Record US imports from Asia accelerate even further in March

Double- and triple-digit year-over-year increases in imports from Asia at the top US gateways speak to the issues of vessel bunching and congested marine terminals at some of the busiest ports.

J.B. Hunt increases container order amid heavy demand

J.B. Hunt will be adding 12,000 new containers in 2021, upping its original order announced in January based on increased shipper demand for intermodal service.

Hong Kong quarantine lifted for cargo crew: Cathay Pacific

The removal of quarantine rules for fully vaccinated Hong Kong-based air freight crew is a relief for airlines like Cathay Pacific, which estimates the operational constraints caused by the regulation has added more than $100 million to its monthly costs in Q1.

Longshore labor availability improves significantly in LA-LB

The ILWU and their employers have made significant progress in increasing the labor supply in Los Angeles-Long Beach, but hiring and training will continue indefinitely amid growing cargo volumes and a continued shortage of skilled workers.

Integration provider Chain.io gets VC funding to fuel logistics connectivity

Chain.io, which provides logistics companies and shippers with a cloud-based integration platform to better connect the myriad systems they use, has raised $5 million to broaden its reach.

Essential Reads

Even as containerized agriculture exports have grown every year since 2015 and global commodity prices rise, agriculture exporters won’t find it easier to secure equipment and ocean slot space until the import imbalance eases.
Strongly growing volume on China-Europe rail is causing surprisingly few major delays as forwarders find new routes around potential choke points on the network.
Tight truck capacity is a prime reason for the growth of dedicated trucking, but not the only one. Shippers are using dedicated as a tool to influence customers and reshape supply chains.
A storage depot closure near the Port of New York and New Jersey throws light on the efficiency hurdles drayage carriers face when ocean carriers redirect empty containers to other sites.
Despite the IMO 2020’s sulfur cap, the COVID-19 collapse in oil prices last year made the case for sulfur scrubbers less urgent. But BIMCO said scrubbers now make sense.