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Shippers and BCOs divert cargo to avoid West Coast port congestion

More than 40% of retailers and manufacturers plan to shift volume to East Coast ports on a long-term basis as a result of chronic congestion on the West Coast, according to the findings of a new American Shipper research report.

   New research from American Shipper finds more than 40 percent of retailers and manufacturers plan to shift volume from West Coast ports to East Coast ports on a long-term basis as a result of chronic congestion on the West Coast over the past nine months.
   The findings are part of a new American Shipper report, “Won’t Be Fooled Again: How BCOs Plan to Avoid the Pitfalls of West Coast Port Congestion,” which also details what percentage of volume shippers plan to reallocate long-term from West Coast ports to East Coast ports. It also delves into whether congestion has influenced shippers’ and 3PLs’ distribution center location strategy.
   The report is broken into three sections, including:

  • One comparing how manufacturers and retailers responded to questions about West Coast congestion impacts.
  • Another comparing responses from large shippers and their small and medium-sized peers.
  • A final section on how 3PL cargo allocation and DC strategies have been affected by West Coast congestion, and whether those strategies align with those of shippers.

   The report is based on responses from more than 400 shippers and nearly 200 logistics services providers collected in late January and early February.
   “Port congestion on the West Coast the past nine months has had an indelible effect on shippers,” said Eric Johnson, American Shipper research director and author of the report. “It’s clear many shippers and 3PLs are rethinking how to structure their supply chains so they’re less vulnerable than they have been over the past year. For a sizable percentage of respondents, that means shifting cargo to East Coast ports, and even relocating to new distribution centers on the East Coast. Whether those plans come to fruition or not, shippers have been scarred by the experience.”
   The full report is available here.
   American Shipper produces a series of benchmark research reports aimed at transportation and global trade practitioners, and also conducts research on topical issues. Click here for more information on our research and reports.