There have many reports on massive congestion problems at West Coast containership ports that's causing store shelves to go wanting to seasonal imported goods.
Ron Fisher owns Fisher Nuts, a Modesto grower, processor and exporter of almonds who, like tens of thousands of farmers raising more than 350 different crops, can't get containers or ships to foreign markets.
"It’s extremely difficult for us in an export situation to the market," said Fisher. "Delays cost the farmer dearly. You have some either value loss of you actually have to dump the product due to decay or spoilage," Fisher told www.ktvu.com
Port congestion has been going on for more than a year now, say some experts, is the worst it's ever been. Ocean carriers are delaying shipments or skipping them altogether. "Right now, there's about 55 container ships that are at anchor, another 30 at berth and they're extremely constrained down in southern California," said Scott Taylor, CEO of GSC Logistics.
"They're skipping Oakland because the vessel lines, which are mostly foreign owned are looking to make a fast buck, shall we say," said Taylor.
Instead of dropping products off in Oakland or picking up exports, they are heading right back to Asia where vessel owners can get as much as 20 to 40 times more than Oakland agricultural exports will fetch for them.
Strong American consumer demand has continued unabated for more than a year, evidenced by the steady amount of cargo streaming through the Port of Los Angeles. In August, the Port processed 954,377 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), just shy of last August’s record of 961,833 TEUs.
Eight months into the 2021 calendar year, overall cargo volume is 7,273,053 TEUs, an increase of 30% compared to 2020.
“Our Port Optimizer™ data indicates significant volume headed our way throughout this year and into 2022,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Port-related employment is robust, with longshore shifts up 32% compared to last year.
“To better manage this record cargo, the Port of Los Angeles is co-hosting roundtable discussions with dozens of public and private stakeholders,” Seroka added. “We’re pursuing short- and longer-term strategies with our partners in order to scale up to meet increased demand.” reports www.portoflosangeles.org
August 2021 loaded imports reached 485,672 TEUs, a decrease of 6% compared to the previous year, when American retailers ramped up orders to restock low inventory. Loaded exports decreased 23% to 101,292 TEUs compared to the same period last year.
Empty containers climbed to 367,413 TEUs, a jump of 17% compared to last year due to the continued demand in Asia. It was the highest number of empty containers the Port has handled in a single month, eclipsing the 361,359 TEUs processed in May 2021.
The Port of New York and New Jersey (NYNJ) has marked double-digit volume increases in all sectors during July, with the total throughput elevated by almost 26% compared to the same month of 2020, while 758,810TEU and 420,847 containers were handled according to container-news.com
These figures lead to total traffic of more than 5.15 million TEU and 2.86 million boxes for the January - July period.
Both imports and exports saw double-digit gains in the second largest port of the United States (US). In particular, imports in July rose by 20.6% year-on-year, totalling 396,699TEU, while for the first seven months of the year, they reached more than 2.6 million TEU, which translates to a rise of 29.4% compared to the same period of 2020.