A new record 41 container ships lined up at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach; Chicago’s O ‘Hare airport had a six-week backlog of cargos

830eAccording to foreign shipping information, the number of ships waiting for berths to open at two major US container ports (Los Angeles and Long Beach ports) hit a new record — 41.  The congestion was worse than during port strikes in 2002 and 2004.  It is understood that during the 10-day strike that year, the number of ships waiting to berth did not exceed 30.


According to data from the Port of Los Angeles, 90 percent of ships go directly to anchor and join the queue, with an average waiting time of 7.8 days.  The data eased to four days in May.


Congestion at U.S. and Western ports is well known, and while it has eased in the past few months, it is now doubling the cost of inventory for sellers as the year-end peak season approaches and sellers are having to restock their goods earlier to secure their inventory.  Based on the current port congestion situation, industry experts predict the situation could get worse in the coming weeks.


Shipping lines looking for alternatives to the congested ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are putting more capacity into Oakland, which is recovering after months of congestion, and Seattle-Tacoma, although most of the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s terminals have also been clogged recently.


Chicago’s O ‘Hare airport has a backlog of up to six weeks


It is also understood that cargo volumes at Chicago’s O ‘Hare airport have exploded in the past 18 months as companies have turned to air transport to import personal protective equipment, replenish depleted inventories of goods and overcome disruptions in manufacturing and maritime supply chains.  Airports, meanwhile, are short of staff and do not have enough space to quickly process mountains of cargo unloaded from giant cargo planes.  A freight forwarder says its cargo has been trapped for six weeks.


Freight management companies say the backlog is so bad that warehouses are storing row after row of containers in parking lots, and it can take up to 10 days to retrieve a shipment.  Delivery trucks often line up for hours waiting for goods, and some local freight companies refuse to carry goods from certain airlines.


Cargo traffic (by weight) at O ‘Hare increased 14.8 percent to more than 2 million tons in 2020, while freighter flights rose 25 percent to 30,399, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.  Chicago is a major cargo hub in the middle of the country, and its international imports of wide-body aircraft have grown much faster than those of other big gateways.  The number of international all-cargo flights at the airport rose 17.8 percent year on year as of June, while international cargo volume soared 46 percent to 871,000 tons.


At present, many logistics service providers are taking a series of strategies to pick up goods, among which there is no lack of bribing warehouse personnel to secretly take back their goods, and even logistics companies plan to build their own freight station near the airport, such as bypassing the airport warehouse, the goods are unloaded from the plane directly transferred to their own freight station for cargo distribution.

Post time: Aug-30-2021