Point Global Logistics Weekly Update 3-3-23

Despite big gains in New York, Los Angeles remained top port in 2022

For a brief moment last year, the Port of New York and New Jersey made waves with a single stat: It had become the largest port in the United States, dethroning the long-standing volume leader, the Port of Los Angeles.

Though the East Coast port only kept the top spot for a few months — falling back to the #2 spot by December — its gains over the years made it the second-largest port in the nation, outpacing the Port of Long Beach in 2022. The Port of New York and New Jersey has been gaining market share since the pandemic, growing its volumes by more than 2 million TEUs in the past five years.

Gains at the top of the ranking reflect a broader trend of rising volumes for U.S. ports. See a full ranking of U.S. containerports that handled more than a million TEUs in 2022 below.

For February, Carloads, Intermodal Volume Decline

U.S rail traffic in February 2023 lagged the same month last year—down 5.2% or 101,452 carloads and intermodal units, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported March 1. This follows January’s 3.2% drop from the prior-year period; while carloads rose slightly during the first month of the year, intermodal experienced its worst January since 2013.

According to AAR, U.S. Class I railroads in February 2023 hauled 1,849,723 carloads and intermodal units, comprising 905,744 carloads (down 1.6%) and 943,979 containers and trailers (down 8.4%). In contrast, February 2022 U.S. rail traffic experienced big year-over-year gains largely due to severe winter storms holding back volumes in 2021; February 2019 U.S. rail traffic was behind February 2018, reflecting weather and/or economic and trade-related uncertainty.

DAT’s January Truckload Volume Index is solid to start 2023

The January edition of the DAT Truckload Volume Index (TVI), which was recently issued by DAT Freight & Analytics kicked off 2023 in strong fashion.

The DAT Truckload Volume Index reflects the change in the number of loads with a pickup date during that month, with the actual index number normalized each month to accommodate any new data sources without distortion, with a baseline of 100 equal to the number of loads moved in January 2015. It measures dry van, refrigerated (reefer), and flatbed trucks moved by truckload carriers.

January’s van freight TVI—at 223—was up 2.8% compared to December and also up 2.8% annually. The refrigerated TVI—at 174—was up 3.0% compared to December and up 3.6% annually. And the flatbed TVI—at 218—was up 10.7% compared to December and was up 12.4% annually.