Aiming to provide relevant and up-to-date information to help you navigate your supply chain.
North American gateways
October has been relatively stable in the North American market. However, as we move into the winter season, there is a possibility of terminal disruptions.
- In Montreal, water levels have been reduced and are expected to continue into Q1 2024.
- Savannah is entering its fog season in mid-December, and currently, the number of vessels at anchor range from 12 to 18 in a given week. Ongoing construction at Container Berth 2 will keep it closed until February 2024. Additionally, the Savannah terminal is prone to disruptions due to channel restrictions, tides, weather events, and labor.
- Fog season in the Gulf is expected to start in November, while Houston is starting to experience colder weather and rain with vessel wait times ranging from 0 to 5 days.
- The Pacific Southwest region has minimal vessel waiting time, but occasional vessel bunching occurs due to late arrivals from Asia and subsequent grouping in the Los Angeles/Long Beach region.
- The Pacific Northwest terminals have maintained consistent vessel wait times and terminal utilization over the past few weeks.
Operations in Israel
We are keeping a close eye on the ongoing situation in Israel and currently, port operations across Israel’s major terminals are continuing to function normally. We are currently not expecting a substantial impact at our key hubs in Ashdod and Haifa and bookings will therefore continue to be accepted to and from Israel. If you have cargo already booked to or from Israel, we expect to facilitate it as normal. For the most up to date information as things develop, please visit our advisory page, including FAQs.
To ensure sufficient water availability during the upcoming dry season, the Panama Canal Authority has maintained the draft to 44 feet and made additional changes to the reservation system.
To maintain the needed capacity through the Canal, we have deployed additional vessels, referred to as extra loaders. To secure the necessary transit slots, we are closely collaborating with the Panama Canal Authority and scheduling transits between 30 and 14 days prior, depending on the size and direction of the vessels. Additionally, we are taking necessary precautions, such as reviewing weather conditions and operational waiting times in previous ports, to secure a transit date that allows us to maintain our schedule and minimize any potential impact on our operations.
These steps ensure that there will be no expected impact on Maersk's ability to transit the Canal as planned and, most importantly, no expected impact on customers.
Transatlantic & Transpacific ServicesAsia
Maersk will be deploying additional vessels to the East Coast for the remainder of the year. We are committed to meeting the increased demand and ensuring smooth operations to support our customers' shipping needs.India, Middle East & Africa
In South Africa, we are currently facing challenges caused by adverse weather conditions and declining container volumes due to the conclusion of the Citrus Reefer season.
Our West Africa trade is experiencing steady demand, and the outlook for future volume looks promising, primarily driven by the start of the Cocoa Season. We remain dedicated to meeting the needs of our customers in the region.
Please note that the information provided is subject to change as market conditions evolve. We will keep you updated on any significant developments in future newsletters.
To receive the latest updates on your cargo, sign up for ETA notifications or check schedules on Maersk.com. For operational updates such as posted in our “Weekly Reader,” be sure to subscribe to our advisories at www.maersk.com/newsletter.
Landside Updates – Cold Chain Market
New Cold Storage facility in Ridgeville, South Carolina
The North American cold chain market size was US$67.1 billion in 2022, expected to reach US$104.1 billion by 2028, growing steadily at 7.3% from 2023 to 2028. This growth is driven by the rising demand for temperature-controlled storage and transportation of perishable goods. Population growth, consumer preferences for fresh and frozen food, and the expansion of e-commerce contribute to this trend. Maersk, a leader in cold chain logistics, has invested in cold storage facilities, refrigerated transportation, and advanced temperature control technologies in North America.
As part of Maersk’s efforts to enhance its end-to-end cold chain integrated solutions offering, the company recently announced the opening of new cold storage facilities in Dayton, New Jersey (October 2022), Baytown, Texas (December 2022), and most recently in Ridgeville, South Carolina (October 2023). These facilities will be operated by Performance Team, a Maersk Company.
