State of Freight November 2021
November 4, 2021

As the holidays are upon us and the end of the year approaches, our sights turn to shipping to find out what will make it to the shelves this year and beyond.  Here’s what’s happening in the supply chain right now.


LAX and LGB ports are clogged with container ships vying for berthing appointments.  By today’s count, there are 80 container vessels off Long Beach and Los Angeles ports awaiting to berth and unload. Vessels are waiting on average about 7 days before unloading.   Moving all these containers is proving challenging with the trucker and chassis shortages.  In order to encourage the movement of containers, LAX/LGB Commissions have approved a “Container Excess Dwell Fee” that penalizes containers (ocean carriers and ultimately IOR’s) that have been unloaded and sitting at port.  Fees will begin accruing for trucked containers waiting at port for over 9 days or train containers waiting at port over 6 days.  If a container has not been picked up at port by the specified time, compound fees begin to accrue daily at $100. This fee only affects LAX and LGB ports. This is a wait and see situation as all of America hopes their goods will arrive in a timely fashion for the holidays.  Other west coast ports such as Oakland, Vancouver, Tacoma are seeing better movement but all are still experiencing some type of delays.


Although not nearly as clogged, the east coast is seeing congestion at ports as well.   NYC and SAV ports are experiencing the most delays with 46 vessels currently in Savannah and 54 container ships currently in NYC port.   Wait times here are also about 7 days to berth and unload.  There is currently no “Excess Dwell Fee” on the east coast.


The rail yards in the US are also in a similar situation as ocean ports.  Lack of workers, unending lines of containers and not enough equipment to move the containers continues to be a problem.   Railyards continue to secure additional storage yards for containers that can’t be moved immediately.


As the country locked down in 2020, many truck drivers opted to retire or change careers.  We are now experiencing the effects of this as there is a desperate need for truck drivers to move cargo around the country.  There are just not enough truckers to handle the immense number of imports arriving in the USA.  Trucking companies continue to train drivers in order to fill the gaps left last year.



Container shortages and congested ports continue in Southern Asia and rolling sail schedules are common.  You can expect a sail schedule out of Asia to roll at least 1 week.  The Coronavirus is still an issue at ports causing some vessels to skip ports of call.  Overall, exports are still flowing fast and furious out of Asia as the entire country begins to prepare for the upcoming Chinese New Year.



Last week we started to see container prices decreasing.  40′ containers have dropped in price by as much as $10,000.  Containers are still astronomically high, so we don’t want to start dancing in the streets just yet, but any bit of good news is worth rejoicing.   Let’s hope this trend continues into 2022.  Only time will tell.

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