North America Port Congestion: January 5, 2021

Posted by Expeditors on Jan 5, 2021 11:33:51 AM

Congestion at all North American ports continues to worsen. This situation is being driven by the unprecedented surge in demand, especially within the Trans-pacific inbound lanes. Vessels are experiencing severe delays for berth windows once they arrive at the terminal for discharge. Labor and equipment within the cargo infrastructure (ports, warehouse, trucking, and rail) continues to be stressed. Due to the operational size and largest throughput volume, the Los Angeles/ Long Beach terminals and associated infrastructure are experiencing the greatest congestion and strain. Recent holiday closures added further stress to the current disruptions.

The Marine Traffic website shows many vessels at anchor outside the main ports. Although Los Angeles/ Long Beach terminals are experiencing the greatest number of vessels at anchor with more than 30 idle, dwell times continue to increase across all North America terminals and inland rail locations.  

By deploying extra-loaders, the carriers are attempting to add needed capacity to alleviate the surge in demand at origin, however growing equipment shortages and terminal congestion remains a concern for destination.

Accurate forecasting is crucial at this time. Market demand is exceeding market capacity on the Trans-pacific East Bound trade. We encourage bookings as far in advance as possible. 

Additional Resources:

Please reach out to your local Expeditors representatives should you have any questions. 

Topics: Ocean, Ports, North America