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Michael L

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But those are long haul tractor/trailer rigs not the short haul drayage tractors & chassis needed to haul away containers.
You usually don't see those containers out on the wide-open highways.
The point was that goods are moving. A lot of goods are moving...

Looking back to yesterday's really long drive (got in at 6am), I agree, I don't recall any containers during my I40 adventures or any other parts of NM and TX for that matter.

But I do see all kinds and sizes of shipping containers on IH10, west of Houston. A major rail line (Houston to El Paso and points west) passes through the town I'm from and I see containers and car haulers on it. Granted...that's not an every day or even every month observation.
 

boomtube-mk2

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/rail-freight-center-supply-chain-030000662.html
“Unfortunately, there is very little the Biden administration can do to materially reduce the current congestion at our freight transportation networks and distribution centers,” Scribner told the Washington Examiner. “These problems are driven by unprecedented goods demand due to pandemic-induced consumption substitution from services to goods. All solutions will take time and will be driven by market conditions, not public policy.”

However, he added, “The administration should absolutely avoid making problems worse through counterproductive regulatory mandates on train crew sizes and mandatory reciprocal switching, two wrongheaded ideas that President Biden has touted in the past.”

Nice to know that somebody has a grip on reality.
 

teepot

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Over the 3 days of The Las Vegas Octoberfest I saw 6 or 8 trains. All were noticeably longer than usual. Most were double stacked container cars. One was all hoppers. One was more freight cars that containers. The size of the the trains was what was notable. Some were going south into California and some were going north towards Salt Lake. So there RR is trying. But what happens when a 100 plus car train with 200 to 300 containers gets where it's going?
 

boomtube-mk2

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All were noticeably longer than usual. Most were double stacked container cars. One was all hoppers.
Were they open or closed hoppers? If open then it was most likely a unit coal train, if closed then there's a high probability it was a grain train.
But what happens when a 100 plus car train with 200 to 300 containers gets where it's going?
120 cars or more, is now typical for a unit double stack with up to 240 containers, more if some of the containers are 20 footers.
And when it gets where it is going . . . that's when it all comes crashing down. Inland/mid-continental intermodal yards are filled to capacity and then some.
Chicago, North America's largest and busiest interchange point between all N. American Class 1 RRs, is, and has been for decades, a nightmare; which is why a lot of said interchange is now being made in Kansas City MO these days but this adds additional time and distance for both Canadian railroads as well as the two eastern U.S. railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern.
 

boomtube-mk2

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rharshberger

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Biden's 24/7 port schedule is pointless when warehouses aren't open at 3 a.m. and there aren't enough truckers to collect cargo, logistics exec says (yahoo.com)

One would think that the warehouses would make it a point to be open 24/7, unless they don't want the stores they service to get their product/s.
I don't know what to do about the truckers situation not to mention there are only so many available cabs and chassis to move these containers with.
Not only are there limited cabs and chassis available but container specific trailer aka "chassis trailer, intermodal trailer, ISO chassis trailer" are less common than regular dry box vans. Putting a intermodal/ConEx container on a flat bed trailer can be done but it is neither a good idea, nor as safe as a specialized trailer. 49 CFR 393 iirc has commodity specific securement requirements for loading an intermodal container on a flat bed, and dock yards do not have the time to wait on a container to be secured to a flatbed truck before the truck can move. A container chassis trailer OTOH the crane operator drops it on the 4 pins, a longshoreman/driver flips 4 levers and off the truck goes, the truck can be moved before the locks are engaged if needed to a area away from the offloading of the ship and the driver can engage the locks.
 

boomtube-mk2

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A container chassis trailer OTOH the crane operator drops it on the 4 pins, a longshoreman/driver flips 4 levers and off the truck goes, the truck can be moved before the locks are engaged if needed to a area away from the offloading of the ship and the driver can engage the locks.
And unlike double-stack well cars a road chasse can only hold one container and they cannot be pulled in tandem so; one cab and driver per container movement.
 

boatgeek

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/rail-freight-center-supply-chain-030000662.html
“Unfortunately, there is very little the Biden administration can do to materially reduce the current congestion at our freight transportation networks and distribution centers,” Scribner told the Washington Examiner. “These problems are driven by unprecedented goods demand due to pandemic-induced consumption substitution from services to goods. All solutions will take time and will be driven by market conditions, not public policy.”

