“Davos on the Docks,” as it was called in Bloomberg, the JOC’s annual TPM conference was held in late February and early March in Long Beach. TPM is when the world gathers to talk all things transpacific ocean shipping. Perhaps humorously, the JOC has eschewed the full former name of the event – the Transpacific Maritime Conference – favoring the less-of-a-mouthful “TPM”.

Whatever you call it, we were in attendance with a four-person strong delegation, including myself, Vice President of Strategic Accounts Mike Mays, Chief Business Development Officer Chad Fiala, and Sales Manager Gary Pittman. Over the course of the event, we weren’t in many of the sessions but instead spent our time in meetings communicating with beneficial cargo owners, logistics companies, carriers, draymen, warehouse operators, and others, all in pursuit of the answer to the same question on everyone’s minds:

“What the heck is going to happen this year?”

We took away from all of our conversations that everybody’s perspective is different.  Importers with a glut of inventory they’re still trying to work down in warehouses see it one way. Carriers and truckers looking for a share of what’s out there right now are looking at it another way. Then, there are the opportunists we saw step into the drayage world last year thinking they could capitalize on the good times, only to be nowhere to be found or shadows of their beefed up organizations today. 

Many of the discussions we had with BCOs surrounded those inventory levels and when they forecasted working through that inventory. It’s no secret that the delays up and down the west coast forcing deliveries of seasonal or holiday merchandise not by days, but by weeks and months, have left those companies still working through inventory a year or more later. Seasonal merchandise is, and was, upside down.

The most encouraging sign was something Mike Mays heard recurring in his conversations. Collectively, the ask from everyone was, “What can we do to help each other?” There is a recognition, whether post-pandemic or post-hyper peak, that this is a remarkably interconnected industry and if we’re going support the needs of supply chains, we will need transparency, technology and information sharing, not just about what is en route but what is on order and where it is destined.

For more than forty years, ITG Transportation has built up relationships with local, regional and national carriers in the business of providing a host of services to our BCO and 3PL clients nationwide. The people who come and go in boom and bust markets aren’t the ones who our customers rely on for drayage, warehousing, transloading and other transportation services. We operate nationwide,, and it’s our job is to know the ins and outs of terminal hours from Seattle to Savannah and the best way to find a chassis for an export load in the heart of the country.

The relationships ITG has established over time with our customers and service providers ensure stability and continuity of service to both through times of crazy, incredible volumes and times like now, when volumes are in line with pre-pandemic figures. Maybe we’re all just getting reaccustomed to how much we had to do before the pandemic. 

The consensus answer was averaging the end of the second quarter, but The Loadstar recently wrote that maybe there are some green shoots already.

For ITG, we are continuing to provide the same excellent level of service we always have, offering a level of business continuity few can match or beat. Contact us today to learn more and request a presentation and a quote.