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Import Cargo Enters Winter Lull as Red Sea Disruptions Continue; Jonathan Gold and Ben Hackett Comment

Import Cargo Enters Winter Lull as Red Sea Disruptions Continue; Jonathan Gold and Ben Hackett Comment


WASHINGTON, DC
Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

Major container ports throughout the United States have some space to breathe post-holiday rush, but not much as external factors continue to keep the market on its toes.

Jonathan Gold, Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, National Retail Federation“This is the traditional slowdown when the supply chain gets a break after the busy holiday season, but there’s always a new challenge on the horizon,” National Retail Federation Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea have been in the headlines, and the disruptions caused by those attacks have once again created volatility in retail supply chains. Retailers are working with their carrier partners on mitigation strategies to limit the impact, but we are seeing longer transit times and increased costs as a result.”

Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett explained in a recent report that any effect from the Red Sea attacks would most likely come at East Coast ports.

Ben Hackett, Founder, Hackett Associates“The number of containers arriving at East Coast ports should not be directly affected if carriers add ships to maintain capacity, but shippers will have to adjust their supply chains to cope with longer transit times,” Hackett said. “We may see an increase of Asian cargo arriving at West Coast ports and then shipped east via intermodal rail, but doing so is costly and does not save that much time. As might be expected, carriers are passing on the additional voyage costs and then some.”

According to a press release, most cargo headed to the East Coast from Asia comes across the Pacific and through the Panama Canal. Some do come through the Red Seas before the Atlantic; carriers’ decision to go around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid any attacks is adding five or six days to the month-long trip from Shanghai to Savannah via the Suez Canal. Some retailers are reporting delays of as long as two weeks.

The National Retail Federation expects a gradual slowing at major container ports throughout the United States

The Global Port Tracker report was released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. Members are able to read it in full here. As for news across the supply chain, Deli Market News will keep its sights on land and sea to keep you up to date on the latest.

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