Following 8 months of record breaking congestion on the West Coast, ports across the US are now seeing further delays and shortages of equipment as nationwide disruption worsens.
Furthermore, the lack of equipment is compounded by a severe labour shortage, with one of America's main trade bodies stating that at the end of November there were around 80,000 truck drivers needed across the nation to make up the shortfall.
Despite some of the stats for the hardest hit ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach seemingly indicating improvement, such as rail dwell times dropping to just 2 days on average from 13.5 days in Q3 2021, the disruption has in fact spread to more ports and terminals across the US with the current situation being described as a game of 'Whac-a-Mole' by the Director of the Port of Los Angeles as one issue calms and more emerge.
Emergency surcharges, as mentioned in our previous update, were proposed to help reduce dwell times on containers, which have since been postponed due to positive results. Dwell times for containers being moved by truck have now almost halved from its high point of 11 days, however the time it takes for a chassis to leave port and return again is now up to 10 days, leading to a shortage across the United States.
The Port of New Jersey and others along the East Coast are also struggling with the volume of traffic that is moving through their terminals, a situation exacerbated by the lack of chassis available to move ageing containers.
The issue extends to South Carolina and the port of Charleston, where diverted traffic is causing increased congestion along with a lack of labour spanning back to Thanksgiving. To put it into perspective, a usual Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the port would see 17,000 container moves, however the figures for last Friday and Saturday only reached a combined 5,000 moves in total. With the lack of labour, the port is seeing a rise in containers sitting at its terminals, with over 2,000 remaining unmoved for over 30 days. To combat the logjam, the slowing down of the discharge of vessels has been put in place.
We will continue to keep you up to date with the latest developments.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local Woodland representative or reach out to us here.
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