US West Coast ports hope for a cargo bonanza in 2024 – but are they prepared?

In this deep dive into US logistics and international trade, produced with the support of Dimerco Express Group, host Mike King explores whether 2024 could see a major surge of cargo into US West Coast terminals.
Levi Strauss & Co said earlier this year that it had “already shifted some product to go through the West Coast instead of the East Coast”. Clearly it is not alone.  The share of US seaborne imports of apparel shipped from Asia to US West Coast ports rose to 59.1% in December 2023, up from 56.7% in December 2022, S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows. In the first 25 days of January, the ratio increased to 64.8%, the highest since October 2022.
As this episode explores, a number of factors are pushing cargo westwards, not least the Red Sea crisis and diversions of container ships around the Cape of Good Hope. Low water on the Panama Canal and the threat of dockworker union action at US Gulf and East Coast ports later this year are also considerations for shippers.
How deep and significant this trend is for container shipping and US ports and supply chain stakeholders will become clearer after the latest round of trans-Pacific annual contracts have been signed and sealed. A lot of those conversations will be taking place at Long Beach, California, in the first week of March when the city hosts TPM24.
As this podcast explores, many shippers will not just be looking at the cost/transit equation, they will also be asking whether West Coast terminals are ready to handle a surge in cargo.
Noel Hacegaba, Chief Operating Officer, Port of Long Beach
Bjorn Vang Jensen, Executive Director for International Transport, Cummins
Alexander King, Branch Manager for New York and New Jersey, Dimerco Express Group
Jon Gold, VP for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, National Retail Federation
Matt Schrap, CEO, Harbor Trucking Association

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US West Coast truckers ready for box import surge (but less keen on buying non-diesel trucks)

In this news insights episode of The Freight Buyers’ Club, host Mike King is talking U.S. trucking, drayage, domestic freight demand and international trade with Matt Schrap, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association.
Among other topics, they delve into:

The readiness of US West Coast truckers to cope with for an influx of import cargo due to disruptions in the Red Sea and Panama Canal.

Whether LA and Long Beach ports have the processes, capacity and labour in place to handle a surge of cargo.

Actions taken to improve the container return system, which had a significant detrimental impact on chassis supply during the pandemic.
The advantages and disadvantages of various appointment systems that drayage operators serving western gateway terminals must navigate.
The sluggish investment in non-diesel trucks despite the availability of subsidies and incentives.

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Is the Port of Long Beach ready to receive a new wave of container imports?

In this news insight episode of The Freight Buyers’ Club, Noel Hacegaba, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Long Beach, outlines why the de facto closure of the Suez Canal to container shipping, low water levels on the Panama Canal, and the threat of union action at rival ports on the US East and Gulf Coast, are creating a unique window of opportunity for West Coast trade gateways.
But after the congestion and chaos of the Covid years, host Mike King asks if Long Beach’s terminals and supply chain stakeholders are now fully prepared to smoothly process a box volume demand spike.

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The 2024 trade and economic growth outlook as geopolitical headwinds intensify

In this special News Insight episode of The Freight Buyers’ Club, host Mike King discusses the following with Robert Subbaraman, Head of Global Markets Research at Nomura:

Global economic and trade prospects in 2024
Asia exports outlook
Geopolitical risk in 2024
The slowdown in China
Freight rates and inflation
Trade and a Trump Presidency
Protectionism vs global growth
China + 1 impact on trade


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A shipper’s view: Maersk/Hapag, The Red Sea crisis, CNY and freight rate strategy

In this episode, produced with the support of Dimerco Express Group, host Mike King has an in-depth discussion with Bjorn Vang Jensen, Executive Director for International Transport at American multinational Cummins, on all things shipping and supply chain.
They discuss what the Gemini Cooperation agreement between Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk means for the remaining THE Alliance container lines – Yang Ming, ONE and HMM – and whether 90% service reliability is a realistic target for the new partnership.
They also analyse the Red Sea crisis and how to plan and adapt to disrupted supply chains. And they discuss what shippers should expect in the lead-in to Chinese New Year factory closures, and what geopolitical conflict and risk means for the future of globalisation, international trade and liner strategy.
More on Bjorn Vang Jensen:
Bjorn has experience of all sides of the freight business. Until just over a year ago, he was one of container shipping’s best analysts as VP Advisory Services for Global Supply Chain at Sea-Intelligence Advisory Services. He’s also been a vessel scheduling manager, a salesperson, a freight forwarder and a 3PL.
On the BCO side of the fence, prior to taking the reins at Cummins, he was global head of logistics at Electrolux for 16 years during which time he was responsible for moving millions of TEU and hundreds of thousands of tons of airfreight.

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