Trucking carriers shift capacity to capture port volumes

Outbound volumes from Los Angeles (OTVI.LAX) have climbed 12% in the past ten days, while Savannah’s volumes (OTVI.SAV) have skyrocketed an astonishing 127% since September 5.Spot rates out of Savannah have remained flat, as most of the moves leaving the port are regional and capacity stays in the market. Los Angeles has been a different story. While tender rejections (OTRI.LAX) have trended downward in Los Angeles all month, shippers have realized that it’s in their interest to pay for service. According to DAT’s RateView tool, dry van spot rates from Los Angeles to Dallas have averaged $2.07 net of fuel over the past seven days, a 13% premium against September’s average of $1.82. Rates from Los Angeles to El Paso have been elevated since June, and have trended up slightly to $2.37 net of fuel over the past seven days.

Eventually, we expect more volatility in Savannah prices. We’ve heard from international freight forwarders that steamship lines are pushing their East Coast services because capacity is so tight going into the West Coast; that may be why rates into Savannah have been discounted.Although Los Angeles’ outbound volumes are at year-to-date highs, so far rich contract rates and more trucks have kept prices under control. Trucking capacity in the Los Angeles market (TRUK.LAX) has swelled by 15% since May, compared to an increase in overall national capacity (TRUK.USA) of 5%.

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