Point Global Logistics News of the Week — 1.13.23

What the latest warehouse data is signaling about inflation and the economy

National warehouse storage rates remain elevated, but the prices did not rise quarter over quarter in Q4 2022, according to WarehouseQuote’s just-released Warehouse Pricing Index report.

“Rates remain at these levels as a result of warehouse inventories not coming down significantly in November and December,” said Jordan Brunk, chief marketing officer of WarehouseQuote.

Warehouse pricing and inventory data are indicators of consumer strength. Even as supply chain inflation slows, warehouse rates are high because there is a lot of inventory, which leaves less available space.


Congestion Easing at Ports, Along Southern Border, TRB Speakers Say

WASHINGTON — Nearly three years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chains and international ocean carriers have seen cargo volumes return to pre-pandemic levels.

Now, many manufacturers are considering reshoring and nearshoring their operations to lower costs and make their companies less vulnerable to shipping interruptions, such as those they experienced in 2020 and 2021.

That was one of the conclusions from Maria Boile, a former Rutgers University professor now with the Department of Maritime Studies at the University of Piraeus in Greece.


Labor Disruptions at Ports Quadrupled Globally in 2022

Labor unrest took an unusually heavy toll on ports around the world in 2022, and the outlook for continued economic instability could bring even more upheaval to global supply chains in 2023.

There were at least 38 instances of protests or strikes affecting port operations last year, more than four times as many as in 2021 when the pandemic upended global trade, according to Crisis24, a maritime security consultancy. There were nine incidents in 2020, according to data beginning in July. Crisis24 changed its tracking system at that time, and comparisons with previous years are unavailable.

Workers are feeling the impact of higher fuel and food prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while their wages have remained stagnant, said union experts, freight forwarders and shippers.