The new Performance Team cold store facility in Ridgeville is strategically located just 45 minutes away from Charleston, providing customers with direct and fast access to key markets. It enables direct distribution center deliveries using an efficient middle and final mile transport network across South Carolina, the entire East Coast, and the Midwest of the United States.
What sets this facility apart is its commitment to sustainability. The Ridgeville cold storage facility has achieved a LEED certification level of Gold, making it one of North America's most sustainable cold storage. This aligns with Maersk's environmental goals and helps our customers move closer to achieving a climate-neutral supply chain.
Click here to learn more about Maersk's cold chain logistics in North America and how we can support your business.
Air Freight Update
Air cargo demand
A recent report from IATA shows that monthly air cargo demand has actually grown year-over-year for the first time in 19 months. The measured global freight ton-kilometers (CTKs) were still slightly below the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 but have recovered compared to previous years primarily due to a 30% increase in belly capacities. This surge can be attributed to many airlines ramping up their operations during the peak summer travel season. Additionally, the transported tonnage between North America and Europe has seen a growth of approximately 6% in both directions.
Maersk expands its global air freight services with new Los Angeles air cargo hub
In its October announcement, Maersk shared the news of its 130,000 square foot air freight gateway near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) that offers direct planeside recovery with immediate transfers to the new facility.
The new facility is just 15 miles from LAX and less than nine miles from the Port of Long Beach. Also, this site is going to be a U.S. Customs bonded Container Freight Station (CFS) and a U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF). This ensures timely and secure air freight handling. The facility is scheduled to attain Free Trade Zone status in 2024 to benefit from lower duties, reduced processing fees, and faster movement of goods.
Operations in Israel
Due to the current situation in Israel, several airlines have decided to cancel their flights to and from Tel Aviv. This circumstance will inevitably affect some of our air freight clients. If you are affected by these flight cancellations, our Customer Experience team will contact you directly to discuss alternative options for your cargo. Our teams will monitor any changes and promptly update our customers with the most recent information available.
Click here to learn more about our Air network and own-controlled flights from and to North America. To further streamline price searches and online bookings, you will also find instant prices available online.
Topics, Trends, and Insights
Takeaways from the Automotive Logistics & Supply Chain (ALSC) Conference
Although the automotive supply chain in North America has witnessed some relief in semiconductor supply and the post-pandemic freight rates, the industry is still grappling with what can be described as a persistent crisis. Throughout the conference, manufacturers discussed the ongoing ripple effects of UAW strikes, and capacity challenges, specifically in critical transport lane for finished vehicle logistics.
Forecast accuracy has been a common challenge for most manufacturers, whether at OEM plants, tier-1 schedules, or vehicle logistics. Executives from prominent automotive companies such as GM, Nissan, Ford, and Stellantis emphasized the importance of close alignment and sharing plans with suppliers in the short, medium and long term. In addition, Toyota, Honda, and other participants highlighted the need for a flexible and dynamic approach to network optimization.
The conference made it clear that disruptions in the automotive supply chain are expected to persist in the “new normal.” However, by setting clear goals, leveraging new technology, and fostering close partnerships, the industry can gain the stability and confidence required to make investments for the future.
Antonio Fondevilla, Maersk’s Global Automotive Vertical Head, participated in the “Fully Charged Value Chains” panel, focusing on the investments and opportunities developing as the electric vehicle, battery manufacturing, and distribution value chain scales across North America.
“Maersk aims to become the partner of choice for customers, both OEM’s and battery manufacturers, to support EV manufacturing by providing support and investment in assets and capabilities,” said Fondevilla. “As the integrator of the supply chain, we strive to establish a seamless, sustainable, and digitized supply chain. We can achieve the best settlement in automotive supply chain history by collaborating with industry leaders. Together, we are embracing the monumental change in the industry and re-evaluating and re-designing the supply chain to ensure sustainability and resilience. We are excited to learn and implement state-of-the-art technology to revolutionize the EV supply chain." Hear more from Antonio on what the future of automotive holds.
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