Port Congestion Spreads Across More U.S. Import Gateways
Port congestion is spreading across the country, threatening to extend shipping delays and drive up costs for importers seeking to get around the bottlenecks at Southern California’s big gateway complex.
Container ships are backing up off coastlines from Oakland, Calif., to Charleston, S.C., because of a record flow of boxes into and out of the country combined with worker shortages triggered by Covid-19’s fast-spreading Omicron variant.
“It’s supremely frustrating to be an importer right now,” said Nathan Strang, director of ocean trade lane management at Flexport Inc., a San Francisco-based freight forwarder. “Everybody wants to find a relief valve and all of the relief valves have been plugged.”
Ship backups that plagued U.S. ports throughout the pandemic have been mainly concentrated along the West Coast. Niels Madsen, a vice president of operations at Denmark-based Sea-Intelligence ApS, said a rise in backups at East Coast ports suggests congestion is worsening there.
Source: Wall Street Journal / Hellenic Shipping News