Congestion and Bottleneck Problems are Worsening

Written by Stephanie Castaneda

Congestion and Bottleneck Problems are Worsening

Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence, warned this week: “It seems that there is no sign of imminent improvement”. The trans-Pacific cargo move can now take up to three months to be imported. Transit times have now doubled pre-COVID numbers and they continue to increase.

Flexport launched their very own Ocean Timeliness Indicator in early December which uses data back from March of 2019, measuring the time from the cargo-ready date at the exporters’ gate to the date when products leave the destination port.

“Flexport’s Asia-U.S. OTI reached an all-time high of 113 days last week. That’s 41 days or 57% higher than at the same time last year, and 62 days or 121% higher than in early January 2020, pre-COVID.”

Phil Levy, chief economist of Flexport, explained the value of the OTI in an interview with American Shipper. “This is intended as a straightforward and transparent measure of how severe the crisis is,” he said.

Other forms of datasets come from Freightos and Shifl. Freightos measuring both full container loads (FCL) and less than container loads (LCL) trans-Pacific shipping duration. And Shifl, which tracks the ocean transit time of ships from when they leave major Chinese ports (Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Yantian) to their arrival in Los Angeles/Long Beach.

“As of the first half of December, Shifl calculated that the transit time was 34 days, more than double the pre-COVID average of 16 days and about two weeks more than transit times in the middle of last year.”