Back in mid-March, we posted an article detailing the woes of the global supply chain in 2021. Unfortunately, the situation isn’t getting any better and doesn’t look like it will anytime soon. Recent market updates from freight forwarders go into more detail about the current situation facing US ports and the Transpacific network. Below are highlights that provide insight into the situation.
- Labor shortage is the primary cause of extended wait times.
- Congestion and delays have led to missed sailings. These have resulted in a 20% capacity loss into the West Coast and a 4% capacity loss into the East Coast. In 2021 carriers have missed a total of 121 sailings into the West Coast and 21 into the East Coast.
- At the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, wait times average 1-2 weeks with up to 25 vessels at anchorage at any given time. This is up from 22 vessels at anchorage at any given time back in March.
- The Port of Oakland is experiencing an even worse situation with wait times being up to 3 weeks.
- Peak Season: Retailers expect a strong back-to-school season that will then lead into end-of-the-year holiday season, adding even more strain on the supply chain. This gives the situation little opportunity to improve.
- One key to recovery is solving the labor shortages brought on by COVID-19. It remains to be seen if vaccination and declining cases will substantially contribute to labor recovery in time for the peak season.
The industry should continue to expect difficulties in importing goods in a timely manner for the present and the foreseeable future. We will continue to cover the situation as new developments emerge.