However, he added, “The administration should absolutely avoid making problems worse through counterproductive regulatory mandates on train crew sizes and mandatory reciprocal switching, two wrongheaded ideas that President Biden has touted in the past.”

Nice to know that somebody has a grip on reality.
There is approximately zero chance* that the Biden administration will issue any new regulations that might plausibly slow down freight before this is over. Right now, they have some plausible deniability about whether the crisis is their fault, though they are also going to take some fire by being the administration in charge. They're all smart enough to know that all of the blame will land on them if they change the regulations.

* As we say in our family, "Slim and none, and Slim left town."
 

boatgeek

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We don't need more ports.

We need the gov't to get the heck out of the way, and quit interfering with our work.
I'm not sure the facts bear that out. The only government regulation I've seen discussed here that impacts ports is the CA truck emissions requirements. But the inconvenient fact is that the port of LA is handling more containers than it did last year before the pandemic even started. Take a look at annual stats here and monthly stats here. 2020 container volumes were down only 2% from the all-time high in 2018, and 2021 container volume has been ahead of 2020. so something else is clearly going on.

Also, CA trucking regulations wouldn't cause port backups in Seattle, Savannah, New Orleans, etc. Or backups at intermodal yards throughout the Midwest. So what are the terrible government regulations getting in the way?
 

afadeev

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Quick question on Buying American. There are 4 possible scenarios. Two are simple. My question is about the other two.
A - product is made in US by US company
B - product is made overseas by a foreign owned company
More controversial Scenarios
C - Product is made in US but company is foreign owned. Americans are working but profits go overseas
D - Product is subcontracted out to be manufactured overseas by a US company. No (or few) Americans are employed but profits stay is US
So which is better, Scenario C or D? Obviously A is the best and B is the worst. But curious on people's thoughts on C vs D.
E - Product is the best in class, and deserves your business. Regardless of who made it, and where.
Don't fret about where profits go - all public companies are cross owned up to the wazoo. And your retirement plan invests into all sorts of companies, domestic and international.

Case in point. I was shopping for replacement Dremel oscillating blades (OEM wore out again), and stumbled onto a Project Farm review of 10 brands: DeWalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, Rockwell, Dremel, EZARC, Imperial, Fein, Bauer, and Hercules.

You are welcome to guess which brands have blades made in USA. Or have any manufacturing or services facilities in the US.
You are also welcome to guess which brands are American-owned, or are private, or public.

Frankly, I was pulling for the American-made products to come on top, and would have paid premium for a higher quality product. But they all fell short.
The 2 of of USA-made blades flat out sucked, and the third was middle of the pack.

If anyone cares, the Top-3 winners were: EZarc, Imperial, and Bauer.
I ordered a pack of Carbide-tipped EZarc's.

Can anyone seriously tell me that you would really have bought an inferior, yet still overpriced, US-made alterative?


1635045743522.png
1635045806501.png





P.S.: if you are curious, here are the countries of blade manufacturing for each of the brand: DeWalt (China), Milwaukee (USA of global materials), Bosch (Switzerland), Rockwell (USA), Dremel (Switzerland), EZARC (China), Imperial (USA), Fein (Germany), Bauer (China), and Hercules (China).
 

teepot

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Were they open or closed hoppers? If open then it was most likely a unit coal train, if closed then there's a high probability it was a grain train.

120 cars or more, is now typical for a unit double stack with up to 240 containers, more if some of the containers are 20 footers.
And when it gets where it is going . . . that's when it all comes crashing down. Inland/mid-continental intermodal yards are filled to capacity and then some.
Chicago, North America's largest and busiest interchange point between all N. American Class 1 RRs, is, and has been for decades, a nightmare; which is why a lot of said interchange is now being made in Kansas City MO these days but this adds additional time and distance for both Canadian railroads as well as the two eastern U.S. railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern.
I couldn't see the tops of the cars. But they looked too clean to be coal.
 

scpearson1

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E - Product is the best in class, and deserves your business. Regardless of who made it, and where.
Don't fret about where profits go - all public companies are cross owned up to the wazoo. And your retirement plan invests into all sorts of companies, domestic and international.

Case in point. I was shopping for replacement Dremel oscillating blades (OEM wore out again), and stumbled onto a Project Farm review of 10 brands: DeWalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, Rockwell, Dremel, EZARC, Imperial, Fein, Bauer, and Hercules.

You are welcome to guess which brands have blades made in USA. Or have any manufacturing or services facilities in the US.
You are also welcome to guess which brands are American-owned, or are private, or public.

