US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla on Might 4 urged ocean carriers to load extra US agricultural exports because the frenzied US import market has impacted export volumes.
“Agricultural commodities have been considerably hampered in exporting their merchandise due to container and tools shortages, canceled bookings, and insufficient receiving home windows,” a letter from the senators stated Might 4. “Three out of 4 containers at US ports are returning to Asia empty, leading to a major backlog of offered product in want of transportation.”
The Federal Maritime Fee, which oversees US business commerce exercise, stated April 22 it was launching an audit into service practices as they relate to servicing US exporters. This got here amid a flurry of shipper-led complaints relating to incapacity to safe tools and vessel allocations.
“Ocean carriers at the moment are being requested to share details about the export providers they provide American shippers,” the FMC stated in an announcement April 22. “Responses will present higher perception into not solely market developments and efficiency, however the place alternatives exist for particular person strains to enhance or enhance entry to service choices.”
Spherical journey economics nonetheless work towards US exporters
The plight of US exporters is highlighted nicely amid freight price volatility, which additionally demonstrates why ocean liners are wanting transfer empty containers in favor of loaded ones to cut back turnaround occasions.
At present, US import charges from Asian loading ports far outweigh these for US exports. S&P World Commodity Insights’ Platts Container Fee 13 from North Asia to West Coast North America was assessed on an FAK foundation at $8,200/FEU Might 4, displaying greater than an eight-fold enhance over US Pacific Value export charges, which had been assessed on the $1,000/FEU degree Might 4.
“We really withdrew a [May 1] GRI, and also you’re not seeing different carriers desirous to impose price will increase on the export aspect as a result of they don’t need to look discriminate towards US exports,” a US-based service supply stated. “Nobody needs to be the one who isn’t supporting the US export market and the lengthy arm of the regulation.”
On the Port of Los Angeles, the biggest container port within the US, loaded exports for March got here in at 111,781 TEU, a 9% lower towards the identical month in 2021, whereas empty exports climbed to 349,116 TEU, a rise of two% on the yr.
Exports have now declined in 37 of the final 41 months on the port, the place 3.1 containers are loaded empty for each full export.