Skip to content

Radiant's Freight Market Update

Apr 11, 2024

Stay up-to-date on the latest global supply chain and logistics news with Radiant's weekly updates.

Navegate® GTM offers a centralized platform to access all your vital freight information. Log in now.

This field is required.

Navigate® Lite delivers easy access to essential tracking information for your shipments. Log in today.

This field is required.
Required when not searching by HAWB.

This week: Panama Canal restrictions to persist through 2024, federal funds allocated for Baltimore port recovery, & railways boost capacity amid port diversion.


Panama Canal restrictions to persist through 2024. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) foresees ongoing restrictions in 2024, aiming for full normalization by 2025 with anticipated rainfall by late April. Despite recent progress, persistent drought and El Niño effects led to reduced drafts and transits, diverting vessels and impacting global shipping. Though daily transit slots increased, the canal operates below normal capacity. Moderate precipitation forecasts offer hope, but adjustments currently hinge on weather conditions. While auction prices stabilized, tonnage transits remain down by a third, highlighting the canal's importance amid climate challenges, according to Splash 24/7.


Federal funds allocated for Baltimore port recovery. President Biden announced $8 million in federal funding to double automotive shipping capacity at the Port of Baltimore's only unaffected terminal, Tradepoint Atlantic, on the former Bethlehem Steel site at Sparrows Point, following the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. The initiative aims to address the aftermath of the tragedy, which stranded ships and disrupted cargo vessel access.


Diesel prices continue to rise. A 6.5-cent increase in the national average diesel price has pushed it over $4 per gallon, nearing levels seen a year ago. Rising in nine of ten regions surveyed, diesel prices climbed notably in California, the Midwest, and the West Coast. Gasoline prices also rose, albeit slightly less.

States provide trucking tax relief following bridge collapse. Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland have waived International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Association requirements for seaport haulers during the state of emergency following the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse. Virginia is offering free 30-day permits for container haulage until the emergency ends. Maryland has extended its IFTA waiver for port truckers until May 31 and postponed the quarterly IFTA tax return deadline to June 30. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extended its emergency declaration for drivers aiding the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse response, relaxing maximum driving time and ELD regulations until May 9 or the end of the emergency.


Norfolk Southern optimizes intermodal network. Norfolk Southern has optimized its intermodal network by eliminating 53 low-volume lanes, prioritizing productivity and profitability. This strategic realignment follows a proxy battle with activist investor Ancora Holdings and aims to enhance service quality and operational efficiency. NS reports that in the two weeks since hiring Canadian Pacific Kansas City executive John Orr as chief operating officer, the average train speed for its merchandise network is up 8%, while terminal dwell is down by 8%, and the number of active trains is also down by 8%, according to Trains.

Railways boost capacity amid port diversion. Norfolk Southern and CSX have increased train capacity to ease freight congestion from Port of Baltimore diversions. Norfolk Southern launched a dedicated intermodal service between the Port of New York and New Jersey and the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal, extending to Seagirt intermodal container transfer facility with Ports America. CSX is partnering with steamship lines to offer a dedicated solution between New York and Baltimore to manage diverted goods. Read more from Supply Chain Dive here.


UPS prepares for increased cargo demand. UPS plans to hire over 300 pilots to meet anticipated growth in air cargo demand driven by their new multi-year contract with the U.S. Postal Service, according to the union representing the company’s air crews.


Taiwan's exports surge, driven by AI hardware. Taiwan's exports surged in March, driven by a 464.7% increase in shipments of computer hardware, including servers and hard drives, reaching $8.7 billion. This boost propelled overall exports to $41.8 billion, up 18.9% year-on-year, the fastest growth since March 2022, surpassing economists' 7.5% forecast.

Sri Lanka's Transhipment Hub Expands at Hambantota Port. Hambantota International Port (HIP), owned by China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort), began container operations to diversify Sri Lanka's transhipment flows. MSC Ingrid unloaded 500 TEU, slated for transhipment to Rotterdam via MSC Sky II on April 16th. HIP plans infrastructure expansion to accommodate larger vessels, enhancing Sri Lanka's regional hub status. MSC aims to use Hambantota as an intermediate point amid Red Sea-linked disruptions in the Europe-Middle East/India trade.


U.S. allocates $6.6B to TSMC for Arizona semiconductor facility. The U.S. government plans to provide $6.6 billion to assist Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in building a new chip facility in Arizona. The initiative aims to bolster domestic chip production, reduce reliance on China, and address economic and national security concerns. The agreement includes $5 billion in government loans, marking the largest foreign direct investment in a U.S. development project. Chip production is scheduled to begin in 2025 and 2028.


Ford recalls small SUVs for fire risk. Ford is recalling 43,000 small SUVs due to potential fuel injector leaks, posing fire risks. Affected models include certain Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs with 1.5-liter engines from 2022-2023. Owners started receiving notification letters on April 1st.


The Radiant Network's supply chain and logistics updates provide valuable insights on freight trends, customs regulations, global news, economics, tech, and more. The Radiant Network includes the brands Radiant World Trade Services, Radiant Global Logistics, Radiant Canada, Radiant Road & Rail, Adcom, Airgroup, SBA, and Distribution By Air.


Radiant World Trade Services is a part of Radiant Logistics, Inc. (NYSE American: RLGT), a publicly traded third-party logistics company that provides technology-enabled global transportation and value-added logistics solutions to a diverse account base. They offer comprehensive services including freight forwarding, truck and rail brokerage, warehouse and distribution, customs brokerage, order fulfillment, inventory management, and technology services. Radiant has an extensive network of offices throughout North America and other key markets worldwide.