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West coast ports brace for new import surge – 'but they can cope this time'

An overhead view of a busy port.

The Loadstar
January 12, 2024
Ian Putzger

US west coast ports are bracing for a surge in imports, driven by the convergence of supply chain and geopolitical chaos – and there’s little sign of an imminent return to normal.

Factors include the resumption of inventory build-up, returning flows that had been diverted to other US gateways during last year’s labour contract negotiations, a knock-on effect from problems affecting transits through the Panama and Suez canals and concerns about potential disruption at east coast ports as port labour contract negotiations get under way....

“I feel the ports should be able to handle the increased volume,” said Paul Brashier, VP drayage and intermodal of ITS Logistics.

For him, one question mark is over trucking’s capacity to cope with elevated volumes. The pronounced decline in volume at Los Angeles and Long Beach caused companies to reduce capacity and mothball equipment, he pointed out, adding that ITS was adding capacity.

Read the full article here.

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