Reports Say Port Congestion has Eased

The U.S. Department of Transportation sees signs of progress in unsnarling the nation’s supply chain.

It said imported goods are moving through ports more efficiently with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach collectively handling more containers than in any previous January.

The number of container ships awaiting berths at U.S. ports has fallen by 35 percent since peaking in early February and freight railroads’ weekly intermodal movements in March approached their highest levels of 2022 so far, USDOT said in a news release.

The USDOT news release said goods being delivered to shelves and real retail inventories, excluding autos, are at their highest levels in history and 6 percent above pre-pandemic levels.

In a related report, the National Retail Federation said major retail container ports have begun to catch up with the backlog of cargo seen over the past several months.

However, the trade group said another surge in container traffic could come this summer.

The report also noted that as west coast port congestion is easing, east coast ports are seeing growing congestion.

The NRF report said that although ports aren’t as overwhelmed as they were a year ago, they are still significantly busy moving near-record volumes of cargo.

U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 2.11 million 20-foot equivalent units in February, a decline of 2.3 percent compared with January’s level, but up 13 percent on a year-over-year basis.

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