The year begins with a continued wild ride in our industry. Things are already out of control with over 30 vessels anchored in the LA/LGB harbor, limited dock space to off load the vessels, chassis shortages, very limited port appointments to return empty containers, and a lack of real estate to park all of the equipment that cannot be returned.
Alternatively, in the export world many markets such as Houston, Columbus, and NY/NJ are experiencing empty container shortages at almost every port and depot. Over on the west coast in LA/LGB, most SSLs have shortened the export turn time—1.5 days to pick up an empty, load, and return. The typical three to five day window is a thing of the past. Volume and congestion continue at record pace.
To add insult to injury, once space is booked on an outgoing vessel, we’re finding that the ERD/CUT dates are then pushed out without notification to accommodate lack of equipment availability and vessel delays.
The wild west has now spread to other west coast ports, as well as east coast ports and many interior rail ramps!!! All the ports and ramps are back logged, and the chassis shortages has rippled throughout the USA.
So what to do……
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN—Port X has been urging our customers to plan for months now. And now it’s come to the point that we need to prioritize resources to those who have listened to us and PLANNED accordingly.
If you can work with us on planning, we can allocate all of the required resources to get the job done. We need confirmation of the shipment well in advance of the vessel arrival. Each market is slightly different, but we need to know at least a WEEK prior to vessel arrival will be required.
Some of our customers are actually dispatching us shipments as the vessels are leaving the port of origin. This is the optimal way to do things in the given environment.
Our goal is to provide you the Port X service standards that you are accustomed to: proactive communication, visibility, and finishing it up with “it’s our pleasure.” With collaboration and planning, we can help meet all of the end customers’ expectations and navigate these difficult times. Our goal is to collaborate with our customers to provide a winning solution.
We are always available help put solutions together in order to make all of your deliveries successful.