Tallies, totals and other trend data in the freight transportation realm



THE Alliance and Evergreen launched a new Asia-US Gulf service with the inaugural sailing of the ONE Modern calling on Port NOLA June 21 and marking Port NOLA’s third weekly direct-Asia container service. THE Alliance’s East Coast Loop 6 and Evergreen’s Asia US Gulf service includes Ocean Network Express, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine Yang Ming Line and Evergreen. The new service expands New Orleans’ direct connectivity with Asian markets for importers and exporters, adds a new direct port of call to Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan and offers additional options for customers, Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy Christian said.


The Port of Montreal signed a cooperation and development agreement with Greenfield Global, which specializes in the production of biofuels, port officials announced June 10. The signed cooperation and development agreement aims to “identify, conceive and implement green energy solutions. Among them: green hydrogen, ethanol and methanol. “As one of the most environmentally responsible ports in North America according to Green Marine’s annual ranking, by achieving the highest level (5) across all environmental matters, the Port of Montreal is continuing its transition to clean technologies and low-carbon fuels,” port officials said.


“With demand returning steel supply is tight. US steelmakers are taking longer to restart capacity which had been taken offline during the pandemic. Pricing has increased. The delivered price of new rail cars is up, which affects the value of existing equipment (but 22% of the rail-car fleet remains in storage as of June 1).” — RESIDCO email newsletter issued June 18. RESIDCO specializes in structured solutions for acquisitions, financing and dispositions regarding rail equipment leasing in North America.


Port Houston recorded its best-ever twenty-foot-equivalent-unit (TEU) total for the month of May with 288,127, a 30% increase compared with May 2020’s 222,250 TEUs, the port announced June 15. Year-to-date, Port Houston container terminals have recorded an increase of 8% over last year. In 2020, the port surpassed the 3 million TEU mark for the first time, with a total of 3,001,164 TEUs for the year. 


J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and autonomous driving technology developer Waymo are collaborating to autonomously move freight in Texas for one of J.B. Hunt’s customers. “We’ll be using our Class 8 trucks operated by the Waymo Driver on one of the most highly utilized freight corridors in the country, I-45, hauling goods between facilities in Houston and Fort Worth,” Waymo officials said on June 10. Added J.B. Hunt Chief Sustainability Officer Craig Harper: “While we believe there will be a need for highly skilled, professional drivers for many years to come, it is important for J.B. Hunt as an industry leader to be involved early in the development of advanced autonomous technologies and driving systems to ensure that their implementation will improve efficiency while enhancing safety.”


“Consistent with the past few years, Outbound Tender Volumes dipped during the Memorial Day holiday and then quickly rebounded afterward. Compared to the Outbound Tender Volume Index levels during this time in the previous two years, current OTVI is 45.92% higher than 2020 and 57.25% higher than 2019.” — Schneider National Inc.’s Shipping and Transportation Market update report, issued June 17.


On June 17, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation released its June Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market was 71.3, steady with the May index of 72.1, MCI-EFI officials said. “Companies across all industries are investing in new projects to stay ahead and better serve their customers, while also investing in technology and programs to better serve their employees in the ‘new normal’ hybrid work environment,” said survey respondent Alan Sikora, CEO of First American Equipment Finance, an RBC / City National Company. The index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by executives from the $900 billion equipment finance sector.


The construction of a new inland port at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers took another step forward as the Alexander Cairo Port District recently completed a project labor agreement with the Illinois AFL-CIO. The agreement “ensures that more than 500 jobs created by the construction of the Cairo port will be filled by local Illinois union workers,” Alexander-Cairo Port District officials said on June 18.


Mexico recorded 692 commercial cargo thefts in April, according to Schneider National Inc.’s Mexico Transportation Market Update, issued June 17. The most stolen items were food and beverage, clothing and footwear, auto parts, steel, tires, wine and liquor. “While most cargo thefts occur in the central and central western regions of the country, the state of Nueva Leon in northern Mexico — which includes a key border crossing with Laredo, Texas —‚ has also been plagued by crime,” according to the report. “In 2020, the state of Nuevo Leon recorded more than 550 cargo thefts, according to SESNSP.”

831.6 million

The North America railway automated inspection equipment market is “estimated to hit $831.6 million by 2027,” registering a compound annual growth rate of 4.9% from 2020 to 2027, according to a report issued June 21 by Allied Market Research. The firm pegged the market at $643.6 million in 2019. Rise in demand for passenger and freight capacity, increase in number of rail projects, and a “surge in concern for railroad inspection and maintenance activities” will drive the growth, Allied Market Research officials said.  

6 billion

“In the Fireside Chat at ASLRRA/Kansas City, the CN/KCS leadership did a solid job defending their positions. They obviously don’t buy into any dark conspiracy theories. CN’s JJ Ruest best articulated their position on the new (Digitalized) DSR, and specifically the 70-mile line sale mitigation against the argument that there is so much more actual north-south competition despite the distance between the two (KCS and CN/IC) corridors by saying, essentially, enough theory, what about any actual customers hurt (which to my knowledge hasn’t been publicly done). KSU’s Pat Ottensmeyer defended their PSR journey (“Service Begets Growth”), which has actually been praised by the STB, and then held up the world’s smallest railway map, but correctly noting there was significant other C1 presence in the broad N/S middle region. Do transload customers count? Which ones? Do you ignore the $6 billion (estimated) trucking business in that corridor, which should be counted and which could be captured? Oh, and by the way, most of the railway (Big 4) interest is East-West…” — Independent transportation analyst Tony Hatch, in a June 22 email to his clients