Freight News, Sea

Glimmer of hope on port congestion

[ December 20, 2021   //   ]

Port congestion is still affecting North America and Europe in the run-up to the holiday season but container dwell times are improving slightly and the situation is improving somewhat in Felixstowe, says supply chain visibility specialist, Project44.

However, congestion is still serious in Rotterdam, in Savannah, one of the most important ports on the US East Coast, and at Los Angeles/Long Beach on the west coast.

North America West Coast congestion problem was exacerbated by severe flooding that cut all major road and rail links between the Port of Vancouver and inland destinations in Canada and the US in mid-November.

Export and import container dwell time data for November 2021 revealed improvements in over 50% of the ports tracked compared to October 2021.

Export container dwell times fell by three days in Felixstowe, Yantian by two days, and Hong Kong and Savannah by one day.

Import container dwell times fell by two days in Felixstowe between October and November: and by one day in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Yantian.

Looking ahead, Project44 says that most economists and industry leaders anticipate a drop in consumer goods demand following the peak 2021 retail season. China will also halt manufacturing for two weeks starting in February to celebrate Lunar New Year, giving carriers a brief opportunity to regroup and for ports to clear their backlogs. And with looming inflation, record-high household debt levels in the US, and consumer sentiment falling to its lowest level in a decade, continued strong demand for goods into 2022 does not appear too likely.