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Asia-US Gulf Coast Imports Grow; BRi USA Market Update
Ports along the US Gulf Coast expect to build on last year’s gains in containerized imports from Asia with a new all-water service coming in the second quarter, according to local port officials.
The new service will commence amid an ongoing boom in regional import distribution capacity, but Gulf Coast ports are also eyeing opportunities to capture cargo headed to inland areas by increasing their intermodal reach. Gulf Coast ports handled 5.4 percent of total US imports from Asia in 2020, up from 5 percent in 2019.
As Gulf Coast imports continue to grow, it will be important for Port Houston to offer shippers rail options into the Midwest to keep up the growth in Asian imports. Although that lane is well served by trucking, the Port Authority aims to attract shipper and railroad interest in bringing intermodal rail back to Houston's Barbours Cut Terminal. In addition, New Orleans can also serve as an alternative to Houston for bringing Asian goods to the Dallas inland market through the port’s on-dock rail provider Kansas City Southern Railway.
Also growing, the Alabama State Port Authority said the Port of Mobile has seen growth in Asian imports continue to accelerate in early 2021. After rising 5 percent for the full year in 2020, Asian imports through Mobile jumped more than 15 percent year over year in the first quarter.
With the addition of new routings, premium rates, and lengthened vessel wait times, this unprecedented time of demand has urged shippers to re-evaluate their supply chain needs. As such, BRi USA has compiled market updates on the everchanging global supply chain:
The BRi USA team is monitoring the global situation carefully and will provide updates as they are made available.
Port of Montreal Unions Give Strike Notice
The Longshoremen’s union has given 72 hour notice to the Maritime Employers Association that as of April 26 at 7:00 a.m. the union will be in a legal strike position, and all work performed by the union members at the Port of Montreal will cease.
BRi USA will provide updates to this situation as they become available.
After First Quarter Freeze, US Trucking Market Heats Up
Frigid first-quarter temperatures may have reduced US shipment volumes, but they did not temper freight demand. US truckload carriers are riding cold first-quarter tailwinds toward a hot spring peak trucking season with “unprecedented levels” of demand that some believe could continue into 2022.
February’s winter storms and weeks of subfreezing temperatures in the southern and central United States had a large and lingering impact on transportation and supply chains. Nonetheless, lower first quarter shipment volumes reflected the physical impact of storms, not the actual level of freight demand, which remained high, with shipments postponed. Read more at JOC.
Stalled Spot Rates on Asia Trades add Complexity to Contract Talks
Rates on Asia-Europe and the trans-Pacific have been relatively stable, albeit at extremely high levels, for the past few months, which could have implications for shippers signing long-term contracts.
Containerships Wanted: Carriers Seeking Tonnage
Carriers are “scraping the bottom of the barrel” for available tonnage, as the percentage of the global containership fleet commercially idle and not in dry dock has fallen to just 0.8%.
According to Alphaliner only 56 container vessels (for a capacity of 205,000 teu) are listed as inactive, which it said were mainly ships that had been involved in accidents, affected by sanctions, or were waiting to join new charters.
As strong cargo demand and high freight rates continue, carries are keen to use all available tonnage for revenue-generating services or for empty box repositioning.
BRi ERP and Order Management Program – track your product/shipments anytime and anywhere
To ensure you maintain visibility to your shipments as they move through the supply chain, please take advantage of BRi PATHWAY.
The information in PATHWAY is real-time and available 24/7.
To obtain a login for your account, please respond to this email so we can get you started!
As a valued customer, we hope that you will continue to trust us to source the best options for your supply chain needs now and into the future. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Customer Solutions Representative.
Keeping you updated,
BRi Customer Solutions TeamBack to News Page