Port congestion low despite record container volumes
Congestion is low at major U.S. container ports despite record volumes, said the latest monthly Port Tracker report released Thursday by the National Retail Federation and consulting firm Global Insight.
The report estimates 1.52 million TEUs were handled in August at the ports it tracks, up 2.3 percent from August 2006 and breaking the record of 1.51 million TEUs set last October.
The ports covered by Port Tracker are: Los Angeles-Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle on the West Coast; New York-New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast.
Despite those volumes, all are rated “low” for congestion, the same as last month.
“We’re clearly in peak season,” Global Insight economist Paul Bingham said. “August was an all-time record and even September’s ‘lull’ will be higher than where the record stood two years ago. Despite the increase in volume, ports are operating without congestion, there are no problems with port trucking, and rail performance is acceptable. Shippers can have confidence that the system will have adequate capacity to provide for acceptable performance for the remainder of the year.”