Port congestion across the globe, and particularly in U.S. ports, is expected to continue causing headaches for freight and logistics carriers for the foreseeable future, per the latest update from transport and logistic experts Clasquin Group. The disruptions will lead to erratic transit times, delivery delays, and the continued rise of freight rates.
Rates for container ships have hit new records, representing an approximately 2,000% increase per day for a vessel, compared to pre-pandemic rates. The expectation of sustained rate increases in the mid-run has led to the arrival of several new entrants to the market in the transpacific axis. Their arrival should create some relief in capacity in the Asia to North America trade route, predicts Clasquin.
Additionally, shipowners around the world have also started ordering new capacities that are expected to enter into service at the end of 2022. As of June 30, 2021 there were 4.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) on order for deliveries through 2024. This should lead to a sustainable rebalancing of the market.
Asia and North America Trade Route
On the West Coast, 62 container ships are currently waiting at the ports of Los Angelos and Long Beach. The situation is not expected to ease any time soon, but the Federal Maritime Commission and the U.S. government have formed a Supply Chain Disruption Task Force to develop a plan to overcome the critical situation.
Last week, White House Ports Envoy John Porcari helped push the Southern California port complex to add night and weekend hours for trucks to collect shipping containers, according to The Washington Post. The next step would be to convince terminals, truckers, railroads and warehouses to operate on a similar schedule.
Europe and North America Trade Route
There have been six months of ongoing increases by shipowners in this route and, as a result, the rate increases for the next month are expected to be limited. Prices will remain at unmatched levels, however.