We reported earlier this month that many shippers were opting to avoid California-based ports and dock along the East Coast. As a result, both coasts are now experiencing congestion that continues to impact the supply chain.
Currently, the total number of container ships waiting to berth at United States ports has decreased from 150 at the start of the year to 125, according to Seatrade Maritime News. However, more of these vessels are waiting at facilities on the East Coast than usual.
In January, the West Coast represented over two-thirds of the container ships waiting for berths, but now that number has lowered to just one-third of the ships at anchor, showcasing the shift in congestion eastward.
Last month, the shift in congestion resulted in ports in Houston, Texas, and New York having as many container ships waiting for berths as California's ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach combined. The largest increase though has been in Savannah, Georgia, which now has 42 ships waiting, six times the number that the port can accommodate. That translates to an average 14-day wait period.
In comparison, Los Angeles and Long Beach saw an average of 22 containerships waiting to berth in June, a 33 percent decrease from May and a 79 percent drop from the start of 2022.
Further delays at ports across the U.S. are expected going forward, with the top largest ports in the country seeing a 5.9 percent increase in inbound volumes for the month of July.
How will this congestion impact imports in the specialty industry? Keep a tab open for us as we continue to report.