Aug 24

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“Here comes the rain again, Falling on my head like a memoryFalling on my head like a new emotion…”

7 minute read
Los Angeles, California, (IStock)

1352 words 6 minute read – Let’s do this!

I feel like weather has been a big topic for the past couple months, but man, what a summer of crazy weather it has been. A hurricane in Southern California, temps over 100 degrees in many cities including Chicago, droughts and damaging and devastating wildfires. It just seems like the weather of 2023 is hitting differently. Even in the beginning of the year when Southern California had never ending rain and wind. We haven’t seen a full nice, sunny, seasonably normal temperature day for a while now in Buffalo. It all just seems – Weird. But summer is coming to a close, many kids are back to college and school life and the rest will be starting real soon. Labor Day is upon us. A whole new weather shift is on the horizon. Could we have even more drastic changes in the upcoming fall weather that affects volumes into 4th quarter?

While some of us are getting excessive amounts of rain, vessel congestion at the Panama Canal is intensifying due to severe lack of rain, affecting trade and shipping worldwide. The recent figures depict a worrisome trend:

Vessel Backlog: As of Wednesday, 140 vessels were waiting at the Panama Canal, an increase from 130 the day before

Waiting Times: 10-11 days average waiting time this month, an increase from 6-7 days in July

Importers are forced to distribute products across multiple vessels and adding to additional costs. Energy shipments are facing significant reroutes to avoid the canal, incurring additional delays.

In a move to mitigate these bottlenecks, the Panama Canal Authority has made provisions for more non-booked ships to transit. The daily cap remains restricted to a maximum of 32 vessels, four less than usual. Recent rainfall hasn’t brought much relief, with weight limitations still in place due to a draft restriction of 44 feet, affecting several ship types, including tankers and bulk carriers.

Some importers are preparing for 2024 by limiting the number of transits through the canal. Logically, this is best done “against” smaller vessels which use disproportionate amounts of water per TEU shipped compared with the large vessels. This will impact shipments between the East Coast of South America and the West Coast of North America — and vice versa. This could well prompt a situation of more transshipment of that cargo onto some of the larger deep-sea services, adding cost and time but also further reducing capacity between Asia and the US East Coast. Of course, part of this can be remedied by shifting some volumes from Asia over to the Suez Canal — again perfectly feasible, but it will add some time and cost.

Import TEU volumes are up 7.98% from last week, better news as we round out August and roll into September.  Volumes for the past 2 months of 2023 are still slightly above volumes in 2019 are even nearing 2021 and 2022 for the end of August as shown on the chart below.  Still hoping for the peak season to peek through! 

What’s happening at the ports and rails?:

You can find all the information on the below link where we cover port congestion, chassis issues and capacity lead times weekly at all U.S. and Canada Ports and rail heads

LA/LGB: This past weekend, Tropical storm Hilary caused vessels that were pending berthing call to be moved off to an anchorage point. Berthing and discharging resumed Monday morning. Despite the weather causing road closures and flooding in some parts of Southern California, there are no major issues at the port. Gates are flowing freely and we have capacity for your drayage and transloading needs. Contact our West Coast team at
Vessels currently in Port LA:  134  Expected Arrivals: 44
Vessels currently in Port LGB: 80  Expected Arrivals: 65

The effects of Tropical Storm Hilary also trickling into Denver – Union Pacific Corp said on Monday that two routes into and out of the Los Angeles Basin were closed due to washouts and flood water over the rail, after parts of Southern California and U.S. Southwest were hit by flash floods. Public electrical outages are impacting the company’s operations in some terminals along with road closures also impacting transport of railroad crews. This will increase rail dwell time into Denver and cause delays and potential capacity shortages. Port X Logistics Denver has you covered,  whether you are looking to be proactive on drayage coverage or need transloading for faster delivery on your longer hauls out of Denver we can get you on the schedule ASAP.  Send your orders today to secure space and the fastest turnaround time with your POD in hand right at delivery.

Oakland: In the beginning of the month many Oakland carriers and yard storage locations were forced to move out of Port property area, creating a lot of storage issues and backlog. As a result of all the mandatory real estate changes,  our Oakland operations have moved to a new yard complete with a transload warehouse and a yard that can store 100 containers. Arsh,  JP,  and the Oakland team have drivers and staff on hand purposely waiting to service your Oakland containers. Proactive updates and the BEST customer service is always our promise
Vessels currently in Port: 60  Expected Arrivals: 7

Seattle/Tacoma: Volumes are building in the Seattle/Tacoma ports, some due to routing to avoid the Canadian Pacific Northwest Ports and Panama Canal – the good news is that we are seeing no delays!  We have plenty of drayage capacity on hand and plenty of warehouse space for your transload cargo.  We urge you to contact us quickly as the volume increases are trending into early September, combined with the holiday Port shutdowns may decrease capacity and increase congestion.  The faster you send paperwork the faster our West Coast team will guarantee you capacity and a NO demurrage GUARANTEE
Vessels currently in Port SEA:  354  Expected Arrivals: 38
Vessels currently in Port TAC: 76  Expected Arrivals: 20

Hurricane Harold has weakened to a tropical depression earlier this week causing no real issues to the ports, however the temperatures remain HOT with excess rain threatening flash flooding around the ports and another tropical storm 150 south of Houston – and 334 vessels are at port with 149 more on the way. Amongst all this crazy, vessel delays can happen and we can help. We are also equipped in Houston with a vast amount of drayage capacity and a full service warehouse that can tackle heavy projects and quick turn around for hot freight. Our team is on standby!
Vessels currently in Port LA:  334  Expected Arrivals: 149

Chicago: There have been reports of the NS moving slowly this week and the CN and CP are backlogged from the BC Ports July shutdown, causing some congestion. Are you having a hard time finding coverage for your Chicago drays due to backlogs? We have 80 drivers here to help and an All-Star staff for your emergencies. We can even handle overweight containers and we have specialty equipment on hand for damaged containers that cannot be safely mounted to a chassis. Contact Danny and the team at

Did you know? The Port X Logistics Atlantic Division has Drayage capacity and drivers ready to roll! We have immediate capacity available for all your import and export containers in Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville. We offer competitive rates and proactive updates from overseas to final delivery.  We also have a Savannah transload warehouse with 24/7 operations for all your hot transloads. We can pull off same day drayage, transload and outbound loading and all our drivers will be on our shareable tracking app helping to provide ease and peace of mind for you and your customers. Contact our Port X Logistics Atlantic Division team members Tyler, Kyle, and Tristan at 

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