Rising Congestion Risks
Many of the nation’s ports, especially on the West Coast, are experiencing long delays in unloading cargo ships. It was reported last month that the availability of cargo containers at destinations were among the lowest levels, so with the onslaught of congestion at ports, there are fewer containers returning to Asia to keep up with shipping demands.
According to Sea-Intelligence’s Global Liner Performance report, vessel on-time performance in the Asia-North American trade dipped by over 14% from September. “As carriers continue to increase capacity in the lead-up to the holiday season, schedule reliability keeps dropping…” Unsurprisingly, with the reopening of national economies, this only increased container volumes, further contributing to port congestion, and thus carrier on-time performance. With port congestion at both ends of the voyage, excessive container dwell times, delays in departure and arrival, lengthy truck wait times at gates, chassis shortages, and distribution warehouses at capacity, many carriers are unsure whether this situation will improve after the Lunar New Year or not.
All of this leads to the unprecedented increases in both ocean and inland freight costs, as well as extended transit times. We advise you to plan your inventory replenishment and ordering schedule accordingly as it may take longer than usual to receive shipments for the next several months.
We hope you have a warm and safe holiday!