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Radiant's Freight Market Update

May 2, 2024

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This week: Container Shipping Schedule Reliability Improves, Dali Containership Expected to be Removed by May 10, Grants Awarded for Port Pollution Reduction.


Container shipping schedule reliability improves. Container shipping schedules are rebounding four months into the Red Sea diversions, with major carriers showing the first upward trend in reliability in five months. Sea-Intelligence reports a nearly 56% reliability rate in March, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels. Late arrivals decreased their wait times, aided by adjustments in carrier schedules, routing changes, and additional vessel deployments. New container ship deliveries are further bolstering operations, with 41 ships delivered in March and 50 in April.


Dali containership expected to be removed by May 10. Efforts to remove the Dali containership from Baltimore port are underway, with expectations to clear the vessel by May 10. Despite challenges posed by the ship's size and position, progress has been made in debris removal and container relocation. Once cleared, officials aim to restore the port's main channel depth by the end of May, with the National Transportation Safety Board set to release a preliminary report on the incident.

U.S. ports see continued volume growth. U.S. ports sustained container volume growth in March, marking the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year increases. Ports like Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, and Houston reported significant gains, attributed to rising consumer spending and economic factors. Export volumes have also seen sustained growth, contributing to the overall positive trend in port activity. Take a closer look at the numbers from Transport Topics here.

Grants awarded for port pollution reduction. The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $148 million in grants to 11 states and Puerto Rico under a program aimed at reducing pollution at ports. Projects focus on electrification and efficiency improvements, including the transition to zero or low emissions vehicles and infrastructure enhancements. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these initiatives align with broader efforts to improve air quality and address climate change. Read more from World Cargo News here.


Biden Administration announces zero-emission freight initiative. The Biden Administration unveiled a national goal to transition to zero-emissions freight across multiple sectors, allocating nearly $1.5 billion to support the effort. Funds will target the replacement of heavy-duty vehicles, development of charging infrastructure, and pollution mitigation projects. Read more from SupplyChainDive here.

LA Zoning proposal could impact trailer parking. Trailer parking challenges near Los Angeles ports are already exacerbated by zoning restrictions and limited available space, and a proposed zoning plan could further restrict industrial outdoor storage, impacting logistics operations. Developers are seeking solutions to address the shortage, as demand for trailer parking continues to outstrip available capacity.


Potential rail strikes authorized in Canada. Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference voted overwhelmingly in favor of strikes against Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Kansas City. Potential strikes could impact operations as early as May 22, following federal mediation. Read more here.

Federal Regulators say Union Pacific undermined safety efforts. Federal regulators are accusing Union Pacific managers of obstructing the U.S. government's safety assessment of the railroad following several notable derailments. This interference was widespread enough to prompt the Federal Railroad Administration to suspend the assessment. Union Pacific denies widespread involvement, attributing the issue to a single department. The agency initiated safety assessments for all major railroads following a significant derailment by Norfolk Southern in 2023.


Air cargo demand continues growth trend. Air cargo demand has seen sustained growth, marking the fourth consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year increases. IATA reported a 10.3% rise in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) compared to March 2023, driven by international routes and e-commerce demand. The industry anticipates a solid performance for the year amid ongoing global trade trends, according to Air Cargo News.


China launches world’s largest fully electric container ship. China launched the world's largest fully electric container ship, aiming to revolutionize sustainable shipping. Developed by China Ocean Shipping Group (Cosco) the Greenwater 01, powered solely by batteries, operates between Shanghai and Nanjing, significantly reducing emissions.


Honda invests in Canada’s electric vehicle supply chain. Honda Motor Co. announced a CAD $15 billion investment to establish an electric vehicle supply chain in Canada. The investment includes a new EV factory and battery plant in Alliston, Ontario, with production slated to begin in 2028.


Proposed changes in USPS shipping partnerships. The U.S. Postal Service is considering altering its partnerships with shipping consolidators, raising concerns about service levels and delivery costs. Potential changes could impact consolidators like DHL eCommerce and OSM Worldwide, which play a significant role in USPS parcel delivery. Read more from Supply Chain Dive.

DOL to raise overtime salary threshold. The U.S. Department of Labor announced a two-step increase in the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum annual salary threshold for overtime pay eligibility. Starting July 1, the threshold rises to $43,888 per year, followed by an increase to $58,656 on Jan. 1, 2025. The changes aim to expand overtime pay eligibility for millions of U.S. workers, with automatic updates every three years.


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.