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November 11, 2022

By Lori Ann LaRocco


An increase in blanked, or canceled sailings, from Asia bound for the U.S. is hitting some of the biggest domestic ports hard, including the Port of Long Beach and Port of Savannah, reducing their ability to ship exports. The decline in vessels coming from Asia on the Transpacific route is creating an increase in the wait time, or dwell time, of export containers at the Port of Long Beach.

Supply chain research firm Project44 tracks exports from “gate-in to loaded on a ship,” said Joshua Brazil, Project44 vice president of supply chain insights, and that metric hit 18.33 days at the Port of Long Beach, as of November 10.

“We are projecting 28 blank sailings for Q4, which represents approximately 15% of our quarterly vessel capacity,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “As shipping lines reduce their vessel calls in the form of blank sailings, this reduces the capacity for outbound volumes. That said, we continue to prioritize exports over empties, which is one reason empties are ticking up on terminal.”

Cordero said that the port anticipates loaded imports to continue to taper off for the rest of the calendar year.

“The major contributing factor is the lack of distribution centers and warehouses receiving capacity throughout the U.S. and ocean container dwell time awaiting unload,” said Paul Brashier, vice president of drayage and intermodal at ITS Logistics. “Oakland chassis should be normalized throughout November as many chassis providers are repositioning chassis from an oversaturated LA/LB market. Slowdowns and disruptions already experienced at the Port of Oakland have caused increased volume at the ports on the East and Gulf Coasts.”

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