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July EC cargo surge provides no congestion relief

Asian imports landing at ports along the East and Gulf coasts surged in July, offering no respite from the vessel backlogs and terminal congestion experienced by those regions in recent months. West Coast ports saw a YoY drop in cargoes from Asia, demonstrating why those gateways have experienced far less congestion than last summer.

Asian imports moving through East Coast ports in July increased 14.3% YoY, while volumes along the Gulf Coast jumped 24.2%. West Coast ports saw imports from Asia fall 5.2% YoY.

Many retailers have committed to the routing decisions they made earlier this year. Therefore, East and Gulf coast ports could continue to experience congestion issues through the peak season.

The East Coast’s share of U.S. imports from Asia in July was 34%, up from 30.5% in July 2021, while the Gulf Coast’s share rose to 7.2% from 6.3%. The West Coast’s share dropped to 58.6% from 63.4% YoY.

The increased volumes moving through East and Gulf Coast ports in July was especially evident in the busiest ports. Asian imports were up 18.7% in NY-NJ, 17% in Savannah, and 21.6% in Houston. Conversely, Asian imports in July were down 18.7% in LA / LB.

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Multipurpose ships boosting container line capacity

Ocean carriers increasingly turned to multipurpose and general cargo ships to supplement capacity on a number of trade lanes, particularly in the intra-Asia market, amid space constraints brought on by pandemic-fueled demand.

The liners join cargo owners in making a move to the niche, non-cellular (NC) vessels, with shippers having done so throughout the pandemic as they became increasingly desperate to find alternatives to regular container service.

Carriers have bumped up the capacity supplied by NC vessels, including both MPVs and general cargo ships, by 21.6% YoY. However, those additions add up to only 1.1% of the total liner service capacity available globally.

According to Alphaliner, intra-Asia services have taken up the largest concentration of NC ships on dedicated container services, adding a total of 133,200 TEU. Swire Shipping is the largest when it comes to deploying NC ships, operating 14 ships that add more than 25,000 TEU to its capacity.

MSC ranks second, operating 16 NC ships that add approximately 18,000 TEU to its liner service capacity. MSC recently acquired a number of second-hand MPV ships, now trading as local feeders.

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About O’Neill Logistics

O’Neill Logistics is a leading 3PL with operations in Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Savannah, GA; and Newark/Monroe, NJ. We service many verticals including Garments, Fashion Accessories, Footwear, Furniture, Home Goods, & Electronics. Additionally, we offer omni-channel distribution and all value-added services. Lastly, we focus on retail “drop shipment” fulfillment and item-level fulfillment services with same-day service offerings.

O’Neill Logistics has over 2 million square feet of state-of-the-art facilities. Additionally, we offer dray services to support the warehouses and provide distribution to retailers and wholesalers. Our reliable 3PL platform combines sophisticated technology with robust, flexible processing designs and speed-to-market gateway models.

Lastly, we aim to simplify your supply chain. We deliver exceptional service and can optimize your operational performance. Therefore, we aim to build, protect and foster strong business partnerships.