Port Tracker: COVID-19 disruptions dampen inbound container visitors

WASHINGTON – Pandemic-related provide chain disruptions are slowing imports on the largest U.S. container ports.

In response to the month-to-month World Port Tracker from the Nationwide Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, double-digit inbound container progress is slipping into single digits.

“Yr-over-year progress isn’t as dramatic because it was earlier, as a result of we’re now evaluating in opposition to months when most shops closed by the pandemic final yr had reopened and retailers had been stocking up once more,” NRF Vice President for Provide Chain and Customs Coverage Jonathan Gold mentioned in a launch. “We anticipated that.

“However we’re seeing points starting from port closures in Asia to ships lined up ready to dock at U.S. ports. That’s creating persevering with challenges as retailers work to provide sufficient stock to satisfy demand. The administration’s current appointment of a provide chain process power and a port envoy are main steps ahead, and we stay up for working with officers to search out options.”

Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett added the present state of affairs makes it troublesome for importers to do enterprise. “We face shortages in all sectors of the chain: an absence of enough transport capability, which results in will increase in the price of cargo, lack of warehousing, lack of truck and rail capability, and a scarcity of labor throughout the board,” he mentioned.

U.S. ports coated by World Port Tracker dealt with 2.19 million twenty-foot equal models in July, the newest month for which last numbers can be found. That was up 2% from June and up 14.2% from a yr earlier.

Ports haven’t reported August numbers but, however World Port Tracker projected the month at 2.27 million TEUs, which might be up 7.8% year-over-year.

That will be the busiest August on report. However it might fall in need of the two.37 million TEUs forecast for August a month in the past, which might have damaged Might’s report of two.33 million TEUs for the biggest variety of containers imported throughout a single month since NRF started monitoring imports in 2002.

With two dozen ships ready so long as per week or extra at anchor to unload on the Ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seashore just lately, some cargo anticipated in August might have been delayed into September. And with some sailings from Asia delayed by COVD-19 disruptions there, some cargo may arrive later within the fall than beforehand anticipated.

August is the start of the “peak season” when retailers refill on vacation merchandise every year, and plenty of retailers had been making an attempt to maneuver up shipments this yr to make sure that enough stock will likely be accessible in the course of the holidays.

September is forecast at 2.21 million TEUs, which might be up 5.1% year-over-year; October at 2.19 million TEUs, down 1.3% for the primary year-over-year decline since July 2020; November at 2.13 million TEUs, up 1.4%, and December at 2.07 million TEUs, down 1.8%. January 2022 is forecast at 2.15 million TEUs, up 4.5% from January 2021.

The primary half of 2021 totaled 12.8 million TEUs, up 35.6% from the identical interval final yr. For the complete yr, 2021 is on observe to whole 25.9 million TEUs, up 17.6% over 2020 and a brand new annual report topping final yr’s 22 million TEUs. Cargo imports throughout 2020 had been up 1.9% over 2019 regardless of the pandemic.

World Port Tracker present historic information and forecast for U.S. Ports together with Los Angeles/Lengthy Seashore, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Port of Virginia, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Miami and Jacksonville on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast.

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