Port Congestion on East Coast in U.S. is Getting Worse! Charleston Port Now Has 30 Vessels OffShore.

Hello, it’s IINO.

I would like to broadcast IINO san’s Logistics Radio.

Today, I would like to talk about the news from the Wall Street Journal, “Waiting list for container ships off Charleston port rises to 30”.

Daily Logistics Radio by IINO san in 21st Feb. 2022

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Port of Charleston, 30 Vessels Offshore Waiting

The Port of Charleston, South Carolina is the southernmost port on the East Coast of North America and the fourth largest port on the East Coast for container imports.

The number of container ships offshore at the Port of Charleston has increased to 30 from 19 last month.

This indicates that the supply chain congestion plaguing U.S. importers is not limited to the West Coast of North America, but extends to many other ports.

Eliminating Congestion

The South Carolina Port Authority has stated that they used to expect this congestion to be resolved by mid-March, but now they expect by mid-April.

I am not sure about this either.

For almost two years, people have been saying when it will be resolved, but the situation has not changed.

Productivity Decline

Except when ships are leaving and coming, there is no time when the berths are empty, and when the terminal is full like this, productivity suffers.

Also, some ships will have to stay longer to load and unload containers.

The Port of Charleston’s backlogs remain large by historical standards and is still growing.

The volume of imported containers handled is also increasing, up 25.4 percent from the previous year.

When the Congestion Has Started

The Port of Charleston’s backlog began around Thanksgiving last year, and has continued since the Black Friday sales the day after the fourth Thursday in November.

This was due to the arrival in the U.S. of orders for large year-end inventories and an attempt to divert cargo from congested West Coast ports to other ports.

This has led to congestion at some ports on the East Coast.

Current Situation of West Coast of North America

The number of container ships waiting at California ports dropped from a peak of 109 on Jan. 9 to 72 last Thursday.

Increase Importing Cargo in North America

As I have reported many times on this radio, the cause of the surge in North American imports is thought to be the following.

1. rapid replenishment of depleted stocks in early Corona
2. retailers’ supply to strong consumer demand

Shortage of Labor

This has led to chassis shortages, truck driver shortages, and warehouse space shortages, causing congestion.

Some people also infected with Corona. The highly infectious Omicron variant has infected dockworkers, warehouse workers, and drivers, resulting in a shortage of workers.

Bottleneck of Congestion

If the West Coast continues to be overcrowded, cargo will be attracted to the East Coast.

After all, the biggest bottleneck is congestion on the West Coast, and until this is resolved, it will be difficult to ease congestion on the East Coast as well.

I will continue to update information on the West Coast and East Coast.

That’s all for today. Thank you.