As West Coast Port Congestion Helps Import Time Double, East & Gulf Coast Ports Boom

As West Coast Port Congestion Helps Import Time Double, East & Gulf Coast Ports Growth

Three-month-plus transit occasions for sailings items throughout the Pacific? After greater than a 12 months of extreme congestion at U.S. ports, particularly on the Ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside and alongside the west coast, import occasions throughout the Pacific have expanded form of equally to how freight charges have soared (although not fairly to the identical diploma).

Greg Miller experiences in American Shipper:

“The trans-Pacific cargo transfer can now take over three months. In accordance with a number of sources, common transit occasions have risen to double pre-COVID ranges — they usually’re nonetheless growing.”

Transpacific Import Time Knowledge

Miller’s American Shipper article will get into the methodology and shares knowledge from main worldwide delivery analysis corporations that present the extreme enhance in transit of cargo imports throughout the Pacific to the U.S. American Shipper even graphed the information, making it visible.

Listed here are the underside line numbers and charts Miller shares for knowledge from Flexport, Freightos, Shifl, and Sea Intelligence:

“Flexport’s Asia-U.S. OTI [Ocean Timeliness Indicator] reached an all-time excessive of 113 days final week. That’s 41 days or 57% larger than on the identical time final 12 months, and 62 days or 121% larger than in early January 2020, pre-COVID.”

Chart: American Shipper based mostly on knowledge from Flexport

“Freightos calculated that it took a median of 80 days in December for trans-Pacific cargo, with FCL at 72 days and LCL at 82 days. The common transit time is 51% or 27 days larger than in December 2020 and 86% or 37 days longer than in December 2019, pre-COVID.”

Chart: American Shipper based mostly on knowledge from Freightos

“As of the primary half of December, Shifl calculated that the transit time was 34 days, greater than double the pre-COVID common of 16 days and about two weeks greater than transit occasions in the midst of final 12 months.”

Chart: American Shipper based mostly on knowledge from Shifl

“Sea-Intelligence has developed an index, utilizing knowledge from provider HMM, to quantify the extent of terminal congestion on the North American facet of the equation. That  index has doubled over the previous 12 months.” 

Chart: American Shipper based mostly on knowledge from American Shipper

As referred to earlier, these charts aren’t monitoring precisely the identical factor.

Flexport’s measures when cargo is able to depart the exporters’ manufacturing facility in Asia to when it leaves the vacation spot port within the U.S., Freightos is taking a look at warehouse to warehouse from China to the U.S., Shifl is monitoring ship transit occasions from main Chinese language ports to arrival within the Ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside, and the Sea Intelligence chart tracks terminal congestion

However irrespective of whose knowledge, you see an alarming upswing in time. Because the previous mantra goes, time is cash, so that is all expensive for companies importing items. Importers have been in a tough place for some time in the case of worldwide delivery. Not solely is it taking for much longer to get their items, as we’ve well-documented in Common Cargo’s weblog over the course of the final couple years, they’re paying an important deal extra to get their items.

East & Gulf Coast Ports Rake within the Cargo

Naturally, with such overwhelmingly massive delays on delivery from China to the U.S. West Coast, there was a serious upswing in cargo shipped U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports. After all, the general enhance in delivery demand that has been seen since early within the pandemic performs into this as properly, however that is additionally not wholly not like when extreme West Coast port congestion brought on by the contentious dockworker contract negotiations of 2014-15 brought on ports on the other facet of the nation to achieve market share.

Joanna Marsh experiences in an American Shipper article:

“2021 proved to be a banner 12 months for ports on the East and Gulf coasts as client demand remained brisk amid the waxing and waning COVID-19 pandemic.”

She reported how 2021 broke annual data for the quantity of cargo moved by means of the Ports of Virginia, South Carolina, and Cellular:

“The Port of Virginia in Norfolk dealt with greater than 3.5 million twenty-foot equal items in 2021, a 25.2% enhance from 2020, at a time when the broader provide chain confronted pandemic-related headwinds, based on Virginia Port Authority CEO and Government Director Stephen A. Edwards. 

SC Ports stated it dealt with an “unprecedented quantity of cargo” in 2021, with the Port of Charleston processing 2.75 million TEUs at Wando Welch, North Charleston and Hugh Ok. Leatherman terminals. 

Inside that whole, SC Ports dealt with 1.53 million pier containers in 2021, which was an 18% achieve from 2020 and an 11% enhance from 2019. Pier containers encompass containers of any dimension.

Imports rose 25% to 1.29 million TEUs, whereas loaded exports elevated 5% to 814,964 TEUs.

Containerized cargo volumes elevated almost 19% to a document 502,623 TEUs in 2021, based on the Alabama Port Authority

The port’s Intermodal Container Switch Facility additionally noticed volumes develop considerably in 2021, with volumes of 23,776 TEUs 139% larger than 2020 volumes. 

Wanting Ahead at 2022

With congestion on the Ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside removed from resolved, East and Gulf Coast ports have a possibility to maintain grabbing market share. Historically, this is able to be the time for West Coast ports to actually get clearing left over congestion from the height and vacation seasons. Exterior of a bit surge that will usually occur proper now through the strategy of the Chinese language New 12 months, that is when import site visitors historically is slower.

Sadly, the ports by no means managed to get well final 12 months after the height season. Moreover, with the potential of ILWU contract negotiations getting contentious over automation this 12 months, we might see a repeat in 2022-23 of the extreme congestion-causing combat on the docks we noticed in 2014-15. Some shippers are already attempting to get forward of it by importing early. That would assist flip 2022 right into a repeat of 2021, the place cargo motion doesn’t decelerate sufficient for ports like Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside’s to clear their congestion.

All of that factors to a robust risk that East and Gulf Coast ports might have a fair higher 2022 than 2021, even when inflation decreases general delivery demand for the 12 months.

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