Auto parts imports could take a hit as vehicle sales slow; Japan makes its own play for African port supremacy.
A record-setting year for container imports into the Port of New York and New Jersey has not only benefitted ocean carriers serving the Port, but its two incumbent railroads, Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) and CSX (Nasdaq: CSX) as well. Intermodal rail volumes from the Port rose 14 percent last year to total 593,806 twenty foot equivalent units (teu). This as overall container volume was up 6.5 percent to 6.5 million teu. The increase in intermodal rail stems from the railroads adding more stops in the U.S. Midwest out of the NY-NJ region. But trucking costs were also cited as one reason for the increase. Indeed, the Outbound Tender Reject Index for Elizabeth, NJ (SONAR: OTRI.EWR) shows trucking demand in the region dropping steadily through the end of last year.
Auto parts imports into the U.S. may fall
The U.S imported $247.2 billion worth of auto parts and accessories from January through October 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In term of ports of entry, inland border regions stood out. Laredo, Texas accounting for $50.3 billion in parts and Detroit, Mich. accounting for $38 .7 billion in parts. Los Angeles was third with $22.7 billion in sales. But those volumes could take a dip this year as the National Automobile Dealers Association is forecasting a 3 decline in auto sales this year, with unit sales reaching 16.8 million new cars and light trucks in 2019.
Australia is looking at intermodal rail
The Inland Rail Project aims to improve access to Sydney’s ports (Western Advocate)
Japan aims to take on China in Africa
The $643 million port in Angola would rival projects under Belt-and-Road Initiative (Nikkei)
MSC set to grow fleet in 2019
Mediterranean Shipping Company set for 20 newbuild deliveries (TradeWinds)
Washington ports cited for water runoff
Port of Tacoma and SSA Terminal may face fines for pollutant discharge (Capital Press)
Drayage carrier receives new funding
Middle-market private equity firm invests in RoadOne IntermodaLogistics (Finsmes)
U.S. Coast Guard in crisis
The U.S. government shutdown, now the longest in history, is taking more serious consequences for professional seafarers. As FreightWaves reported, the U.S. Coast Guard’s money is set to run out by Tuesday, leaving service members without a paycheck. The Coast Guard is the primary inspector of vessels entering U.S. waters. In 2017, USCG conducted 9,105 safety exams on the 10,190 vessels that entered U.S. waters. Of those, the USCG had to detain 98 ships for safety violations.