After making a comeback in the latter half of October accepted volumes plummeted the first week of November, falling 8% from Oct 31st to Nov 4th.

Jobless claims remained unchanged as last week’s claims were revised down by 1000 from 218k to 217k. Claims on average for the month of Oct coming in at 219k on average. That’s about 61k less than reported at the end of Oct 2021 and 554k less than back at the end of Oct 2020.

DAT Trendlines signaling spot load and truck post increases of 2.5% and 5.7% respectfully on a WoW basis as shippers pushed out a glut of seasonal items. Spot load posts 10% less than what we saw back in Sept and almost 52% less than where we sat back in Oct of 2021. Truck posts on both a MoM and YoY level continuing to show growth, further evidence of an increasing supply and demand imbalance.

As bookings have remained below pre-pandemic levels consistently for over a month, maritime carriers have begun upping their blank sailings. Typically, when demand is low carriers will start implementing blank sailings. Essentially, skipping a port or voiding an entire sailing completely. Blank sailings are not a new concept but have become more common during the pandemic era, as ships would skip congested ports or be forced to void a string completely if dwell times became too long. Blank sailings can create a supply and demand imbalance in this circumstance, exponentially increasing shipping costs while simultaneously padding ocean carrier’s margins.

In an effort to slow their diminishing returns, ocean carriers have announced a 14% cancelation rate vs scheduled sailings between weeks 45 and 49. The 14% represents 100 cancelled sailings across the Transpacific, Transatlantic, Asia-North Europe & Mediterranean. During this time frame 56% of the blanks will occur on the Transpacific eastbound and 20% on the Transatlantic westbound route.

According to Drewry’s weekly analysis, two major concerns regarding freight movement remains: Possible US rail disruptions and potential new Chinese lockdowns. To quote Drewry on the topics, “In China, the authorities have ordered mass testing in the Yangpu district, Shanghai, which could lead to another painful lockdown as happened last summer, where disruption continued for two months. Similarly, in the US, the possibility of further rail disruptions are a growing concern with two unions already rejecting the tentative settlements agreed in September – and a further four voting before the end of November. Shippers and BCOs should remain alert, as the Covid situation in China and possible rail disruptions in the US could cause further operational difficulties, impacting the flow of cargo between China and the US.”

This has been your Bridge Logistics Market Update for the week of November 7th, 2022.