Worsening port congestion in Californian ports prompted by rising container volumes have forced rising number of vessels to anchor outside the neighboring ports, Long Beach and Los Angeles.
The idle vessels have clocked up to two-week delays offshore as port authorities cope with efforts to speed up movement of cargo off the docks, according to Reuters.
Retailers are rerouting goods to other ports, and some shoe and clothing companies have resorted to air transport, the Associated Press cited Nate Herman, vice president of international trade at the American Apparel & Footwear Assn as saying.
“The delays are increasing, they are not getting better,”said Herman.
The Port of Long Beach has convened a Congestion Relief Team to address congestion issues.
According to Dr. Noel Hacegaba, the Port’s Chief Operating Officer in addition to bigger ships bringing more cargo, “chassis imbalance is a big part of the congestion issue” .
Among the causes behind the congestion issue is also the failure to reach a new labour agreement between ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)
Matt Shay, President and CEO of the NRF said that the parties should at least extend the expired contract through November “in order to reinstate arbitration agreements, which are preventing many issues at the ports from being addressed.”
According to Shay, the U.S. retailers are currently going through ”the heaviest shipping season of the year,” preparing for the coming holidays, which is a ”make it or break it” time for retailers and merchants.
The delays, worst since 2004, are expected to be resolved mid-November.
World Maritime News Staff