The latest data from S&P Global Market Intelligence shows that U.S. supply chain activity slowed in April. According to S&P Global, seaborne containerized freight imports into the U.S. rose by 8% year-over-year in April, after a 16% increase in March. That was largely due to a slowdown in consumer durable goods like home furnishings and household appliances, which saw a meager 2% increase in April. S&P Global also points to a “mixture of physical, political and labor reasons,” with the looming threat of an East Coast port strike paired with ongoing disruptions in Red Sea shipping lanes. Diversions from East Coast ports leading to rising rail dwell times on the West Coast could trigger “imbalances in the logistics network” in the months to come as well. Meanwhile, recent numbers from Freightos indicate that Red Sea disruptions have caused freight rates for ocean carriers to skyrocket since the start of May, rising by $1,000 per 40-foot-equivalent units. On May 6, Maersk warned that the risk zone in the Red Sea had expanded, predicting impacts to persist through most of the year.

A group of states that loosely parallels those that filed suit last year to stop California’s Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule have taken similar action against the state’s Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) rule, seeking to stop the ACF while it awaits a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency. A key difference between the suits is the defendant. The action filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California is against Steven Cliff, the executive officer of the California Air Resources Board. The suit against ACT filed last June was against the EPA, which already had granted California a waiver to implement the Clean Trucks rule. ACT targets manufacturers of trucks; ACF targets companies that buy and drive them. In tandem, the rules aim to achieve a fully zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) fleet in California by the mid-2040s.

Uber Technologies will acquire the Taiwan business of Delivery Hero-owned Foodpanda for $950 million in cash, as Foodpanda focuses on other markets. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first half of 2025, the firms said in a joint statement on Monday. In a separate agreement, Delivery Hero will sell $300 million in newly issued ordinary shares to Uber. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, senior vice president of delivery at Uber, said the Taiwan market is “fiercely competitive” and the acquisition would help them grow in the market “where online food delivery platforms today still represent just a small part of the food delivery landscape.” Foodpanda is one of the largest online food and grocery delivery platforms in Asia with a presence in markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippines and Hong Kong. In 2016, Germany’s Delivery Hero acquired the company.

UPS and FedEx are battling to win a larger share of the small shipper segment as major customers in-source their deliveries, switch to new providers and grapple with market declines. Small- and medium-sized businesses are driving much of the volume growth in the business-to-consumer delivery space and their deliveries are typically more profitable for the carriers than large-scale customers. That makes them a prime target for delivery providers amid a soft demand environment. To meet these shippers’ needs, both UPS and FedEx have launched an array of initiatives in recent years they hope will capture a larger share of the valuable customer segment.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, Breaking the Law by Judas Priest.

The post This Week in Logistics News (May 11 – 16) appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.