A good summary as of the beginning of October 2022. Drewry research is well executed and they have thoughtful analysis.
There is an oversupply of container shipping capacity coming. There are so many newbuilds coming. And the amount of container freight seems to be leveling off, if not declining. And congestion seems to be declining, in at least the places that were bad over the past two years. Currently port congestion is responsible for only about 7% of effective capacity loss, down from as high as 17%.
Drewry’s position is that liner firms have the ability to control the supply of shipping, but they need to be careful to do it right. But the thinking is that the firms themselves cannot completely bridge the gap between supply and demand. Missed sailings can help, and so can phasing out old ships faster. that would also be a benefit for the climate change issues we face.
Drewry – Weekly Feature Articles – Managing the decline
The Port of Houston is quickly becoming a major container import location. but some congestion is occurring and the dwell time of containers is increasing to close to 6 days, causing slowdowns in the yards. The port has adopted a plan to apply a dwell time fee for containers left beyond 6 days. It has not been actually enabled yet.
The port has also extended gate hours to allow drivers to access the yard over a longer period. We will see how many want to use the extended hours. At Los Angeles, the extended gate hours were not so successful, even with reduced charges for the extra time periods.
What’s interesting to me here is the landside issues section. Rail remains challenged. LA Port can’t get enough trains in to pick up containers. There are now 33000 containers waiting for pickup by rail. Over 20000 have been there 9 days or more. Rail has to step up and provide more equipment to get these containers out.
Congestion on the sea side is practically gone. There are fewer than 15 ships waiting right now. It seems the major congestion in the US has shifted to the East Coast.