Huge congestion hits seaports in US, Asia, Australia
Qingdao, Lianyungang, Ningbo, and Shanghai are some of the biggest ports when it comes to the Asian and Chinese markets at large. These ports are now reporting a dearth of equipment, with increasing delays in vessel berthing operations adding to the woe of port authorities.
Coming to the US market, Container xChange reports that west coast ports and Chicago have battled hard to cope with a surge in imports, leaving West Coast installations “under immense pressure”.
“The many containers arriving at the ports must be transported to terminals and warehouses. For that, they need a chassis. Chassis in many places are now in shortage, creating congestion issues. Containers stuck at the ports also mean that many operations are put to a halt. Something that also influences the container availability,” reports Container xChange.
Talking about increasing problems related to transportation in port facilities, US transport consultant Jon Monroe states that US importers and trucking companies are having an especially hard time when it comes to handling container terminals, with Los Angeles and Long Beach leading the race.
The main reason behind this is the US Presidential Election. Port workers took time off on Election Day, which adversely affected the conditions at the port.
Ocean Network Express or ONE has also seen vessel delays causing major congestion at its terminal.
Vessel reliability status is also falling, and it has a lot to do with congestion at Asian ports.
“Equipment is scarce at many if not most China Base Ports. In some ports like Xingang, factories may be drying containers to Qingdao. Unfortunately, Qingdao is also a problem.”
Container availability has taken a major hit too, leaving vessels departing China without a full load.
There are so many pinch points building now and they will only get worse before the holiday season and may well run until Chinese New Year, which has fallen in February this year.
Australian ports are suffering from a huge build-up of empty containers, estimated at more than 50,000, particularly at Sydney where recent industrial action has hit repositioning of equipment to Asia.