Reposted from 2.19.21 Freight Waves article:
“Unprecedented demand for imports and COVID-19 outbreaks among longshore workers have compounded the problem and further slowed the flow of goods, he said.”
“The surge of imports, coupled with labor shortages caused by COVID outbreaks at the ports, has led to delays in unloading cargo and returning empty containers to vessels heading back to Asia.”
“Jansen said the container lines can’t simply put more ships into service to rectify the situation. “The idle fleet is pretty much zero,” he said. “Today every ship that is available is basically sailing.”
“We’ve deployed 52 ships to get additional empty containers back to where they belong and, to give you a little bit of flavor, in a normal year, that would always be a single-digit number,” Jansen said.