Point Global Logistics News of the Week — 11.25.22

Potential for rail shutdown rises as largest union rejects labor deal

The largest rail union in the U.S. rejected its labor contract Monday, setting the stage for a potential shutdown of the nation’s freight rail system in as soon as two weeks.

Rank-and-file members of SMART-TD rejected the agreement, with 50.87% of conductors represented by the contract voting it down. The rejection comes the same day the country’s second largest union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, announced its members approved their contract.

“SMART-TD members with their votes have spoken, it’s now back to the bargaining table for our operating craft members,” SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson said in a statement.

Carriers Feeling Cheery About On-Time Holiday Deliveries

The nation’s major shipping companies are in the best shape to get holiday shoppers’ packages delivered on time since the start of the pandemic, suggesting a return to normalcy.

Carriers like the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS project to have enough capacity after struggling under the holiday crush for the past two years, when many people hunkered down at home and turned to online shopping.

The system is already being put to the test ahead of big shopping days on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when retailers entice shoppers with bargains. Amazon held a second Prime Day in October to jump-start early holiday sales, but some shoppers are still holding out for deals in the coming days.

S&P forecasts shipping rate recovery in 2024 after dip next year

Analyst believes increased scrapping and slower speeds will help container ships and other sectors

Weakening sectors such as liner shipping are set for a return to pre-pandemic rate levels next year, but there could be a recovery in 2024, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The consultancy’s lead shipping analyst, Daejin Lee, said limited ship supply growth driven by new International Maritime Organization efficiency regulations is likely to boost freight markets in the medium to long term.

“Freight rates may return to the pre-pandemic level in 2023 with absence of congestion and weaker economic condition,” he added.

Point Global Logistics Weekly Update — 11.11.22

Top North American Seaports and Airports Realize Record Volumes

Seaports across North America spent last year playing catch-up after the disruptions caused by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and the resurgence in freight demand as the economy recovered. Despite numerous challenges including supply short­ages and container backlogs, several major ports recorded record-breaking years in terms of container volumes in 2021.

This growth is evident on Transport Topics’ new Top 25 list of the largest container ports in North America. The list ranks ports on the basis of 2021 cargo throughput as measured in 20-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs.

Retailers Again Cut Forecasts for U.S. Imports as Global Trade Slows

As global trade continues to slow, its is impact the shipping industry as well as ports and related businesses. The effects are beginning to show in more forecasts with the National Retail Federation, for example, today lowering its projection for U.S. imports. While still forecasting a “healthy” and “positive” holiday retailing season in the United States, they foresee an accelerating decline in imports into 2023.

“Global trade is showing an unsteady path, even if this development is not evenly distributed across all countries,” notes Vincent Stamer, Head of Kiel Trade Indicator, in the latest update on the widely followed economic report for Germany and the EU.

Union vs. Union Dispute Stalls West Coast Port Labor Talks

A dispute between two unions over which workers get certain jobs at a cargo-handling terminal at the Port of Seattle is holding up labor talks between West Coast dockworkers and their employers.

Shipping industry officials had hoped the talks, which began in May, would have concluded around now. Instead, officials say the discussions have stalled for about three months after dockworkers declined to discuss major contract issues pending resolution of the dispute at Seattle.

The Seattle dispute pits the International Longshore and Warehouse Union against the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Point Global Logistics News of the Week — 11.4.22

USDOT Dedicates $700 Million for Port Improvement Projects

Additional funding for the country’s ports was recently announced as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to facilitate the movement of freight along key supply chains.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing more than $700 million to nearly four dozen ports for improvement projects. The funding, approved in the $1 trillion infrastructure law, will target coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports and inland river ports.

3 Port of Oakland terminals reopen following union walkout

Several terminals at the Port of Oakland were shut down for most of the day Wednesday after workers affiliated with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union walked off the job over a local contract dispute.

Three terminals — Oakland International Container Terminal, Everport and TraPac — shut down during the day shift after the unexpected labor action, port spokesperson Marilyn Sandifur said in an email. The terminals resumed operations for the night shift, which began at 6 p.m. yesterday. Normal operations are expected on Thursday.

Mississippi barge quagmire leaves exporters looking for alternative routes

Anxiety has been growing among US agriculture exporters as barges limp down a Mississippi River hobbled by closures and stoppages.

And the US Army Corps of Engineers is engaged in a frustrating game of ‘whack-a-mole’, trying to unclog blockages along the river.

Water levels of the Mississippi fell to record lows last month with the persistent lack of rain and shipping has been severely hit by a combination of closures – to allow for dredging in critical areas – and pile-ups as vessels and barges ground in shallow water.

As soon as one blockage is removed, another occurs just along the river.

Point Global Logistics News of the Week — 10.21.22

Here are some of the most notable logistics industry news updates for the week of October 21, 2022 from Point Global Logistics.


California to fund $1.2B in port improvement projects

California will spend $1.2 billion to upgrade port and supply chain infrastructure, with most of the money earmarked for improving the flow of goods at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The California State Transportation Agency last Wednesday issued guidelines and a call for projects that would help “build a more efficient, sustainable and resilient goods movement system,” in a press release. The funding, part of the state’s recently-created port and freight infrastructure program, was finalized in the California state budget in June.


