Less-than-truckload carriers are becoming a transload option for importers forced to choose between speed and cost of delivery amid port congestion and intermodal delays.
In an already maxed-out trans-Pacific system, disruptions such as the Suez Canal blockage and now worsening congestion in Southern China will increasingly limit the ability of carriers to honor their minimum quantity commitments.
Ocean carriers have pushed the orderbook for new vessels to a multiyear high in 2021 thanks to the strength of the freight market and the dearth of surplus vessels.
Non-vessel operating common carriers handled a majority of US imports from Asia through the first four months of the year as carriers limited bookings to their steady customers in the booming eastbound trans-Pacific.
Walmart remained atop the list of the 100 largest US importers by a wide margin in 2020, while Koch Industries retained the No. 1 export spot.