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Record-setting Cargo Imports Cause Serious Congestion in U.S. Ports

January 22 2021 11:13
Billy
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Los Angeles reported that freight volume in the Port of Los Angeles, USA has increased significantly since the first half of this year. This reflects the rebound of port business and changes in consumer shopping habits. Due to the surge in online shopping, imports from Asia have reached record levels, and the Port of Los Angeles supply chain has become increasingly tense.


Imported Goods from Asia Reached a Record Level

Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said that from June 2020 to the present, the number of imported goods has increased by 50%, mainly from Asia countries.


It is reported that the development of e-commerce in the United States has accelerated for nearly two years during the period of the pandemic, and U.S. consumers have switched from offline purchases to online shopping. Relevant data shows that the online GMV of the United States in 2020 may reach $794.5 billion, which indicates the strong purchasing power of US consumers.


The monthly average freight volume of the Port of Los Angeles is nearly 200,000 feet, and the surge in freight volume has caused the port's supply chain increasingly strained. In sharp contrast, at the beginning of 2020, the pandemic caused a global economic recession, the volume of transactions dropped sharply and traffic at the port was even more pitiful.


The Surge in Freight Volumes has Strained the Seaport’s Supply Chain

With the surge in the e-commerce business and online orders, various ports in the United States are facing the issue of long unloading times and shortages of warehouses.


According to data from the Port of Los Angeles, in November, the port of Los Angeles’s cargo increased by 22% compared to the same period last year, partly due to the large increase in holiday orders and surge in cargo volume. The surge in cargo volumes has blocked many supply chains, paralyzed major ports, and delayed the delivery of holiday gifts by weeks.


Port demand is increasing. In the past two decades, Southern California ports have been the busiest container ports in North America, carrying 17% of American freight. However, relevant data shows that in 23 of the past 25 months exports from U.S. ports have declined. The executive director of the Port of Los Angeles stated that this is due to the U.S. trade policy towards China and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar.


It is reported that the U.S. manufacturing industry has been declined in the past two decades and failed to “regain greatness”, as claimed by the Trump administration. The growth rate of the U.S. manufacturing industry has slowed throughout 2020, falling from the strongest level in two years.


Some analysts believe that the decline in U.S.manufacturing may be a major cause of the decline in its exports.