L.A. Cargo Crisis Ends as U.S. Imports Crash
But an easing has begun in earnest, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited a rapid decline in U.S. import volumes as the economy contracts as the reason:
[T]he biggest gain likely has come from fewer boxes reaching the busiest U.S. seaport complex for container imports. Seatrade Maritime News confirms that while volumes are rising at East Coast ports, they are falling rapidly in the West.
The cargo crisis that saw a record-breaking 109 ships waiting to dock at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach earlier this year has ended, with only four ships waiting this week, thanks to a drop in im ports as the U.S. economy contracts, suggesting recession.As Breitbart News reported throughout last fall and winter, the number of cargo ships waiting offshore skyrocketed last summer — as Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg took unannounced paternity leave for two months — partly due to pent-up demand in the wake of the pandemic. President Joe Biden promised to move the ports to 24/7 shifts, though that did not happen because of a lack of truck drivers. Other methods, such as penalizing shipping companies for containers left on the dock, were only modestly successful.Shipping companies moved more of their ships to other ports , though that simply shifted congestion to the East Coast; the cargo crisis continued, as the number of ships awaiting docking overall hit a new record in August. But an easing has begun in earnest, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited a rapid decline in U.S. import volumes as the economy contracts as the reason:Bottlenecks continue to delay cargo at other major U.S. sea ports and at inland freight hubs, but the end of the backup at the big ports in California signals broader supply-chain tangles that have been troubling retailers and manufacturers are unwinding.[T]he biggest gain likely has come from fewer boxes reaching the busiest U.S. seaport complex for container im ports . U.S. import volumes are declining, according to trade data analysts, and a growing share of the shipments are heading to ports on the East and Gulf coasts as importers ship away from the Southern California backup. With demand slowing, shipping lines have canceled between 26% to 31% of their sailings across the Pacific over the coming weeks, according to Sea-Intelligence, a Denmark-based shipping data group, signaling that carriers are preparing for a continued drop in bookings. Seatrade Maritime News confirms that while volumes are rising at East Coast ports , they are falling rapidly in the West. It added that “market re ports have pointed to inflation in developed economies and low consumer confidence as negative factors for container volumes . For the US in particular, multiple re ports have noted high retailer inventories as further reason for volumes to soften.” Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election . His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.