Are we Seeing Signs of Life?

The first chart below shows the import volume for LAX (blue line) as well as Savannah (green line) on the east coast.  Certainly there is the Feb/Mar dip due to the Chinese New Year & COVID outbreak, but we are seeing the volume start to increase as China comes back on-line.  Unfortunately, what we don’t know is what percent of these imports is freight that will actually move inland immediately versus freight deemed non-essential or not able to move inland due to businesses being closed.  However, as we have mentioned previously, the non-essential freight eventually has to move inland as ocean trade can not exist without a consistent flow of containers back/forth.

If you look at the second chart, which looks at total import volume (blue line) versus the outbound freight tender volume (orange line), there is definitely a correlation with the exception of the last 5-6 weeks.  Eventually, we anticipate these to again closely mirror each other in ebb & flow, so seeing the total import volume tick up will lead to an uptick in the over-the-road volume.  Brighter days are ahead, whether that is 2 weeks or 2 months from happening is yet to be seen.