The number of imports to West Coast ports has decreased this year, while imports to East Coast ports have increased. Surprisingly, the biggest driver has been China, not the backups at West Cost ports, according to the research company Zepol.
Imports from China to the East Coast have increased by 20%. In the Gulf, imports from China increased by a whopping 43%. Meanwhile, imports from China to West Coast ports decreased 3%, Zepol reported.
Regardless of where freight is shifting, the same problems with bottlenecks remain. In the US, 89% of all imports and exports move through just 8 ports. Worldwide, 58 international ports handle 85% of all imports headed to the US. Asia is the biggest sources of cargo, where the top five largest ports in the world are located (Shanghai and Shenzhen in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Busan, South Korea).
So what we have are bigger and bigger ships coming in and out of just a few major ports, causing congestion and delays not just in the US, but around the world. Terminals are working to address the problem with larger and faster cranes, but ultimately, they struggle to find space within their yards for storage.
By providing better information and visibility to both trucking companies and terminals, we can help trucks move more efficiently through terminals and reduce congestion and delays, even as the volume of cargo increases. To learn more, contact us.