US West Coast ports are celebrating their progress at reducing congestion and backlogs with the pendulum however swinging east where major ports are now struggling with the overload of container ships. Analysts at Marine Traffic highlighted that the TEU capacity waiting off ports had changed with more capacity now stuck offshore outside the east coast ports than the west coast.
“As of today, 609,287 waiting TEU capacity was bound for the US,” MarineTraffic reports. “Of this, 186K are currently off the U.S. West Coast and 273K off the East.” They calculated that 15 box ships were waiting off the port limits at San Pedro Bay while there were 18 containerships off Charleston, South Carolina, and 12 vessels at Norfolk, Virginia.
According to maritime-executive.com, analysts point out that vessels began turning to the US East Coast ports as early as last summer as the waits grew at the Pacific Coast ports. Ports on both coasts experienced similar problems with labor shortages and trucking delays due to workers reporting in sick during the pandemic. Similarly, they all faced a lack of space especially with empties piling up to return to the factories in Asia.
P&O Maritime converts deck ships to container
DP World’s P&O Maritime Logistics, a sister company of Unifeeder, has completed the conversion of the first small sea-river Multi-Carrier Vessels to carry containers on its flush deck. Another five will follow before the end of the year. The vessels are to be used on high-frequency shortsea routes as well as trade routes through rivers and too shallow water ports.