Severe congestion and equipment shortages are erupting across the United States and being felt in Asia and Europe. As imports from Asia surge into the west coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The congestion is causing disruption across supply chains as issues with available vessel space causes containers to roll in China and miss transshipment opportunities. Even when vessel space is available, the shortage of equipment is causing delays because you can’t load cargo onto a vessel without a container.
Equipment imbalances started early in the year as emergency shipments took precedent and medical supplies started deploying around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stores sold out of staple items, most notably toilet paper and cleaning products, and inventory was slow to replenish because supplies had dwindled to almost nothing. Shipping times were altered to allow more important cargo to move with preference and more casual shopping went later. Once retailers were able to replenish, orders soared and imports followed with record numbers debuting at almost all US ports.
South Carolina, Norfolk, NY/NJ and others had banner months during a time everyone expected ocean cargo to fall apart or shift into a recession as airplanes sat grounded with little passenger traffic allowed. The best way to manage these capacity and rolling issues is to be flexible with your cargo. Let your Nelson representative know what equipment you need as soon as possible and discuss alternate routing or schedules that might better suit your cargo. Ask about repositioning options, same day turns and other last-minute options that might fit a shipper who doesn’t necessarily have to adhere to strict loading times.
We don’t hide the fact this is going to be a tight and difficult time until November but Nelson International is here to help you manage your cargo with as little disruption as possible.