FedEx Freight has chartered some small ships and arranged with a few shippers to ship full 53-foot containers manufactured in China to the US Port Hueneme, CA. Port Hueneme is a small facility jointly used with the US military. Cargo use is allowed when there is no overriding military activity.
Doing this will allow FedEx Freight to bypass the logjams at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. It also allows FedEx Freight to put the containers on its rail network for long-distance transport to inland locations. FedEx Freight is mostly an LTL service; ultimately most of the containers will be unloaded at a FedEx depot for the last mile of transport.
Other firms have been following similar strategies recently. It’s one way of getting past the bottlenecks in the LA/LB area. That should help FedEx customers. But the ships are small, and the volume will not be large. It will also produce more empty containers here in the US, and FedEx will need to figure out where to put them and how to get them back to China or elsewhere for another trip.
To the extent the bottleneck is due to surplus empty containers and a shortage of chassis, and irrational appointment behavior for delivery of empties, all this does is route a bit of cargo by another path. But no one should be criticized for examining and using alternate strategies in these hectic times.
Eric Kulisch, Air Cargo Editor Friday, January 14, 2022FedEx Logistics charters vessels to move China exports, rail containers – FreightWaves