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Check Call: FreightWaves has no chill

No love for Russian cargo | Port congestion easing?

Check Call the Show. News and Analysis for 3PLs and Freight Brokers.

FreightWaves Corner


We are taking a small deviation from our regularly scheduled programming to break down some BIG FreightWaves developments. We have no chill and it’s a lot to keep up with sometimes. There’s no time like the present to break it down. 

First of all, next week is the 3PL Summit. It’s virtual! So grab your comfies and join us Wednesday for all things 3PL. We’ve got a chat for just about everything. Want to grow your business and find new shippers? Got it. Want to know what a transition to a woman-owned business looks like? Got that too. Want to know how the war in Ukraine is affecting brokers? Oh we have that too. 

It’s going to be a great time with some amazing conversations. Charge up your devices and take the summit on the go through FreightWavesTV. 

Oh yeah, we are on the go 24/7 now because FreightWaves has an amazing, newly updated app waiting for you. You can watch FWTV live 24/7 (including the 3PL Summit). It’s good for more than just watching summits, though. It’s your one-stop shop for all things FreightWaves. 

There are chat rooms for communities (even Check Call), podcasts, news, AskWaves, etc. If you can find it on, you can find it on FreightWaves App. It’s never been easier to connect with the editorial team or market experts. 

But wait, there’s more. No it’s not a set of steak knives, it’s The Future of Supply Chain. It’s the first IN-PERSON event of the year and this bad boy isn’t ya momma’s conference. There aren’t endless PowerPoints that you watch in uncomfortable chairs contemplating hypothermia symptoms in a hotel conference center. There’s music, live software demos, networking like you’ve never seen it. I don’t know if you can bottle up Vegas and put it in Northwest Arkansas, but I feel like FreightWaves has come close. 

Also, if you’re like, what the heck is in Northwest Arkansas that isn’t Walmart or its northern friend Branson, Missouri, FreightWaves has your answer. It’s no secret those in the logistics world have been known to have an “adult” beverage or two. Well what about 16 breweries within about 20 minutes of the convention center? No better way to get to know someone than with a beer. 

While the conference might take place in the Ozarks, you’ll have to come find out for yourself if it lives up to the hype of the show. As if beer and living your Jason Bateman dreams weren’t enough, FreightWaves is still offering the March Madness discount where tickets are only $1,295. 

Come meet all of your new best friends and be a part of the gathering of the year. Back to our regularly scheduled programming. 

Quick Hits


Oh we aren’t done with the West Coast ports yet. West Coast dockworkers are refusing to load or unload any Russian cargo coming into or going out of all 29 U.S. West Coast ports as an act of solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Some are saying it doesn’t hurt Russia as the shippers have already been paid for the cargo due to the nature of their shipping. 

It’s becoming less of a problem as more and more ocean carriers have been turning down Russian business to avoid legal liability from sanctions and potential reputational damage. 

The silver lining to some of this is that since Russian cargo is getting dropped off midroute to other European countries, port congestion in the U.S. is benefiting. If consumer spending is negatively impacted by inflation, there could be an earlier return to something that resembles normal for port traffic. 

While I did love watching records be set for the number of ships waiting for berths, I’d like to see those levels come back down to early 2020 levels, especially as we head into negotiations for the longshoreman contracts. 

We aren’t out of the woods from elevated rates, and long transit times for imports, but there is something that resembles light at the end of the tunnel … for now. 

TRAC Thursday

SONAR TRAC Market Dashboard

This week’s TRAC lane is Detroit to Nashville, Tennessee. The cool thing about both markets is that the outbound tender rejection rates are hovering around the national average, which is currently sitting at 17.76%. Nashville is at 16.29% and Detroit is at 13.12% rejection rates, which means they are officially out of the “severely tightened” capacity zone and are just on “slightly elevated” spot rates. 

Capacity is loosening in Nashville, making it an ideal city to book loads in at the moment. Spot rates are dropping, so shoot for the $3.75-per-mile rate to protect margin. Run what you can now before rates flip and start to creep back up. 

Investment Avenue

Twenty-three major singles tennis titles isn’t enough for Serena Williams. To her tennis achievements, she has added venture capitalist work. Williams’ fund, appropriately named Serena Ventures, has raised $100 million. The first investment was in Calico, a direct-to-consumer business platform that helps manage product development, supplier management, order management and analytics. It specializes in brands that have yet to establish themselves in the apparel space, helping them gain access to a network of factory partners.

Meanwhile, Pershing Square Capital Management has acquired 2.8 million shares of Canadian Pacific, with a value of $202.4 million by the end of 2021. Recently, Canadian Pacific made moves to acquire Kansas City Southern, currently pending federal approval, making the first transcontinental railroad between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

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Mary O'Connell

Former pricing analyst, supply chain planner, and broker/dispatcher turned creator of the newsletter and podcast Check Call. Which gives insights into the world around 3PLs and Freight brokers. She will talk your ear off about anything and everything if you let her. Expertise in operations, LTL pricing and procurement, flatbed operations, dry van, tracking and tracing, reality tv shows and how to turn a stranger into your new best friend.