Frankly, I was pulling for the American-made products to come on top, and would have paid premium for a higher quality product. But they all fell short.
The 2 of of USA-made blades flat out sucked, and the third was middle of the pack.

If anyone cares, the Top-3 winners were: EZarc, Imperial, and Bauer.
I ordered a pack of Carbide-tipped EZarc's.

Can anyone seriously tell me that you would really have bought an inferior, yet still overpriced, US-made alterative?


View attachment 487069 View attachment 487070




P.S.: if you are curious, here are the countries of blade manufacturing for each of the brand: DeWalt (China), Milwaukee (USA of global materials), Bosch (Switzerland), Rockwell (USA), Dremel (Switzerland), EZARC (China), Imperial (USA), Fein (Germany), Bauer (China), and Hercules (China).
I don't mind much to buy items from Switzerland, Germany, etc. in fact some American company profited from importing and selling. China however I avoid when ever possible. China is our biggest threat, building military strength to surpass us, stealing our technology, growing to a economic world power, joining forces with other countries that would like to see us destroyed... and we are shoveling the money to them to accomplish this.

Buying made in China is like sending bullets to someone that wants to do a mass shooting..
 
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afadeev

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I don't mind much to buy items from Switzerland, Germany, etc. in fact some American company profited from importing and selling.
Not sure what you mean, since all companies profit from trade, on all sides of all borders.

China however I avoid when ever possible. China is our biggest threat, building military strength to surpass us, stealing our technology, growing to a economic world power,
Threat? In what sense?
Economically, they are giving us a run for our money. As did Germany in the 80s, Japan in the 90s, EU in 2000's, just as China is doing nowadays. Competition improves the breed!

Just because we are competing with other countries economically and politically, doesn't make them "threats" or "enemies".
For reference, see the historical GDP growth dynamics over the past 5 centuries. There is a lot to be learned from what causes countries to go up and down that chart:

joining forces with other countries that would like to see us destroyed... and we are shoveling the money to them to accomplish this.
"Would like to see us destroyed"? Really?
Care to present any evidence of that?

Not even Chinese military hawks are talking about an open conflict with the US.
Neither does anyone serious in the US, other than a few of militaristic hawks looking for funding. Because a military conflict with China is un-winnable for both sides.
It would be an absolute and total waste or time, money, and effort, for both sides. Thus, it's highly unlikely to occur. Not impossible, but unlikely.

Buying made in China is like sending bullets to someone that wants to do a mass shooting..
This statement reads like an emotional, inflammatory and extreme claim that is totally lacking of any supporting evidence.
You are new to TRF, so I will give you a benefit of a doubt, and politely inform you that we don't do that here. We present evidence, and allow other, intelligent forum members, to draw their own conclusions.

Accordingly, I will wait for you to substantiate your claims.
Otherwise, I trust that you do realize how exactly your claim comes across, and that it's not a credit to your logical thinking dexterity.

a
 

scpearson1

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Not sure what you mean, since all companies profit from trade, on all sides of all borders.



Threat? In what sense?
Economically, they are giving us a run for our money. As did Germany in the 80s, Japan in the 90s, EU in 2000's, just as China is doing nowadays. Competition improves the breed!

Just because we are competing with other countries economically and politically, doesn't make them "threats" or "enemies".
For reference, see the historical GDP growth dynamics over the past 5 centuries. There is a lot to be learned from what causes countries to go up and down that chart:



"Would like to see us destroyed"? Really?
Care to present any evidence of that?

Not even Chinese military hawks are talking about an open conflict with the US.
Neither does anyone serious in the US, other than a few of militaristic hawks looking for funding. Because a military conflict with China is un-winnable for both sides.
It would be an absolute and total waste or time, money, and effort, for both sides. Thus, it's highly unlikely to occur. Not impossible, but unlikely.



This statement reads like an emotional, inflammatory and extreme claim that is totally lacking of any supporting evidence.
You are new to TRF, so I will give you a benefit of a doubt, and politely inform you that we don't do that here. We present evidence, and allow other, intelligent forum members, to draw their own conclusions.

Accordingly, I will wait for you to substantiate your claims.
Otherwise, I trust that you do realize how exactly your claim comes across, and that it's not a credit to your logical thinking dexterity.

a
Well, when you research “Chinese military goals” and "Chinese economic goals" you will find a lot of fact/opinion such as the piece below from Forbs:

“When the US and ultimately the rest of the Western world began to engage China, resulting in China finally being allowed into the World Trade Organization in the early 2000s, no one really expected the outcomes we see today.

