Do the container shortages at the ports have you worried about your freight? As the pandemic hit in 2020 the volume at ports fell, however now in 2021 it is booming and the demand is overwhelming ports.
Due to the pandemic, terminals are not yet able to process vessels as fast as they were in 2019. As a result, ports are having a difficult time unloading all the ships. With the influx of cargo being driven by the recovery vessels are waiting out at sea for days, sometimes even weeks, to dock at the ports and offload goods.
The slowdown at the ports and more importantly the shortage of shipping containers is making it difficult for stores to restock, farmers to export products, manufacturers (including the auto industry) to get the parts they need, and builders to get their supplies. This is a key reason why prices are increasing for consumers. Similar backlogs and delays are being created in virtually every industry. Everyone is impacted.
The construction industry with home improvement projects and other projects is being delayed as the products needed are not readily available. The automotive industry is having issues with car parts and chip delays, impacting the availability. Foundries are still trying to catch up with production on orders from when COVID first started.
As the economy has improved, exporters began to have trouble getting ahold of containers as the smooth transition went awry.
Containers have been piling up at dockyards and trains and trucks have been struggling to get them out fast enough to the exporters. In addition to port problems, the whole supply chain is seeing backlogs in the warehouses, distribution centers, railroads, and trucking capacity.
The backlogs and shortages are a growing problem, and it has importers and exporters competing for containers and vessels. The cost of shipping is also increasing for businesses that do not have annual contracts.
Shipping peak season begins in August which has many worried about getting their products to their final destinations in time for the holidays. With shipping taking months instead of weeks, there are concerns that if your products are not already in containers, they will not arrive to the stores in time for Christmas shopping.
While the Department of Transportation (DOT) is meeting with container lines and retailers to try and fix the problems causing port congestion, it is going to continue for a while before it improves.
As they expect cargo volumes to stay elevated for the rest of 2021, do you have a solid logistics plan?
PPLUS Global can help with adjusting your normal shipping options to avoid potential delays in transit times due to congestion and potential winter weather storms. We have over 75 years of combined experience in the logistics industry and have created custom solutions for our clients. Let us help you navigate your shipping strategy.