a tire with road service is running over $800 to $1000 dollars depending. Due to lower volumes many companies have laid off drivers and this can cause capacity issues.
    • Reports of delays at both PNCT and Maher terminals are causing back-up delays. Drivers are averaging 2 hours on single moves and up to 4 hours for double moves. Many SSLs are requesting to route empty containers to off sight depots which is causing additional delays.
    Central / Ohio Valley
    • Cleveland–Ramp fluidity and chassis availability seem to both change day to day, even hour to hour. Hyundai Exports are experiencing rolled bookings due to lack of 20’ equipment.
    • Columbus–Wait time at the rails have returned to a more normal 1-2 hours. Chassis availability still fluctuates week to week depending on train schedules, and 20’ chassis are harder to come by. Mounting containers at CSX can take 1-3 hours. Truckers are still reporting issues at the NS of containers arriving but only becoming available on Last Free Date. Flexi chassis are in very short supply.
    • Memphis/Nashville–Motor carriers are reporting that there are very few chassis available in Memphis right now. Our carrier TCW commented that although the DCLI supply at the BNSF shows many chassis available, that it is not what is being found at the site. They shared that the same day they had a driver go to the BNSF and couldn’t find a chassis at all. The IMC depot is having work done on a few lanes into the yard causing some congestion and delays.
    • Chicago–The BNSF and UP G4 have been problematic for carriers lately with 3–4-hour lift times. Carriers believe that the rails are struggling with providing enough labor to service the depots. IMC Logistics shared that UP G4 is sometimes noting containers as available, but the container is actually inaccessible due to being stuck in a stack. Chassis shortages are also occurring due to a lack of good order chassis.
    • Minneapolis/St Louis/Kansas City–There are still some backups from the winter weather and freezing temperatures in the region earlier in the month, but most operations are back to normal capacity. The Minneapolis market has seen an influx of container volumes and longer than usual wait times at both the CP and BN. Carriers are reporting that Kansas City BN trains are dwelling for 1-3 days before being worked causing congestion and delays.
    • Port of Los Angeles–Container volumes are down by 7.07% compared to previous weeks but up by 19.02% compared to 2023, there is currently 9 vessels scheduled to be offloaded this week, average time at berth is 4.1 days which is an improvement from last week. We will see an increase in volumes by 7.91% next week with over 107K TEUs to be processed through this port and YOY increase of 41.18%. Despite of the lower volumes, truckers are still reporting issues with securing appointment slots for container moves.
    • PNW Port of Seattle and Tacoma–Husky Terminal: Husky Terminal has been very strict with appointments in the last few weeks. They prohibit drivers from lining up before their appointment window. Husky will be banning any offenders for two days if caught- both the driver and possibly the trucking company. This has also greatly reduced standby times down from 4-6 hours to maybe 2 hours, but it has been improving each week.
    • WUT Terminal–Has been backed up lately. They are starting to enforce appointments as well. Hopefully, this will reduce standby times akin to what Husky was able to achieve.
    • Terminal 5 and 18–Still open 4 days a week, however our drivers are still in/out fairly quick. Utilizing peel piles is increasing output speed, and the Terminals desire peel piles as well, so they work with you well even if you only have 5 containers coming in on a vessel. Terminal 18 closes Fridays and Terminal 5 is closed Mondays.

    For a full market report on global forwarding, visit the C.H. Robinson Global Freight Market Insights.

    Explore all market updates

    Get the latest freight market updates delivered to your inbox

    You may opt-out of C.H. Robinson marketing emails at any time by using the manage preferences link within each email. Read our global privacy notice.