As you have no doubt been reading, all 4 USWC ports (Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Portland, Seattle/Tacoma) are in the midst of unprecedented and critical congestion. Terminal operations have been crippled by a labor slowdown. Dozens of vessels are sitting at anchor, some waiting 3 weeks or longer to be unloaded. Many wait a month just to call Los Angeles, and simply omit Oakland, declaring force majeure and dropping containers hundreds of miles from their destination. This weekend, the ports will close completely, with terminal owners refusing to extra wages for low productivity during the Presidents Day holiday.
Terminal gates and west coast rails are congested – local truckers are overbooked for weeks. Bookings made today may not have a trucker available for 2-4 weeks – and the container may well sit at the terminal even longer until the vessel is ready for re-loading. When the dispute is eventually resolved and ports resume normal operating capacity, the resulting backlog will take several months to clear.
East and Gulf Coast ports are seeing increased congestion and increasing freight rates as West Coast cargo is diverted. Carriers have also filed emergency congestion surcharges for these ports but have not yet invoked them.
That’s the bad news. The good news: Rose is monitoring the situation daily and has some great alternatives to offer you and your clients:
FCL via USEC/Gulf – we can move containers via road and rail to other ports. With 25+ FCL contracts in our own name, we have access to all carriers and all sailings!
LCL – New York is our consolidation hub and we can get your cargo on the water! We load weekly to more than 275 global ports. Our comprehensive intermodal system will grab your freight from anywhere in the States (including sunny, congested California) and get it to its destination with a minimum of hassle.
Air – California airports are getting busy as Seafreight gets diverted to the airways, but we are here to help! Rose is a fully-accredited IATA agent and has access to plenty of space. Your freight will fly smoothly above the port congestion as we make you look good to your clients.
-Worldwide Express, Inc.