Imports will continue to drive strong trucking volumes through September – FreightWaves


Chart of the Week:  Ocean TEU Volume Index SONAR: App with special permissioned access

According to the FreightWaves Ocean TEU Volume Index, bookings of U.S. imports from China are up 89% year-over-year (y/y) through next week, which is a good indication that freight volumes will continue to flow through the rest of September. 

FreightWaves’ Greg Miller reported ocean shipping rates broke records, with 40-foot container rates eclipsing $3,700 in the spot market from China to the U.S. West Coast last week. 

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, many ocean shipping companies reduced their capacity. Trans-Pacific carriers are now returning their services to full strength and increasing rates in response to new shipper demand. This trend bodes well for domestic freight carriers. 

With the U.S. industrial sector slowly reemerging from the pandemic, the domestic freight market has been driven by a strong flow of imports from Asia over the past few months. 

China remains the nation’s largest maritime import market by a wide margin, although there was a slight reversal in this activity during 2019 due to trade tensions between the two countries.

Most containerized freight coming from northern Asia still enters the U.S. through the southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, maintaining their status as the largest port complex in the country.

Spot rates and tender rejections have been on the rise out of Southern California since late April. Chart: SONAR – TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL, OTRI.LAX

With Los Angeles remaining the largest recipient of trans-Pacific cargoes, southern California has become one of the tightest truck markets in the country. 

All-in dry-van spot rates in the highly liquid Los
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