New lockdowns in key Chinese transport hubs hobble supply chains again

Lockdowns in key Chinese port cities are again hampering supply chains, despite a “muted” peak season.

And President Xi gave no indication of a change to China’s zero-Covid policy at the Communist Party Congress this week, where he is expected to obtain a record third five-year term in office.

Indeed, in what has now become a regular occurrence, Covid restrictions are impacting supply chains in Ningbo, Shanghai, and Tianjin.


September truck tonnage readings are mixed, reports ATA

September truck tonnage data, which was issued this week by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) was mixed.

The ATA’s advanced Seasonally Adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, for September, came in at 118.8 (2015=100), for a 0.5% increase, following a 2.1% August gain (revised down from an original reading of a 2.8% gain), to 118.2. That was preceded by a 1.5% July decline, which was downwardly revised from an original 1.1% decrease.

That June gain was preceded by a 0.3% (downwardly revised from 0.5%) May increase. This was preceded by a 1.4% April decline, which was upwardly revised from an original reading of a 2% decrease. SA tonnage was up 1.8% in March.

Point Global Logistics News of the Week – 10.14.22

Mississippi River levels are dropping too low for barges to float

The Mississippi River is flowing at its lowest level in at least a decade, and until rain relieves a worsening drought in the region, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain water levels high enough to carry critical exports from the nation’s bread basket.

Areas of persistent and developing drought stretch across much of the Mississippi basin, which itself covers 41 percent of the contiguous United States. Though record-setting storms caused catastrophic flooding in parts of the watershed this summer, the past few months have been among the driest on record in parts of the Heartland, at a time of year when river levels are normally hitting their low points. And long-term forecasts suggest that unusually dry weather is likely to continue.

Freight Labor Unrest Is Going Global and Weighing on Supply Chains

From seaport docks in Los Angeles and Liverpool to rail yards in Chicago and warehouses in Europe and the U.S., clashes between cargo workers and management have been rising this year, adding complications and uncertainty to the flow of goods around the world.

A two-week strike that dockworkers at the U.K.’s Liverpool port launched Tuesday is the latest in a series of walkouts to hit the country’s transportation networks, and follows an agreement in the U.S. last week that averted a potential nationwide freight rail strike hours before it was set to begin.

US container imports expected to fall as freight rates hit multi-year lows

The rise and rise of reefer freight rates means fewer choices on supermarket shelves as some perishable products are priced out of the market.

Furthermore, a lack of available containers is creating “tough times” for many reefer shippers and their import partners, according to a reefer market update by DHL Global Forwarding.

It said: “A lot of places in the world at the moment lack reefer equipment. Additionally, dry container rates keep increasing to levels above reefer containers. As a result, shipping lines allocate space rather to dry instead of reefers.

Point Global Logistics News of the Week 10.7.22

Carriers work to restore service after Hurricane Ian

Carriers are continuing their work to restore service after Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida last week, halting delivery and transportation operations.

The hurricane made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, devastating the southwest portion of the state and killing at least 101 people, CNN reported. As the state shifts into recovery mode, the Port of Jacksonville resumed normal operations Saturday and parcel carriers UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service have been gradually resuming service in parts of the state affected by the storm.

Source: Transportdive.com

Port of New York moves ahead with new threshold for empty container fee on ocean carriers

The Port of New York and New Jersey is moving ahead with new shipping container requirements for ocean carriers and fees for violations. The container late fee, which was originally to be implemented on Sept. 1, was delayed to allow for talks with ocean carriers about their concerns.

“The ocean carriers were not opposed to paying another fee, it was the process and mechanism we chose,” said Bethann Rooney, director for the Port of New York and New Jersey. “The one size fits all mentality would not work for every carrier.”

Source: CNBC

Rising costs push up breakeven bar for shipping lines as demand slumps

As mainhaul voyage results decline significantly and more ships are taken out of service due to the collapse in demand, ocean carriers may be obliged to downgrade their outlook for the year.

The speed of the demand slump has blindsided carriers confident of the integrity of contracted volumes, but booking forecasts are down sharply as consumers prioritize higher housing and energy costs, leaving retail inventories overstocked.

And according to Lars Jensen, CEO of Vespucci Maritime, the rapid unwinding of port congestion is resulting in “a continued release of capacity”, which “combined with weak demand is fuelling the market downturn”.

Source: The Loadstar

Employee Spotlight: Baris Aytan

Born and raised on the Aegean coast of Turkey, in the city of Ayvalik, Baris Aytan came to the U.S. to pursue his undergraduate degree. After completing his Master’s degree in International Transportation Management at SUNY Maritime College in New York City, he began his career working in the logistics industry.

Baris started Point Global Logistic’s New Jersey branch where he has served as Branch Manager since March 2020. His daily tasks included a hands-on involvement in most aspects of the business from sales to procurement to bookings. “I love the fact that, when you move a wide range of commodities (finished goods and raw materials alike) to/from many different countries (economies), you have a front-row view into the world economy. What we do is basically a reflection of the current global economic landscape, and this makes it quite interesting.”

