Update on the Global Shipping Situation: 22 Ships Waiting Outside of LongBeach/LAX

The global shipping situation in 2021 has been one of congestion and lengthy delays. Based on comments from freight forwarders, the situation isn’t getting much better. Below are highlights of the market update that we received from JAS Forwarding:

Ocean Shipments from Asia Ports:

  • Congestion and heavy backlogs remain at all base ports and capacity/equipment continue to be scarce.
  • Equipment situation is improving slightly in Shanghai, but other ports remain extremely difficult.
  • Bookings for FAK/Premium cargo are currently 5-6 weeks out (March departures fully booked, booking into end of April sailings currently).
  • General global schedule integrity and on time performance of carriers now running below 40%. It is much worse on key trades.
  • Considering the space situations of the past year and no relief in sight, we do see some carriers beginning to float long term rate agreements with fixed space allocations in place for qualifying volumes (+250 TEU). This indicates that space will continue to be extremely tight over the course of 2021.

The market update goes on to list that Asian ports and lanes are not the only thing being affected. European lanes are beginning to see a negative impact as well

Ocean Shipments from Europe Ports:

  • Most carriers are booked until mid-April at this point and container rolls or delays are a more than frequent occurrence.
  • Imbalance caused by re-positioning of empties to meet high-yield demand spike out of Asia pre-CNY. Will take time to re-balance and cycle through. No improvement expected for 30-45 days.
  • Carriers have now started to announce the first EIS (equipment imbalance surcharges) as well as PSS.

Below is an update on the current port situation in the United States

Los Angeles/Long Beach Port:

  • Dwell times for containers moving inland on rail to be loaded to train is between 10-13 days.
    • Hapag Lloyd currently reporting as follows as of 3/15
      • Long Beach, CA – Average 12.1 days rail delay for IPI cargo
      • Los Angeles, CA – Average 10.9 days rail delay for IPI cargo
  • There are currently 22 ships at anchor awaiting berths in LAX/LGB as of Tuesday, Mar 16th. All terminals continue to be congested due to the spike in import volumes and the same is expected to last into early Q2.
  • Heavy import volumes are showing no sign of slowing through Q1 of 2021. The situation will not improve in the short term.

East Coast Port Operations:

  • Savannah:
    • Currently 21 ships* (+6) at anchor as of Tuesday, Mar 16th. Backlog and delays continue to rise as situation further deteriorates.
  • Norfolk- normalizing operations
  • Charleston- 0-12 hour berthing delay
  • NY/NJ ports are continuing to see backlogs.
    • 24-48-hour vessel berthing delays still occurring

Air Shipment in the United States:

  • Chicago airport/terminal
    • Current challenges-
      • Heavy congestion again across all airport cargo handling terminals
        • Some ground handlers are extremely backlogged (i.e. Turkish is minimum 1 week)
      • Truck waiting times are again extending to between 5-7 hours, so detention is still likely for direct airline pickup.
      • Average of 4-5 days to become available at airlines.

Currently, the global shipping situation continues to see no improvement. We will post updates on the situation as we receive more news.

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