Southeastern port congestion eases under import reduction

After the tempo of imports swung from the west coast to deluge the eastern seaboard, a reduction of imports across the board has cleared up much of the backlogs at ports on all coasts. While import volumes are down, the numbers are still over pre-pandemic levels, and the southern ports benefit significantly from the steady influx of cargo. The market shift won’t be permanent, but it will be a good incentive for frequently overlooked ports to invest in more infrastructure, plan for future growth and launch into the next phase of cargo understanding the stakes.

There are a number of factors that go into the huge market swings. From the zero-COVID policy that caused Shanghai to shut down in the early summer to the massive shift east in order to avoid west coast congestion, the entire situation resembles a highway jammed with traffic that only moves ahead when you change lanes.

Not every factor is a disaster waiting to strike. The excessive equipment imbalance that made it almost impossible to secure equipment with plenty of notice has eased greatly. By upending the schedules for container loading, carriers grabbed up empties and shipped them right back overseas without exports to cut the time needed to get imports back on our shores. Now that the imports have slowed down a little, the excess equipment is loosening the market and making it easier on shippers.

Keeping an eye on our market and being aware of subtle changes that signal big shifts sets Nelson International apart from the competition. By closly studying how ocean cargo is developing and where market pain points will impact our customers, we can be both and advocate and adviser for our clients. If you want to stay ahead of the pack, come see what Nelson can do for you.