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Trade Alert: Shippers still Hurting from West Coast Congestion

Shippers still Hurting from West Coast Congestion

May 18, 2015 – The port issues earlier this year continue to hurt shippers. The congestion is still causing delays and in some cases lost business.

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor of the Journal of Commerce (JOC), has reported that the big question for the industry is whether shippers will permanently route cargo away from the West Coast ports when the wounds heal, or will they go back to pulling the majority of cargo through the Pacific gateways.

It looks like there may be relief in sight. The West Coast ports say productivity should be back to normal by the end of May. That is more than 4 months of congestion that they have dealt with. There definitely seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

How It Affects Your Business

  • Some US manufacturers could still be seeing delays in production materials imported via US West Coast.
  • Sailings to US West Coast should be readily available in coming months.
  • Rates to US West Coast will likely remain competitive in coming months as well.

How You Should Handle It

  • Approach shifting business back to USWC with caution, weigh all options.
  • Look to get back to business as usual, as things settle, evaluate where you were before the west coast slowdown.
  • Check with your local contacts around the ports to get a “first hand” reference of port efficiency.

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