The congestion that we are currently experiencing on the West Coast has been worsening in the past week and a half, making it arguably the worst we have seen in nearly a decade. The ILWU has released a statement saying that, “congestion is being caused by shortages and the dislocation of chassis; rail service delays, including a national shortage of rail cars; exodus of truck drivers, and long truck turn lines”*. Additionally, there has been an increase in retail import volumes, larger vessels discharging massive amounts of cargo, and container terminals pushed to storage capacities and the peak shipping season for the holidays.
• Truckers are continuing to impose congestion surcharges for any moves from West Coast Ports
• Most carriers are advising all West Coast terminals have only one team working a ship, so at this rate, it will take 8-9 days to clear most large vessels; it normally takes two days.
Congestion Surcharge: Due to the infrastructure problems, manpower shortage, and ongoing equipment shortage to move import containers over the road and rails, it is quite possible that surcharges may be applied to all import shipments, from all ports, of up to $800/container! This would translate to about $.80/case on all no. 10 cans, and $.55/case on all tuna 66.5 oz. cases!
Our infrastructure is not capable of handling the huge volume of import containers. We used to suggest an 8-12 week lead time, however we will begin to request a 14 week lead time to compensate for all the very real issues facing the import process.
It makes more sense than ever, to get your turns, and buy ex warehouse!