Imports at the nation’s congested container ports are expected to remain at near-record levels for the remainder of the year as retailers rush to move merchandise from docks to shelves in time to meet the expectations of holiday shoppers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates (Nov. 8).
More than 70 ships were reported waiting to dock at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach last week, and the wait at Los Angeles has averaged two weeks over the past month. Those delays, in turn, can push back the vessels’ arrival at other ports on their schedules. Some carriers have announced plans to divert to other locations, but congestion is building nationwide.
“The once-vaunted supply chain continues to come under pressure from all sides,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said, citing issues ranging from port congestion in the United States to electrical shortages impacting production in China. “It does not look like the congestion will improve any time soon, with most commentators suggesting problems will continue well into 2022 – and that is assuming COVID-19 does not spike again.”
Source: National Retail Association