Amid a “very quiet” end-of-year shipping season, empty containers are piling up at Chinese ports.
According to Alice Tang, China-Europe land transport planner at ITS Cargo, there has been a complete reversal of the severe equipment shortages of last year’s pandemic-induced cargo boom.
“Empty containers are piling up at ports including Guangzhou, Yantian, and Shekou,” she told The Loadstar.
To avert a railroad strike projected to cost the economy $2 billion daily, the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 30 passed a bill outlining a labor agreement between rail carriers and workers.
The legislation, which advanced to the U.S. Senate, would implement provisions negotiated in a tentative agreement reached in September by the Presidential Emergency Board.
The measure’s passage in the House by a vote of 290-137 with bipartisan support came on the heels of President Joe Biden urging Congress to legislate on the ongoing labor dispute between railroads and key freight rail unions.
West Coast ports have been slammed with a slew of headwinds recently, including record-breaking congestion and labor disruptions. As a result, East Coast ports have gained popularity with shippers — and carriers — of all types.
The Port of Los Angeles saw throughput fall 25% year over year in October, and the Port of Long Beach experienced a 24% year-over-year drop. In contrast, the Port of Savannah experienced a 2% year-over-year climb, and the Port of Charleston realized 7% annual growth.
While a portion of the West Coast’s dropping volumes can be attributed to waning consumer demand for durable goods, the growth seen on the East Coast makes it clear that companies are beginning to favor the Eastern Seaboard.