More than 150 containerships are waiting to load at the ports of Shanghai and Ningbo and 242 are waiting for berths across the country, according to eeSea, a company that analyses carrier schedules.

Blamed are Typhoon Chanthu and the Covid crisis, combined with the usual start of the transpacific peak season, reports New York FreightWaves.

When operations at Shenzhen-Yantian terminal were curtailed by a Covid in June, the number of ships at anchor in California’s San Pedro Bay declined. The problem for California ports was that the temporary reprieve was soon followed by a surge in delayed cargo.

“The devil in these things is the whiplash effect,” Simon Sundboell, founder of eeSea, told American Shipper. “What you’d rather have is more stability, not these swings, and I think what everybody fears is that the swings will become even more volatile. When the system is already this stretched, all of these unexpected events can be a causal factor in congestion.”

A major driver of congestion on both sides of the Pacific is limited landside capacity (terminals, trucking, railyard and warehousing) while vessel capacity remains highly flexible.

Copyright: HKSG Group Media Ltd.