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.