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April 1 2019

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6 The Journal of Commerce | April 1 2019 Spotlight More trans-Pacific blankings ahead US importers and exporters should anticipate increased blank sailings in the coming weeks as carriers respond to declining imports from Asia and the seventh consecutive week of spot rate declines by attempting to match capacity with demand in the eastbound Pacific. Not only is capacity and demand forecast to be in relative balance this year, but carriers have become better at adjusting capacity to demand, Philip Damas, head of Drewry's Supply Chain Advisors, said March 4 at the 2019 TPM Conference in Long Beach. Carriers had announced 35 blank sailings through February and into early March, including 22 to the West Coast and 13 to the East Coast, compared with 11 last year, while ocean reliability fell to 40 percent in January, according to SeaIntelligence Maritime Consulting. Maritime analyst Alphaliner in its March 6-12 newsletter noted that the Ocean Alliance of APL/CMA CGM, Cosco Shipping, OOCL, and Evergreen canceled 10 additional trans-Pacific sailings for March-April. "This is the strongest sign of discipline by carriers we have seen since 2010," Damas told TPM 2019. US imports from Asia in January-February totaled 2.73 million TEU, down slightly less than 1 percent from 2.75 million TEU in January-February 2018, according to PIERS, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS Markit. The decline points to a weak first quarter, which is not surprising given that retailers and manufacturers front-loaded spring season imports in late 2018 to avoid paying the Trump administration's threatened 25 percent tariffs on imports from China. Omaha supply chains flooded Record-breaking floods sweeping the Midwest are disrupting the flow of domestic and international freight, swamping rail lines and turning highways into rivers. The damage will be long-lasting, and shippers should expect cargo delays and diversion in the short term as well as higher freight costs in the long term. Trucking and transportation companies in the region face more immediate concerns. Flooding has turned many towns and cities in Nebraska into isolated islands, impeding relief efforts. "All roads into and out of Omaha are closed; every one of the bridges is out," Derek Leathers, CEO of Werner Enterprises, told The Journal of Commerce on March 20. Werner has more than 7,000 trucks running throughout the United States, but it's stymied by flooding in its home state. In terms of available trucking capacity, the impact of the floods will extend far from the Midwest. Nebraska has the highest concentration of truck drivers in the United States at 27.36 trucking jobs per thousand employees, according to the US Labor Department. Odds are many of those drivers are headed home to assess damage or help their families as soon as they drop their current load. The Journal of Commerce Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and JOC Events: Chris Brooks 609 649 2181, Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and Mark Szakonyi 202 872 1234, Managing Editor: Benjamin Meyer 916 716 6272 Managing Editor: Barbara Wyker 908 507 4802, Senior Editors: William B. Cassidy Trucking and Domestic Transportation 202 872 1228, Bill Mongelluzzo West Coast 562 428 5999, Hugh Morley Northeast, Mexico 646 679 3475, Eric Johnson Technology 213 444 9326, Janet Nodar Breakbulk and Heavy Li 251 473 2742, Greg Knowler Europe +44 7976798770, Turloch Mooney Global Ports +852 9011 9109, Associate Editor: Ari Ashe Southeast Ports, Intermodal Rail 202 548 7895, Data Analyst: Marcin Lejk +44 58 741 62 70, Shipper Engagement Manager: Dustin Braden 646 679 3450, Senior Content Editor: Alessandra Gregory Barrett, 860 248 5238 Senior Designer: Sue Abt, 862 371 3534, Designer: Bryan Boyd, 908 910 7849, Publisher: Tony Stein, 770 295 8809, Sales: Cindy Cronin, Strategic Account Manager Southeast, Gulf, Canada sales, 954 260 6061 Jean Gibbons, Senior Sales Executive West Coast, Midwest sales, 706 469 7160 John Knowles, Senior Sales Executive Europe sales, +44 7779 974677 Allyson Marek, Senior Sales Executive Northeast sales, 862 754 8012 Alex Remstein, Associate Sales Specialist Reprints/Classifieds/Copyrights, 646 679 3418 For Magazine Subscription Customer Service: 450 West 33rd St., 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001 800 952 3839 Executive Director, Editorial Content, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Peter Tirschwell Executive Director, Media & Events, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Amy Middlebrook Manager, Production, Carmen Verenna Product Manager, JOC, Jesse Case ©2019 The Journal of Commerce — All Rights Reserved For more information, visit our website, +14.0% +2.6% -2.8% -0.7% +4.8% +8.1% -0.9% +9.3% +16.6% +8.4% +21.8% +4.8 -6.9% 1,100,000 1,200,000 1,300,000 1,400,000 1,500,000 1,600,000 1,700,000 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May- 18 Jun- 18 Jul-18 Aug- 18 Sep- 18 Oct-18 Nov- 18 Dec- 18 Jan- 19 Feb-19 TEU Asia-to-US trade growth slowed in February Source: IHS Markit © 2019 IHS Markit Total TEU volume of US imports from Asia with year-over-year change

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