U.S. Port Congestion Could Last Until Summer Peak Season

A row of tall, green container cranes lining the dock at a bustling port, with a large suspension bridge arching gracefully against a clear blue sky in the background.

Shipping experts now believe that major port and landside congestion at US west coast ports could last until the summer peak season, according to recent data.

Ocean Network Express (ONE) CEO Jeremy Nixon and Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen both warned of a “difficult” period leading up to the start of the traditional peak season.

According to MSC’s US president and CEO, Fabio Santucci, it was “very difficult to predict” when things would get back to normal given that carriers had not seen the usual slowdown after the Chinese new year.

In order to overcome the congestion at key shipping hubs, some cargo carriers are diverting cargo to other west coast, east coast and Gulf coast ports.

“It’s not that we didn’t have enough containers or there was not enough chassis available, it was the increased street dwell and over utilisation that has been above and beyond the normal average causing the supply chain issues,” said Mr. Santucci.

Experts were aware of the strain the surge in shipping would cause, but were hopeful things would return the normal by now.

According to data, the average time ships are waiting at an anchorage at the Port of Los Angeles is now almost eight days. Moreover, when vessels do get a berth, operations are hit by congestion on the terminals.

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