Industry Roundup: Port Investments, Legal Action on California Trucking Regulations, Cargo Volumes Increase and More

GSC Logistics ∕ November

port investment

As we are heading full speed into the rest of 2023, the supply chain industry is still anticipating several significant developments. These noteworthy changes include infrastructure investments in U.S. ports, legal action on trucking industry regulation in California, a rise in U.S. import container volume compared to the pre-pandemic era, and more. Follow along with our industry news roundup series to stay informed on the latest industry news and trends that are shaping the future of supply chain operations.

Here are five recent industry stories you don’t want to miss: 

U.S. Container Imports Still Rising, Topping Pre-COVID Levels

Data from Descartes Systems Group shows U.S. import volumes have been rising month on month since February this year. In September, the U.S. imported 2,203,452 TEUs, a jump of 27% compared to February. Moreover, import volumes for the first nine months of 2023 were 2.5% higher than the same period in 2019, in the pre-COVID era. Experts are optimistic that cargo volume will remain strong for the rest of the year.

Labor Peace Drives West Coast Rebound in Market Share of Asian Imports

The U.S. West Coast ports have seen a spike in cargo volume returning in the past two months following the settlement of the newly ratified ILWU contract. As the new contract put labor uncertainties and disruptions to rest, imports from Asia arriving at U.S. West Coast ports were up to 57.8% in August and 57.9% in September, according to the Journal of Commerce. An upward trend in Asia imports is expected to continue into the new year as West Coast ports and terminals are confident in handling the uptick in cargo volumes.  

Port of Savannah Adding 55 Hybrid Yard Cranes

The Georgia Ports Authority is investing $170 million to equip the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal with 55 hybrid-engine rubber-tired gantry cranes as part of its redevelopment into an all-container facility. This investment enhances the port’s capacity to handle more and larger ships and cargo while maintaining top-tier services. Most importantly, these hybrid cranes enable the port to operate at a lower cost, a 47% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions compared to conventional diesel cranes. In other words, this transition will save over $1.6 million annually in fuel costs. 

California Trucking Association Sues to Block CARB Rule 

The California Trucking Association (CTA) filed a 32-page lawsuit against the California Air and Resources Board (CARB) on the enforcement of rolling out the Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation, which is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2024. Despite the great initiative to transition to zero-emission vehicles across the industry, the legislation doesn’t meet the current or planned infrastructure needs for this push. It doesn’t consider the increased weight of the electric vehicles, the charging limitations, and the resources involved. As a result, the goal of this lawsuit was to help the trucking industry in California come to a practical working solution with CARB that does not result in significant disruptions to the supply chain. 

Planned Bridge Raising Opens Door to Upgrade the North Charleston Terminal

The South Carolina Ports Authority has received official approval from the Department of Transportation for a bridge-raising project to enhance the terminal’s capacity for future growth. This project is a 10-year effort aiming to raise the Don Holt Bridge that will allow the North Charleston Terminal to handle larger vessels, up to 20,000 TEUs. This infrastructure upgrade will increase the terminal’s TEU capacity from 500,000 TEUs to 2.4 million TEUs. This upgrade will bring the North Charleston Terminal in line with two other terminals in the Port of Charleston upon completion. 

GSC is a leading provider in the shipping logistics industry with over 35 years of experience delivering customized supply chain solutions to world-renowned retailers, manufacturers, and distributors. Curious how we can help with your drayage and transloading needs? Contact us today or check out our services and solutions here. 

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