There is no simple disengagement path, given the scope of economic and legal entanglements. This isn’t a “trade” we can simply walk away from.

But it is also one that, if allowed to continue in its current form, could lead to a loss of personal freedom for Western civilization. It really is that much of an existential question.

Doing nothing isn’t an especially good option because, like it or not, the world is becoming something quite different than we expected just a few years ago—not just technologically, but geopolitically and socially.

China and the West

Let’s begin with how we got here.

During the Cold War. China was a huge, impoverished odd duck in those years. In the late 1970s, China began slowly opening to the West. Change unfolded gradually but by the 1990s, serious people wanted to bring China into the modern world, and China wanted to join it.

Understand that China’s total GDP in 1980 was under $90 billion in current dollars. Today, it is over $12 trillion. The world has never seen such enormous economic growth in such a short time.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union collapsed and the internet was born. The US, as sole superpower, saw opportunities everywhere. American businesses shifted production to lower-cost countries. Thus came the incredible extension of globalization.

We in the Western world thought (somewhat arrogantly, in hindsight) everyone else wanted to be like us. It made sense. Our ideas, freedom, and technology had won both World War II and the Cold War that followed it. Obviously, our ways were best.

But that wasn’t obvious to people elsewhere, most notably China. Leaders in Beijing may have admired our accomplishments, but not enough to abandon Communism.

They merely adapted and rebranded it. We perceived a bigger change than there actually was. Today’s Chinese communists are nowhere near Mao’s kind of communism. Xi calls it “Socialism with a Chinese character.” It appears to be a dynamic capitalistic market, but is also a totalitarian, top-down structure with rigid rules and social restrictions.

So here we are, our economy now hardwired with an autocratic regime that has no interest in becoming like us.

Referencing Michael Pillsbury:

Michael Paul Pillsbury
is an author, and former public official in the United States. He has been the Director of the Center on Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. since 2014. Before coming to Hudson, he held various postings in the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Senate throughout his career under several administrations.

In The Hundred-Year Marathon, Michael Pillsbury marshals a lot of evidence showing the Chinese government has a detailed strategy to overtake the US as the world’s dominant power.

They want to do this by 2049, the centennial of China’s Communist revolution.

The strategy has been well documented in Chinese literature, published and sanctioned by organizations of the People’s Liberation Army, for well over 50 years.

And just as we have hawks and moderates on China within the US, there are hawks and moderates within China about how to engage the West. Unfortunately, the hawks are ascendant, embodied most clearly in Xi Jinping.

Xi’s vision of the Chinese Communist Party controlling the state and eventually influencing and even controlling the rest of the world is clear. These are not merely words for the consumption of the masses. They are instructions to party members.

Grand dreams of world domination are part and parcel of communist ideologies, going all the way back to Karl Marx. For the Chinese, this blends with the country’s own long history.

It isn’t always clear to Western minds whether they actually believe the rhetoric or simply use it to keep the peasantry in line. Pillsbury says Xi Jinping really sees this as China’s destiny, and himself as the leader who will deliver it.

To that end, according to Pillsbury, the Chinese manipulated Western politicians and business leaders into thinking China was evolving toward democracy and capitalism. In fact, the intent was to acquire our capital, technology, and other resources for use in China’s own modernization.

It worked, too.

Over the last 20–30 years, we have equipped the Chinese with almost everything they need to match us, technologically and otherwise. Hundreds of billions of Western dollars have been spent developing China and its state-owned businesses.

Sometimes this happened voluntarily, as companies gave away trade secrets in the (often futile) hope it would let them access China’s huge market. Other times it was outright theft. In either case, this was no accident but part of a long-term plan.

In any case, we have reached a crossroads. What do we do about China now?

And referencing FBI.GOV:

The counterintelligence and economic espionage efforts emanating from the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party are a grave threat to the economic well-being and democratic values of the United States.

Confronting this threat is the FBI’s top counterintelligence priority.

To be clear, the adversary is not the Chinese people or people of Chinese descent or heritage. The threat comes from the programs and policies pursued by an authoritarian government.

The Chinese government is employing tactics that seek to influence lawmakers and public opinion to achieve policies that are more favorable to China.

At the same time, the Chinese government is seeking to become the world’s greatest superpower through predatory lending and business practices, systematic theft of intellectual property, and brazen cyber intrusions.

