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Where to expect shipping delays this peak season

Where to expect shipping delays this peak season

The peak shipping season of 2022 is set to kick off, and according to the latest findings of the CNBC Heat Map, businesses looking to get supplies to their customers and products stocked and ready are in for some serious challenges this year.

Source: CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map

West coast ports are swamped with congestion with the Port of Oakland now taking six days to load and unload before leaving containers lingering portside for nearly 11 days before being transported. Los Angeles isn’t faring any better at five and a half days for processing and nearly 12 days for containers to leave the port. 

Adding even more to the frustration are rail delays caused by staffing shortages and overwhelmed infrastructure. With the ongoing labor dispute with BNSF, around 1,000 rail workers have resigned since February, meaning shipments are now being left waiting over 6 days to get them on a train — more than triple the dwell time compared to pre-pandemic days. 

On the other side of the country, East Coast ports continue to see tremendous volume. A buildup of vessels that has at times overshadowed even the normally busier West Coast counterparts is being seen off the ports of Houston, Savannah, as well as the Port of New York and New Jersey.

While the container volumes will be high this peak season, a pullback is expected later in the year. Logistics companies and retail insiders have reported to FreightWaves that Chinese manufacturers are seeing a decrease of 20% to 30% in the number of orders received. This decrease in orders will help to ease container volumes — but not until after peak season.

Just as the trucking industry has been struggling with a driver shortage — 80,000 at last count — ports on both sides of the country have also been impacted by worker shortages. Put together this means that both full and empty shipping containers can’t be moved fast enough to allow incoming ships to unload. As the heat map above shows, this has already brought on longer offshore wait times, and with peak season about to kick off with a huge influx of new shipments coming into the country, an even greater challenge is very likely on the horizon. 

While there’s no ignoring the challenge, by increasing the efficiency of your shipping options and improving visibility into your supply chain, it’s possible to prevent these issues from derailing your supply chain. 

Assessing each individual order’s size, weight, locations, pickup and delivery times, and consolidating them onto the most cost-effective and available routes and modes is typically a valuable but time-consuming task. However, automated tools like Shipwell’s Load Optimization, have simplified the process. Pairing these capabilities with access to an integrated nationwide network of premium carriers, shippers can instantly uncover the best carrier options available to move their cargo out of the port, warehouse, distribution center or factory and to its final destination. 

To help further support disruption-free shipments in the face of increased congestion across the country, the Shipwell platform also continuously monitors all shipments throughout the shipment lifecycle from a central location through Compass Dashboard. By proactively identifying issues and providing guided actions to address them instantly through machine learning and AI, shippers can see a 98% on-time delivery and pickup rate.

From the pandemic and global conflict to staff shortages and environmental disruptions, the global supply chain has been hit by an unprecedented number of challenges over the past years. To learn more about how Shipwell can help you to keep yours on track no matter what comes next, schedule a demo today.