A container ship off Tybee Island, Georgia (Photo: AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) Anchorages continue to fill with waiting container ships off East and Gulf Coast ports, where vessel queues have now far outgrown those off the West Coast. Along all three coasts combined, the number of waiting container vessels remains exceptionally high.
There were 125 container ships waiting off North American ports on Friday morning, according to an analysis of ship-tracking data from MarineTraffic and queue numbers from California.
That’s down 16% from 150 waiting ships in January, when West Coast congestion peaked, but up 36% from 92 ships a month ago .
The ship queue off Los Angeles/Long Beach garnered the most headlines over the past year, yet the congestion epicenter has shifted: As of Friday, only 36% of waiting ships were off West Coast ports, with 64% off the East and Gulf Coast ports. Savannah, Georgia, now has the largest ship queue in North America. Container ship pileup offshore of Savannah, Friday 8 a.m. Map: MarineTraffic Container ships waiting off U.S. and British Columbia ports on Friday had a combined capacity of 1,037,164 twenty-foot equivalent units.
How much cargo value is in all those boxes? On a purely back-of-the-envelope basis, assuming 90% utilization (some estimates are higher) and an average cargo value per import TEU of $43,899 (the average value of cargo imported by Los Angeles in 2020, likely conservative given inflation), the estimated value of cargo waiting offshore on Friday exceeded $40 billion. Volumes shift to the east
Project44 tracks monthly arriving TEU capacity to West Coast versus East Coast ports.
It found that June capacity heading to the East Coast was up 83% year on year and up 177% compared to June 2020. East Coast-bound capacity is now on par with West Coast-bound capacity, which has dropped almost 40% since […]
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