Risks at US Ports Don’t Go Away!

Posted on March 1st, 2015 by Ed Blickstein

US Port Issues – Risk (February 23, 2015)

  • The 9 month stalemate has ended at the US West Coast ports, agreement still requires ratification by the workers but what we’re hearing is this shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Importers will likely see port delays and service interruptions for 3 to 4 months.

  • Many ocean carriers are avoiding the port of Oakland, dropping containers in Los Angeles just to keep their vessels moving. This is causing further congestion issues, changes in costs as the importer will then be responsible for getting that container from LA to its final destination unless it’s moving inland via the rail. If your shipment is for a location around Oakland or San Francisco area you will bear the cost for the movement from LA.

  • Once cargo is off-loaded, in the US, likely will see a 7-15 day delay depending on the ocean carrier.

  • Ocean carriers are also avoiding certain ports in Asia in order to lessen the issues at some of the highly congested origin ports in countries there.

  • Importers should work with suppliers to pre-book 3-4 weeks in advance to ensure space when the shipment becomes available.

  • The air market has been surging lately, likely due to the factory shut downs because of the Chinese Holiday. Airlines are predicting a bump for several weeks, air rates have up from about 10-30%.

  • Congestion at US West Coast ports is likely to continue for many months due to problems handling the huge capacities of mega-ships and navigating the timetables of new shipping alliances, a US Federal Maritime Commission regulator has warned.

  • If not started, importers should look at incorporating additional ports, gulf and East Coast, as part of their overall strategy.


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