May 2023 International Market Update


The following information from Sunset’s International team details the current International market conditions. Customer communication is vital with the instability of international trade. 

Sunset is here to help with the most basic or complex shipments.  Email [email protected] to speak further about how to manage any International needs that arise.

Ocean Industry

Current constraints

    • Overall US East Coast ports: 0-2 days
    • Savannah: The waiting time for vessel berth at the terminal is up to 3 days, depending on the vessel size.
    • New York: 1-day waiting time expected for berth at Global Container Terminals Bayonne, Maher Terminals LLC and APM Terminals.
    • Port of Los Angeles: dwell times for local import cargo is 3.8 days, on-dock rail dwell is 4.3 days, and import units on the street is averaging at 5.5 / 6.5 days for 20 ft and 40+ ft containers, respectively.
    • There are no vessel berthing delays in Tacoma. However, import deliveries are 4 days at HUSKY due to EB/WB rail car imbalance, 0-3 days at Washington United Terminal and 0-3 days at T18.
    • Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has been on strike since April 19, 2023. However, this strike has not directly impacted vessel, rail or truck operations in Canada.
    • Vancouver waiting time significantly reduced to 3 days. Stable weekly coverage is expected.
    • While overall trade capacity has been reduced due to blank sailings, space for TPWB cargo remains readily available.
    • Rates have remained stable despite the fact that carriers are all actively looking for cargo.
    • Chassis availability remains an issue at some IPI locations; however, dry equipment remains plentiful. 
    • Space remains tight on services ex U.S. West Coast while pressure ex U.S. Gulf has eased somewhat, although services are still well utilized. 
    • U.S. East Coast capacity is abundant as supply outstrips demand.
    • Given the ample capacity, there is some downward rate pressure on U.S. east coast rates, while ex-U.S. Gulf rates remain flat. 
    • Chassis availability remains problematic at some IPI locations, but dry equipment is readily available.
  • US International Trade in Goods and Services, March 2023
    • March 2023: -$64.2 B
    • February 2023: -$70.6 B

      The U.S. monthly international trade deficit decreased in March 2023 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit decreased from $70.6 billion in February (revised) to $64.2 billion in March as exports increased and imports decreased. The goods deficit decreased $6.4 billion in March to $86.6 billion. The services surplus decreased less than $0.1 billion in March to $22.4 billion

Stability: Instability will continue  into Q4 2023.  Although we are beginning to see a slight increase in volumes, we can expect volume levels to be similar to pre-pandemic 2019.

  • April imports increased to 9.0% from March, but TEU levels are still down 17.8% YoY, but up 5.3% higher than pre-pandemic April 2019.
    • Decartes reported  that  slightly above 2M TEU’s were imported in April.
  • Global Schedule Reliability increased 2.4% from February to March at 62.6%.

Future Lookouts:

  • Weekly analysis : 12 May 2023
    • Across the major East-West head haul trades: Transpacific, Transatlantic and Asia-North Europe & Med, 20 cancelled sailings have been announced between weeks 20 (15 May-21 May) and week 24 (12 June-18 June), out of a total of 674 scheduled sailings, representing 3% cancellation rate. During this period, 40% of blank sailings will occur in the Transpacific Eastbound, 30% on Asia-North Europe and Med, and 30% on the Transatlantic Westbound trade.

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