Back in January, 109 containerships waited off the California coast to unload cargo in Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s two largest ports. Consumers, stuck at home amid the pandemic, had unleashed an avalanche of orders for goods that overwhelmed factories and ports.
Importers were paying $20,000 to send a single container from China to the United States — sometimes more than the goods inside were worth. Businesses had to backorder everything from bedroom furniture to kitchen fryers, if they could get them at all.
SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Port of Savannah plans a $410 million overhaul of one of its sprawling terminals to make room for loading and unloading larger ships while focusing its business almost exclusively on cargo shipped in containers.
The Georgia Ports Authority’s governing board approved the project Dec. 5 under a plan to expand Savannah’s capacity for cargo containers by more than 50% by 2025.
U.S. logistic managers are bracing for delays in the delivery of goods from China in early January as a result of canceled sailings of container ships and rollovers of exports by ocean carriers.
Carriers have been executing on an active capacity management strategy by announcing more blank sailings and suspending services to balance supply with demand. “The unrelenting decline in container freight rates from Asia, caused by a collapse in demand, is compelling ocean carriers to blank more sailings than ever before as vessel utilization hits new lows,” said Joe Monaghan, CEO of Worldwide Logistics Group.