Ships Stuck at Port: Why an Expert Drayage Provider Helps

Posted by Port City Logistics on Mar 17, 2022 12:24:39 PM

As recovery continues in the wake of the Covid pandemic, supply chain disruptions, rolled cargo concerns, and other issues still plague shippers and carriers alike. With countless ships stuck at port, cargo ships stuck at sea, and containers sitting at ports unable to be emptied, the bottleneck and pressure on shippers continues to increase.

According to an early January 2022 report by NBC Los Angeles, “Port of Los Angeles officials said when the policy was announced that about 40% of import containers were idling at terminals for at least nine days.” With ports struggling to dig out of the backlogs, many are beginning to impose higher and stricter demurrage and detention fees on shippers who let cargo idle and pile up, creating more challenges for other ports, including those along the eastern seaboard too. With more container ships backed up and unable to find a berth at ports along the west coast, the need for expert drayage services is more apparent than ever before.

Why Reduced Port Anchorage May Be Hiding a Bigger Problem

As 2021 rolled into 2022, it appeared as though fewer ships were crowding the docks waiting for their turn at berth. Port container management seemed to be leveling out and improving as well. In reality, this was not the case, as many shippers and logistics managers realize. What was happening was more ships were staying farther out at sea, yet there was still the same number of cargo ships stuck at sea. They were just waiting farther offshore as there were still large numbers of ships stuck at port. There are still an unprecedented number of container ships backed up off ports all along the West Coast, and the East Coast is even starting to see a surge in cargo ships that it might not be prepared to adequately handle.

An Expert Drayage Provider Helps BCOs Manage Ships Stuck at Port

The current idea that the bottlenecks at ports around the country are lessening creates a false sense of security for shippers. These limited view data points make it seem like the problem is resolving itself, and conditions are improving as ports clear backlogs. In reality, all that is happening in most cases is the problem is being held off at arm’s length and largely ignored until it gets closer and becomes a more noticeable issue for shippers and port managers. Experts can assist with a range of shipping-related issues such as getting containers unloaded faster, organizing drivers to pick up orders, and streamlining communications between team members and other parties. 

How to Further Improve Drayage Freight Throughput

Improving throughput with drayage freight and overcoming ocean freight obstacles is critical for continued growth and success in today’s volatile market. Shippers can further enhance these processes and effectively deal with cargo backlogs. It is also possible to deal with the impact of drayage and container ships backed up at ports can have in a few simple but influential ways.

  • Monitor status updates regarding cargo ships stuck at sea and ships stuck at ports.
  • Upgrade freight monitoring tech to allow for real-time tracking and monitoring.
  • Have a designated pool of pre-vetted drivers, carriers, and brokers to pull from.
  • Use data analysis and track records to match loads and drivers efficiently.
  • Pay attention to dwell time and associated demurrage fees and surcharges.
  • Maintain strategic planning advantage with dual transaction opportunities.
  • Overcome issues of container shortages and delayed turnaround times.
  • Promote real-time communications and data sharing between team members.
  • Invest in predictive planning software and processes as early as possible.
  • Encourage collaboration and teamwork with industry partners and vendors.
  • Keep shipment options open to accommodate container ships backed up at ports.
  • Embrace scalability, transparency, and adaptability throughout the network.

Lessen the Impact of Container Ships Backed Up By Streamlining Port Drayage

While much of the world is slowly returning to a new normal in the wake of the COVID pandemic, supply chains at the local, national, and global levels continue to struggle. Transportation disruptions, delayed shipping, and freight distribution issues still plague shippers of all sizes. With many cargo ships stuck at sea, ships stuck at port, and containers trapped in gridlock at major ports, the bottleneck and pressure on shippers continue to increase. Dealing with the issue of container ships backed up and cargo getting trapped at ocean ports is easier with the right drayage expert. Contact Port City Logistics today to learn more.

Topics: drayage services