What the heck is going on?
To say that the supply chain is under stress is an understatement. With unprecedented volumes hitting all the United States ports, importing product has never been more challenging.
Imbalances of container volume during the early months of the COVID pandemic lead to record high container prices shortly after. United States ports have set new throughput records, while ships wait in open water outside the ports waiting to dock at overcrowded terminals.
Freightwaves.com has a great summary (and graphs) of the first half of 2021 in the container shipping world.
A lot of our customers ask, So where does it go from here? Well, many experts think that container demand will remain extremely strong well into 2022. That means delays at the ports will continue to be a challenge and it will just remain a part of the importer life.
Partnering with solid transportation carriers (Hello, Continental Logistics) that provide realistic expectations of delivery is one way to ease some of the stress. Consistent and honest communication is the only way to read and react to the importing challenges presented to all of us.