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Supply Chain Digest: September 2021

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  • September 9th saw a record 134 vessels in the LAX-LGB San Pedro Bay port complex, which includes 74 vessels counted as “in port” waiting offshore. Of the 134 vessels, 86 are containerships.
  • Kansas City Southern has selected Canadian Pacific as the best of two offers to buy the railroad. The $31 billion dollar bid includes the exchange of 2.884 CP shares and $90 cash for each share of Kansas City Southern. The other bidder, Canadian National still has 5 business days to negotiate amendments to its offer.
  • Echo Global Logistics has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by The Jordan Co., a private equity firm. The $1.3 billion dollar buyout allows Echo Logistics to become privately held.
  • Most of the nine Louisiana refineries shut down by Hurricane Ida have restarted. The refineries have come back online faster than oil production.
  • The Nippon Foundation plans to have a container ship pilot itself from Tokyo Bay to a coastal Japanese city on a 236-mile trip in heavy marine traffic. The journey will be the world’s first test of an autonomous ship in an area of heavy marine traffic.

National average diesel per gallon

Avg truckload RPM


Truckload rates are illustrating the onset of the peak season as rates climb to a 2021 high of $3.37 cost per mile through the first half of September. Pressure on supply chains continues as imports reach record levels. Ports of entry are illustrating the highest index rates within the Rockfarm indexes. For example, Savannah to Charlotte is posting a $4.00 per mile rate while LAX to Dallas reflects rates at $3.78 in conjunction with LAX to Chicago at $3.13. All rates are at or near 2021 record highs. Capacity from major hubs such as Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, and Columbus continue to reflect ongoing capacity challenges since the 1st quarter of 2021.

Rockfarm’s key truckload rate indicators illustrate increasing pressure with the tender reject rate for September climbing to 12.37%. Spot market opportunities decreased slightly in July, however, August jumped to their highest level since March of 2021, reflecting ongoing pressure on shippers to capture truck capacity.

The cost of fuel continues to rise and is nearing the highest levels seen since 2018, but still well short of the $4.15 recorded in January 2013. Oil production, impacted by hurricane Ida, has ramped back up, however, a great deal of the Gulf oil production remains shut down two weeks after Ida made landfall. As of September 10th, 66.4% of crude production remained offline which has prompted two releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Shell and ExxonMobil onshore oil refineries.

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Brad Stewart, President

By Brad Stewart

Co-Founder, CCO

Brad’s journey into logistics began as a Marine Officer and transitioned from the LTL docks to the non-asset side within the logistics service provider arena.  As a co-founder of Rockfarm, Brad drives our business development efforts and delivery of our promise. An Arizona native, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors in his home state with his wife and family.

“Our approach to the market allowed us an opportunity to push forward in 2008 and enable our mission, “lower the cost to serve” to stand as a cornerstone to our company today.”



Connor D. Wolf, (2021 September). Echo Global Logistics to Go Private in $1.3 Billion Buyout https://www.ttnews.com/articles/echo-global-logistics-go-private-13-billion-buyout
AP (2021 September). Kansas City Southern Picks Canadian Pacific Bid, Transport Topics https://www.ttnews.com/articles/kansas-city-southern-picks-canadian-pacific-bid
The Maritime Executive (2021 September). San Pedro Bay Sets Four New Records in One Day as More Vessels Arrive https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/san-pedro-bay-sets-four-new-records-in-oneday-as-more-vessels-arrive
Hellenic Shipping News (2021 September). U.S. Gulf Coast oil Reiners recovering faster than producers https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/u-s-gulf-coast-oil-refiners-recovering-faster-thanproducers/
Supply Chain Brain (2021 September). First Autonomous Cargo Ship Faces Test With 236 – Mile Voyage https://www.supplychainbrain.com/articles/33676-first-autonomous-cargo-ship-facestest-with-236-mile-voyage
Statista, (2021 September). Monthly 12-month inflation rate in the United States https://www.statista.com/statistics/273418/unadjusted-monthly-inflation-rate-in-the-us/
Dan Gilmore, (2021 June). Supply Chain Inflation is Here https://www.scdigest.com/firstthoughts/21-06-11_Supply_Chain_Inflation.php?cid=18763

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