Port congestion: Port congestion in Asia is easing while the US battles the import flood

Asia’s largest ports are showing signs of congestion easing before the holiday season, a potentially positive move for major US trading ports still grappling with import inflows.

Total traffic in Shanghai-Ningbo was down 0.2% from the previous week and the number of ships in Hong Kong-Shenzhen was down 10.4%, according to a data analysis by Bloomberg News. Singapore, Asia’s third largest trading hub, posted a 14.7% drop on a weekly basis as the lag seen since early November appeared to have largely been eliminated.

The same cannot be said about the Pacific yet as the ship lines in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California have remained elevated. The congestion in these neighboring ports increased by 6.7% compared to the previous week.

At least 75 container ships were waiting to be berthed to unload early Friday after politicians toured ports two days ago and announced a 32% decrease in the number of containers left on the docks for more than nine days.


Land-to-sea handover remains a problem for America’s largest container hub, as local logistics companies don’t pick up their containers fast enough and a steady stream of ships arrives to drop off more.

The White House said in a blog post on Wednesday that the number of containers left in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for more than nine days fell to 87,000 in the week ended November 15, compared to 127,000 On november 1st.

Yet analysts were reluctant to end the worst of the global supply crises.

“The chances are still of getting worse before it gets better,” said Lars Jensen, CEO of Vespucci Maritime in Copenhagen, in an email on Friday. “There is still a significant risk of Covid outbreak impacts on the port, particularly in China. in the first quarter, he said.


The traffic jams did not ease evenly in Chinese ports. The congestion rate – the ratio of waiting ships to ships in port – rose 25% higher than the median in Tianjin, while a Covid-19 outbreak in the smaller port of Dalian reduced the number of container ships to an April to November low of five.

Manila continues to experience high congestion rates, with at least 15 container ships waiting to be unloaded, compared to eight in port. In the US, Savannah, Georgia continues to have the worst congestion rate of any major container port at 87.5%.

(ET RISE, the one-stop shop for MSMEs, provides news, views, and analysis related to GST, exports, finance, politics, and small business management.)

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