China’s efforts target businesses, academic institutions, researchers, lawmakers, and the general public and will require a whole-of-society response. The government and the private sector must commit to working together to better understand and counter the threat.

“The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality, is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray -please click and read



BBC:

China is also threatening Taiwan, and bullying to control disputed waters that are potentially energy-rich.


So, when it comes to a choice of helping the Chinese communist party make a profit by buying "made in China" over another choice I go with the other choice when possible.

In my opinion the "Bullets" analogy, while originally posted lightheartedly is soberingly realistic.
 
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MidOH

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Not even Chinese military hawks are talking about an open conflict with the US.
Neither does anyone serious in the US, other than a few of militaristic hawks looking for funding. Because a military conflict with China is un-winnable for both sides.
It would be an absolute and total waste or time, money, and effort, for both sides. Thus, it's highly unlikely to occur. Not impossible, but unlikely.
War's aren't always started for logical reasons.

Philosophically, it's a lose lose for both sides. But depending on your definition of winnable, it's winnable.
 

dr wogz

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This comes as no surprise but what's worse about this situation is that those containers arrive in the U.S. filled with stuff but the vast majority of them go back to China empty.
I'm sure there is the odd stolen car, and maybe some agricultural stuff..
 

les

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OK - the empty container pays a lower fee, but isn't that better than no fee?
The ship still needs to get back to China to pick up the next load of full containers.
And if China runs out of containers then there is nothing to pick up. Seems short sighted to me......
 

boatgeek

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OK - the empty container pays a lower fee, but isn't that better than no fee?
The ship still needs to get back to China to pick up the next load of full containers.
And if China runs out of containers then there is nothing to pick up. Seems short sighted to me......
"The ships can't make money on empties." This from the same people who are jacking eastbound cargo rates 2x-10x. My heart bleeds for you, buddy.
 

Banzai88

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Complaining about empty containers going back to china is akin to complaining that empty coal cars are going back to the mine.
 

scpearson1

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I will go out on a limb and risk being scrutinized by TRF elders again and say that every incoming container from PRC is full with items made with underpaid labor in unregulated environments. Every empty container, which is usually not as visible as they currently are represents a load of cash sent to China that did not require a container for transport.

In fact if you read the entirety of the article referenced above you will see that they are simply manufacturing and will be charging for additional containers to compensate for those not returned. The flow of wealth will not be halted by a container shortage.
 

jbsommerfeldt

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My brand new car is on a ship in the ocean. Was supposed to be delivered on Nov 18th. Now they are hoping before new year. Sales guy told me "off the record" i may never get it. But, they gave me 10k for my 2013 Ford Escape. I couldnt turn that down. I can get my deposit back.

Could be worse. I shipped a car when I was in the AirForce from seatac to anchorage, took 3 months. But that voyage knocked several containers off the ship. Some familys lost there entire household. My car arrived fine along with my belongings.
 

Banzai88

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Looks like truckers that show up want to work, but that problems with Union labor and operations at the ports are causing issues. Issues that the unions has in their negotiations with port operations contracts: Over-regulation and resistance to automation.
 

boomtube-mk2

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Complaining about empty containers going back to china is akin to complaining that empty coal cars are going back to the mine.
And believe you me the railroads wished they could come up with something to backhaul in those empty coal-gons.
But the real difference between those empty gons going back to the mine vs empty containers going back to China is that with the coal to mine the supplier and customer are both here in the U.S. and the electricity generated by that coal powers the entire U.S. economy to one degree or another.

When manufactured goods arrive from overseas and nothing goes back, that is a trade imbalance wherein hard currency is being sent overseas so said country can use those funds to buy, among other things, U.S. real-estate and interest in U.S. companies. You might be surprised to know just how much of U.S. food production is owned by China.

This is not a good thing.
 
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MidOH

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Looks like truckers that show up want to work, but that problems with Union labor and operations at the ports are causing issues. Issues that the unions has in their negotiations with port operations contracts: Over-regulation and resistance to automation.

Exactly.

Another thing to look for. Hasmat trucks are always in like new condition, they have no choice. Owner operator trucks are always nice and new, they take pride in their work.

Line haul container trucks..............are buckets, most of the time. Calistan isn't allowing old trucks to ship containers. They're banned from the docks. Moving containers isn't the classiest trucking gig out there. Keep an eye peeled for container trucks. They ain't pretty new rigs.

It doesn't take much to disrupt the supply chain.
 

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