Market Updates: April 9th, 2024

Baltimore Bridge Incident:

— The Port of Baltimore continues to remain indefinitely closed and salvage crews have started to remove containers from the cargo ship that crashed into the bridge. Long-term impacts on the freight market remain to be seen, but the immediate impact is apparent.

— Port of Newark has expanded their truck gates and would be open until 6pm and PNCT will be open on Saturdays from 7am to 3pm, for an undefined time. The Port of Virginia is extending their gate hours by opening at 5am instead of 6am.

— The FMCSA has granted Baltimore drivers a waiver that will add two hours to the allow hours of daily driving under the 14-hour on duty limit. Currently, the law allows 11 hours of driving in a 14 hour day window.  

— Long-term impacts on the freight market remains to be seen, but the immediate impact is apparent. with reduced outbound freight volumes on key freight lanes from Baltimore to the west, including Chicago, South Bend, and Indianapolis, DAT Freight & Analytics reports.  

— Norfolk Southern has started to run trains between the Port of NY/NJ and Baltimore to transport containers that have been re-routed due to the bridge collapse. NS is also working with the Port of Virginia to provide rail service from Norfolk to the Virginia Inland Port.

— CSX has started a daily north-south service from the Port of NY/NJ and it’s Kearny, NJ intermodal terminal to Baltimore. It’s likely this service will bring around 150 import containers to Baltimore’s Seagirt marine terminal for local pick-up and then empties for the return back.

Trucking –

  • As of April 8th, the average price of diesel was $4.061 a gallon. 
    • Seeing a 6.5 cent increase from last week.
  • CVSA International Roadcheck this year is May 14th-16th.
    • The focus is on tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve and anti-bleed back valve.
  • Chassis providers are confident that the current equipment pools are able to handle and adjust to cargo re-routing from the Port of Baltimore.
    • They do caution that chassis could be occupied for longer if the drayage haul is longer than usual.

Rail –

  • BNSF has moved 14% more intermodal volume through their facilities compared to last year.
  • Railways have moved $15.6 billion of freight in January 2024, this is down almost 7% from January 2023.
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