Stockwell International Urgent News Alert 5th February 2021

USA Current Market Situation 

US Port Situation West Coast

Stockwell International would like customer to note there is a major backlog of vessels in Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

Reports say this could be due to weather storms, record cargo and COVID-19 surges that are contributing to the current situation.

If the high volumes are not causing complications enough, COVID-19 cases are hitting longshore workers and causing more severe issues at the port. Infections since December 2020 and in the first 25 days of 2021 have “almost surpassed the total cases reported in the final eight months in 2020,” according to Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield.

Approximately 800 longshore workers in both ports have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine.

Reports also mention that some 27 ships are berthed and 41 at anchorage at the San Pedro Bay ports stood at 579,100 teu on Monday.

The congestion impacting the ports is also affecting the empty containers getting back to Asia, which in turn is further restricting the availability of containers for US exports.

To read Anecdotal feedback from an IFCBAA member’s USA agent click here.

With all the high volumes, high rates, lack of equipment, vessel unreliability and gridlock in USA’s top ports are just some of the challenges that we and customers are facing due to this chaotic market. In addition to the above, please see below concerns; 

  • Disruption Timeline.  Recent reports suggest that the US import volume could start to decrease after the start of 2021, however the significant backlog that has accumulated will take at least 90 days to clean-up.
  • Cargo Bookings & Equipment. Customers should encourage origin bookings to be made at least 3 weeks in advance in order to reserve space. Nevertheless, we would like to advise that an early booking does not guarantee that equipment will be available due to the global shortage of containers.
  • Vessel Reliability. Is at an all-time low of 30% on Transpacific Eastbound (TPEB). Please expect vessel ETA’s to change multiple times over the course of the voyage. 
  • US Port Situation East Coast. Record high volumes (up 30% YOY) on the East Coast are now causing delays with berthing times. Not as significant as the West Coast, but still expect 2-3 days of delays.
  • West Coast Rail Situation. The PSW volumes are choking the rail system and there are significant delays for cargo being loaded on the rail. Please expect approximately a 10-15 day delay in cargo being loaded. 
  • Detention & Demurrage. The ocean carriers and terminals have advised that detention and demurrage fees will not be waived despite the onshore challenges. We strongly urge customers to budget for additional accessorial fees during this time.

For more information or concerns, please contact your sales representative on 1300 786 468 or [email protected] 

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