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Shipping Delays Continue


Despite improvements at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles resulting in more rapid movement of containers, congestion is still apparent in ports along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf.  It is estimated that there were 125 container ships awaiting berth among all U.S. ports on Friday, July 1st, according to Reuters.  Due to diversion of vessels from the West Coast, congestion has shifted eastwards with only 36 percent of waiting vessels off West Coast ports.  It is estimated that container ships awaiting berths, collectively, hold 1.04 million twenty-foot equivalent container units with a cargo value approaching $40 billion.


As China relaxes COVID restrictions, more vessels are leaving their ports bound for the U.S. with capacity more than double in June 2022 compared to the corresponding month in 2020.  The waiting time for a berth in Savannah, GA is 10 to 12 days with 90 percent yard utilization.


A further complication is that longshoremen are working West Coast ports with an expired contract. Business organizations have urged the Union and port operators with participation by the Department of Labor to expedite negotiations for a new contract.


Independent truckers have staged work stoppages to protest the unintended consequences of state law AB5 adding to congestion.