Containerized imports into the USA reached an all-time high this summer on the back of retail sales rebounding post the pandemic shutdowns, merchant inventory replenishment, and early stock up for the holiday season. After largely staying at home this spring and early summer, consumers began buying again in the third quarter, and retail supply chains are working overtime to keep up with the demand.
We have seen record volumes moving via the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the situation continues to grow as we see historic volumes arriving at these ports. This has caused severe port congestion which is expected to continue well into the New Year and possibly through the Lunar New Year holiday in Asia. While congestion is worsening at the ports in Southern California, the issues have now also spread to the Ports of Seattle/Tacoma and New York.
As a result of the unprecedented spike in imports over the past four months, we are seeing:
- Severe port congestion
- Chassis shortages
- Extensive lines at terminals on appointment only
- Not enough appointment slots available at marine terminals in LA/LB for truckers to pick up loaded imports or return empty containers
- Driver shortages
- Container dwell times increasing
- Rail delays
- Vessels omitting ports
Continued operational challenges due to the growing congestion are causing delays and service disruptions; however, we are doing everything possible to keep our customers’ cargo moving with minimal delays. Noatum Logistics is taking the necessary actions to ensure that we are notifying our customers on a timely basis as we receive updates from our underlying carriers and vendors.
We thank you for your understanding, support, and cooperation while we navigate this unparalleled peak season.