It wasn’t very long after Joe Biden became president that shipping containers started piling up at every port of the United States. The log jam of containers at all of America’s ports has caused supply chain issues for the entire country.
The estimated cost is being passed on to Americans causing the price of goods and services to increase 4.5 times more than what they were paying at the end of 2020. The cost of exporting goods has also skyrocketed.
In 2020, under former President Trump, the price to ship a container from Asia to California was $3,800. That price spiked to $17,000 inOctober of 2021, which is simply outrageous.
North America’s largest ports are at Los Angeles and Long Beach in California. Considering these two ports, one might assume that the shipping congestion has significantly been reduced. In January the number of ships waiting to get docked has fallen from 109 in January to just 26. So, to a Biden supporter’s reckoning, “Crisis, What Crisis?”
Although the port congestions were finally beginning to look like it was easing in May and early June of this year, as the number of ships waiting to dock had fallen back to double digits. It is never good for the greatest country in the world to have ships sitting off the coast in line waiting to dock and unload. But getting it down to double digit was a sign that the line was getting shorter. As of June 10, 92 vessels were waiting off of the combined ports of Savannah, Georgia, Los Angeles/Long Beach, New York/New Jersey and Houston. Not that that number was fantastic, but it did seem as if we were finally alleviating a disastrous situation, and hope that the supply chain was slowly getting back on track.
But, by July 8, North American port congestion had re-entered record-breaking territory, with the offshore traffic jam being the worst it has ever been. Vessel numbers had climbed to 125, then on July 13, it was 136 and 140 on July 19.
Those numbers meant that the North American vessel back-up had increased 66% in seven weeks.
In January and February of this year, North American congestion was thought to be at its worst as around 150 container vessels were waiting off our coastlines. Two-thirds of those vessels were backed up at the Los Angeles/Long Beach ports.
As of last Thursday, there were 153 container ships in our ports traffic jam. Most of them off the East and Gulf Coast ports. Earlier in the year when the West Coast back log was more centralized and highly publicized, and relatively easier to keep track of, today’s cargo pileup is more widely distributed and attracting less attention, but is still real.
During the last container fiasco earlier this year, Mayor Pete was on paternity leave, but we the people are wondering, what is his excuse now? As the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, we the people, would love to know what exactly you are doing to alleviate this mounting situation.
Akhil Nair, Vice President of carrier management at Seko Logistics, said during a briefing on July 20, “With all the early threats of the potential ILWU strike and labor constraints on the West Coast, there was an automatic shift during contract season for customers to require traditional West Coast shippers to request allocation on the East Coast as well.” This was the contractual hedge that they put in place.
Nair continued, “This has resulted now in people probably having overcompensated. The congestion on the East Coast is a result of some of this shifting in the supply chain design and hedging for potential incidents or reliable or unpredictable activity on the West Coast.”
This pile up at America’s ports does beg the question, “Where is Pete Buttigieg?”
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