U.S. Port Jams Expected to Continue into Summer

New York, NY, March 19, 2021-Logjams at U.S. ports are spreading beyond Southern California’s choked gateways, and shipping officials are projecting the backups will continue into the summer, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“‘The congestion has been significant in Long Angeles and Long Beach, but other ports are also congested,’ said Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive of German container line Hapag-Lloyd AG , which diverted some ships to Oakland in recent weeks. ‘Bookings are up dramatically and we are trying to avoid congested ports, but it’s not easy.’

“The backups that started building up late last year have grown during a normally slack period in shipping demand, tying up inventories for weeks in some cases as ships wait to reach berths while offloaded containers sit for long periods at packed freight terminals.

“Delays that have stretched from docks to rail yards, truck terminals and distribution centers have rattled supply chains for companies from big auto manufacturers to mom-and-pop retailers, straining assembly lines because of parts shortages and leaving store shelves empty.

“Bottlenecks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s two biggest gateways, eased with the queue of ships waiting to dock shrinking to fewer than 20 this week from an armada of around 40 vessels at one point earlier this year, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.”