Report of the Coming of a Far Worse Port Congestion Problem

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We are heading for a more serious congestion problem at US ports than we had last year according to one expert who explains the problem in detail below. There is a system issue in shipping.

A large container cargo ship travels over calm, blue ocean

For one thing, Ocean liners are keeping the container rates high by canceling sails. They are controlling the rates to keep them high.

The more serious problem isn’t the ships anchored off the coast or out to sea at this time as it was in 2020-21.

What’s happening today is congestion in multiple ports. For one thing, larger ships are beginning to wait a lot longer to get to port. The dwell times are increasing along with congestion. This is expanding beyond LA and Long Beach because shipping has taken a different route.

They are taking much larger container ships and going through the Panama Canal, avoiding the West Coast, and going directly to the East Coast. Another route takes super container ships from East Asia solely to Europe. They then transfer the containers to smaller ships and send them to the East Coast. Congestion is building up and down the East Coast now. Everything is moving now but the cargo that wants to come through is off multiple US ports at this time. Congestion is now spread out to NY, NJ, Savannah, Houston, along with LA and Long Beach. Also, shippers are using tightly-spaced yards for storage, causing more congestion.

We are facing a similar situation to what we had last year with massive port congestion. The problem isn’t the sheer volume, however. It will be a problem of getting the goods out of the ports. Changing buying patterns during inflation and decreased demand, energy crises, and strikes will cause goods to pile up. The congestion will build, only now it will cover multiple ports.

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