Baris is a busy professional with a young family of two girls (one three-year-old and one nine-month-old). His family also includes a Shetland Sheepdog (aka Sheltie) named Quinn, and two cats, Finn and Fiona. He spends his spare time training year-round for bike racing at the top level in the United States. He’s been racing since 2015 and races March through September for a New York City-based team.

He’s traveled extensively In Europe and in Central America, Caribbean islands, and parts of South America where he used to work onboard cargo ships. Despite his wide travels, he hasn’t been to the Far East and would like to one day see Bangkok, Thailand.

His biggest career lesson is “finding ways to deliver additional value, above and beyond what is expected of your service, to the customers. At the end of the day, everybody in our industry is capable of offering similar shipping services at similar cost structures, so this would set you aside from the herd.” Thank you for all you do at Point Global Logistics!

We are hiring!

We are seeking a Branch Manager to join our team!

Job description

Point Global Logistics is a global, independent freight forwarder and logistics provider with branch offices in Asheville, Houston, Charlotte, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Dominican Republic and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and an extensive network of 85 partners throughout 38 countries around the world. Founded in 2014, we deliver transportation solutions to our clients by matching our expertise with personal attention to every detail in the supply chain.

Due to our fast growth in 2021, we are expanding into multiple new markets, including but not limited to Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and Dallas. 

We are seeking Branch Managers to set up Point Global in one or more of these markets.  This is an incredibly unique opportunity to establish a presence in a rapidly growing business. This person will be responsible for hiring, training and developing a talented team along with working closely with the founder of the organization to develop a growth strategy with a potential for role expansion in the future.  An entrepreneurial mindset is a must.

What needs to be done:

  • Partake in the establishment of an overall strategy for the Branch
  • Establishment of hands-on approach to developing current and new business opportunities
  • Establishment and oversight of operating procedures including but not limited to rate quotes and proposals, independent procedures for air, ocean and land transportation etc.
  • Represent the market internally to other PGL stakeholders including weaving local strategy into the Global program
  • Provide monthly reporting, including file closings and budgeting

Who you are:

  • Self-starter with deep experience in freight forwarding, understanding industry terminology and management of client and vendor relationships
  • Internally known for their “Servant Leader” attitude when developing teams – ideally management experience of 7+ representatives
  • Externally known for their superior client partnering – an excellent Brand Ambassador
  • Heavy focus on team development; always looking for the next person who can take on more responsibility
  • Possesses extensive knowledge of the changing market and how to utilize technology to optimize business opportunities

General requirements:

  • 10+ years of logistics experience, 3-5 years at a managerial level
  • Track record and history of setting and exceeding departmental sales goals
  • Proven take charge performer who is successful at multi-tasking
  • Superior negotiation and problem-solving skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and excellent ability in personal interaction
  • Ability to follow through with tasks to their completion
  • Very organized and detail-oriented
  • Bachelor’s degree strongly preferred or equivalent work experience

What we offer:

  • Attractive compensation package
  • An opportunity to truly own and build a market with the backing of a global brand
  • Advancement Potential

Application Submission:

Apply via email to dhogg@pointgl.com

December Employee Spotlight: Marcelo Bueno

Originally from Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil, Marcelo Bueno started working for Point Global Logistics in July of 2012. Marcelo serves as our Airfreight and Seafreight Coordinator for the Rio De Janeiro branch of Point Global logistics.

In terms of his daily roles, he is generally very productive. His job duties include providing excellent customer service and ensuring all transactions are done correctly and efficiently. The best lesson that Marcelo has learned throughout his career is to always stay focused.

When he is not performing his duties as our Airfreight and Seafreight Coordinator, he enjoys listening to music and roller skating. You can also find him spending time with his two dogs or relaxing and enjoying his favorite meal, which is codfish. In the future, Marcelo dreams of visiting the city of Aberdeen, located in Northeast Scotland.

Thank you, Marcelo, for sharing a little bit more about yourself. We are so thankful to have you on our team!

November Staff Spotlight: Mike Sever

Mike sever

We would like to introduce our Houston Operations Manager, Mike Sever. Mike was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and worked in various construction trades there before moving to Texas. He later worked for a Crating company headquartered near the port of Houston.

Mike’s daily tasks include handling various requirements involving imports, exports, air, sea, and road freight. His favorite part about the job is “Seeing a project that has been in planning and development for many months, finally come to fruition.”

In his free time, he takes long drives with no particular destination and spends time with his adult children and five grandchildren participating in their various hobbies, sports and adventures.

Matagalpa, Nicaragua is Mike’s dream travel destination. He fell in love with the place while visiting there many years ago. Everything from the people, to the culture, to the city, makes Matagalpa “like Heaven on Earth.”

Favorite restaurants of Mike’s include Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet and La Casita Mexican Restaurant, “a little ‘mom n’ pop’ with the friendliest owners.”

Mike was “adopted” by Doodles, a small, ferocious dog weighing in at a proud 11 lbs, and Tundra, a cat who likes to eat and sleep.

The best career lesson he has learned is “It is not the title that makes the man, but the man that makes the title.”

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about Mike!