Importers continue to favour East coast and Gulf ports according to a recent analysis by Freightos, as noting the persisting threat of major port labour disruptions intensifies.
Judah Levine, head of research, at Freightos Group said in possibly the "biggest industrial action" in this dispute so far ILWU members shut down operations for the day at the port of Oakland's main terminal on Monday.
"In other labour developments, a third union in the US rail labour dispute rejected the proposed agreement approved by seven other unions," Levine added.
The Freightos report showed that Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 weekly) decreased 2% to US$2,652/FEU — a rate 81% lower than the same time last year.
Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 weekly) fell 11% to US$5,602,/FEU, and are 65% lower than rates for this week last year.
For Asia-North Europe prices (FBX11 weekly), Freightos saw an increased of 2% to US$4,837/FEU, and are 66% lower than rates for this week last year.
"Despite increases in blank sailings, transpacific ocean rates continued to decline last week. Hapag-Lloyd’s CEO speculated that rates could continue to fall as demand for freight has decreased both from slipping consumer demand and from inventory build-ups for many importers who placed larger orders earlier in the year to avoid delays and shortages," Levine said.
The Freightos Research chief noted then that Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG, also believes that rates could "rebound somewhat" once inventories normalize and that carriers will likely start removing more capacity once delays improve and vessels are able to get back into their scheduled positions.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, ocean logistics in Australia are bracing for major possible disruption as the country's largest tugboat operator has announced a lockout of its workers starting Friday.
Meanwhile, easing demand saw year-to-date air cargo volumes through Frankfurt drop by more than 10% compared to last year.
Freightos Air Index data shows rates out of Frankfurt closed October at US$3.43/kg to LAX and $3.26/kg to JFK, both more than 38% lower than a year ago.
"Falling volumes and downgraded expectations for e-commerce growth is leading FedEx to remove capacity and threatens to result in a capacity glut as new freighter aircraft enter the market," Levine added.