NPL Newsletter: Market Updates & Insights

February 9th, 2024

This week’s newsletter covers trends in fuel pricing, regional capacity, and the market; both domestically and internationally. Additionally, we introduce NPConnect, a new client portal offering that combines everything from live shipment tracking to document management and more! Lastly, we delve into Super Bowl economics, exploring logistical challenges and economic trends surrounding the event.

via DAT Trendlines Index
via Journal of Commerce Gateway Index

Similar to the past few weeks, the Southeast, Great Lakes and South Central regions still remain tight / very tight. Capacity has been increasingly tough to source out of these regions so look to pay more than expected to carriers on outbound loads. The West Coast continues to loosen up across all modes, with 5/6 of the lanes in that region measuring as very loose. Reefer capacity appears to be loosening up compared to the last few weeks. The chart shows that the Pacific Northwest, California and Lower Atlantic are all loose and the Upper Midwest has moved from Tight to Neutral week to week. This is a large swing from a few weeks ago when the entire mode was registering tight / very tight capacity.

New Client Portal: NPConnect

Exciting news from the NPL team! We have been working hard over the past 6 months to roll out enhanced technology tools to our clients. And now, our new Client Portal, NPConnect, islive. NPConnect offers a streamlined view of all of your shipments—past and present. 

Track your shipments effortlessly across various transportation phases all in one place, including ocean and trucking, encompassing full truckloads and drayage moves. With automated container tracking, you’ll have access to live steamship line data, ensuring unparalleled visibility into your cargo’s journey.We are still developing LTL integrations, be on the lookout for this functionality to be added in the coming months.  

NPConnect also provides easy access to essential shipment documents, including packing lists, commercial invoices, Bills of Lading, customs documents, quotes, and invoices, right at your fingertips.

Delve deeper into analytics to gain invaluable insights into your shipment history, transportation modes, top lanes, average transit times, and much more. Our platform is designed to empower you with the knowledge needed to optimize your logistics operations effectively, while still leveraging NPL’s expert personnel. 

We are in the process of rolling out access to all clients, however if you would like immediate access please send us an email with the name and email addresses of those in your company who would like to have access to the portal, so our team can send logins right away. The “Login” button on our website’s homepage (top right corner), will take you straight to the login page.

We’re confident this intuitive platform will bring immense value to our clients. Please share your questions or feedback with us, as we are actively working on improving the platform.

Super Bowl Economics: A Look at the Logistics of the Big Game
NorthPoint Logistics is thrilled to join the excitement surrounding the upcoming Super Bowl weekend, where our beloved Chiefs will once again vie for the Lombardi trophy. In the spirit of this highly anticipated event, we’re eager to shed light on some of the fascinating economic trends spurred by the Sunday night showdown. As over 110 million viewers gear up to watch the clash between Kansas City and San Francisco in Super Bowl LVIII, the remarkable consumption of food and its logistical journey to households nationwide often goes underappreciated. Recent consumer spending data from the National Retail Federation reveals that Americans are poised to spend a record $17.3 billion on Super Bowl-related expenses this year, signaling a 5% increase from the previous year.

Super Bowl Sunday is slated to witness a staggering consumption of goods, including over 12 billion chicken wings, 50 million cases of beer, 28 million pounds of chips, and a whopping 54 million avocados. Analysts predict that meeting these demands will entail coordinating over 30,000 truckloads across the US. Notably, avocados are experiencing a substantial surge in demand, particularly for guacamole, a quintessential Super Bowl snack. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that historically, the Super Bowl season constitutes approximately 20% of annual avocado sales, with Mexico serving as the primary supplier, contributing about 81% of avocados consumed in the U.S. Last year alone witnessed the importation of over 6,000 truckloads of avocados from Mexico in the weeks leading up to the game.

Furthermore, Mexican beer, valued at about $5 billion annually, witnesses a notable uptick in imports preceding the Super Bowl. In 2023, Modelo Especial lager surpassed Bud Light as the top-selling beer in the US market, emphasizing the significance of Mexican imports. The substantial influx of avocados, Mexican beer, and other produce imported for the game’s festivities underscores the critical role played by US-Mexico ports of entry. Notably, 90% of the nation’s avocado imports flow through the gates of Laredo and Pharr, while 70% of Mexican beer clears through Eagle Pass.

As the Super Bowl logistics unfold, we encourage our clients and partners to join us in cheering for the Chiefs this Sunday! Let’s root for our team while appreciating the intricate supply chain logistics that make game day celebrations possible.