By Susan Guarino, Vice President Sales, Contract Logistics
We are less than a month away from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) annual conference and trade show in Texas – the largest event of its kind and one that sets the stage each year for retail and logistics organizations across the country. I’ve been attending RILA for nearly two decades now, and I am confident of one thing: the crisis in the Red Sea will be one of the primary topics of discussion.
Since the middle of October 2023, ships crossing the Red Sea have been under regular threat of attack by the militant groups responding to the Israeli-Hamas conflict. The situation is forcing many shipping lines to bypass the Suez Canal and sail around Africa to reach Europe and North America, which is resulting in transit delays and cost increases for shippers. It’s highly possible that within a few weeks – by the time we are all gathering at RILA – the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach may be experiencing congestion from the increased throughput as import volumes shift to West Coast ports for discharge. Products may either get held up or diverted elsewhere.
I’ve been consulting with many of my customers who are considering diverting their containers now, instead of waiting to see how the situation plays out. If retailers can divert their shipments to ports like Savannah or Charleston, STG can remove their products from the containers and deliver them by rail to Los Angeles, or whatever destination they need to reach. It will be infinitely easier for us to transload their products before a port congestion crisis hits than once it happens.
At STG Logistics, we can assist any client requiring help with containerized freight shipments. We are a fast growing $2 billion company, and our solutions are centered around our assets. With nationwide drayage, over the road and intermodal capabilities, we have the flexibility and the control necessary to navigate situations like the Red Sea crisis and provide solutions for our customers across every major port of entry in the US. While we may not be able to control areas of international instability, we are laser focused on creative solutions, providing practical and proven recommendations on behalf of our clients. We can do this because not only are we the largest containerized port
STG is built on a strong foundation, with leaders who understand the constantly changing market, and adapt accordingly. We have so many options to discuss with customers, and I’m looking forward to many of those conversations happening at RILA. It’s incredibly energizing and fulfilling to find opportunities and solutions for our customers. I look forward to seeing you there!