The Automotive Supply Chain and the Rocky Road Ahead

When 2018 opened, automotive shippers faced many of the same supply chain challenges as other importers and exporters: deteriorating service reliability from ocean carriers, port congestion, poor visibility of their goods while in transit, and landside disruption related to rail service and tightening trucking capacity. If anything, those concerns have only heightened amid record containerized shipping volumes and an economic and trade boom that shows no signs of slowing. Overshadowing it all, perhaps, is the latest, and perhaps biggest, challenge: trade issues ranging from uncertainty about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement to the Trump administration import tariffs on Canada, China, and the European Union – and subsequent retaliation — that threaten to throw the automotive trade into turmoil. The threats come as the industry wrestles with anemic growth in US auto parts imports, which inched up 0.5 percent last year as part of a five-year compound annual growth rate of 1.7 percent, according to PIERS, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS Markit. At more than 1.2 million TEU a year, those imports are a critical commodity for ocean carriers, freight forwarders, and ports such as Los Angeles, Long Beach, Charleston, Savannah, and New York-New Jersey. As the trade battles play out, other risks continue to loom large – poor service reliability, the deepening landside capacity crunch, rising rates, customs inspection that likely will grow more onerous, and the evolution of autonomous vehicles, which create new opportunities as well as questions over parts development and regulation.
This webcast will analyze these and other challenges to automotive shippers, examine the outlook in an increasingly complex global environment, and provide strategic direction for how shippers should respond.
Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor, and The Journal of Commerce
Dustin Braden, Data Analyst, JOC, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit
Steven Hughes, President and CEO, HCS International
Interested in sponsoring this webcast? For more information, please contact Tony Stein at
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 14:00