New York is now the No. 1 port in a tipping point for US-bound trade
The MOL Maneuver container ship sails into port under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the Lower Bay of New York Harbor on March 25, 2021 in New York City.
Gary Hershorn | Corbis News | Getty Images
Historic processing of import and export containers in August propelled the Port of New York and New Jersey to the top spot ahead of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
It comes as the flow of trade continues to drift away from the west coast, with logistics officials worrying about a strike or lockout. The Port of Los Angeles ranked third in the nation in August, moving 805,314 containers in total. That was 37,877 fewer than the Port of New York and New Jersey, which moved 843,191. The Port of Long Beach came in second, moving 806,940 export and import containers.
“We’re surpassing pre-Covid numbers. It’s amazing, and it’s a credit to the men and women who move cargo with such efficiency,” said Kevin O’Toole, president of the Port Authority. “Our planning with rail to supplement current infrastructure and dredging allows for this additional capacity that would not have occurred four or five years ago.”
This August was the busiest August in the history of the Port of New York and New Jersey and the fourth busiest month ever. The port’s busiest five months all occurred in 2022.
More trade on the East Coast and more port congestion
CNBC’s supply chain heatmap for the United States shows how the continued increase in trade has made East Coast and Gulf ports the winners of this freight movement. Logistics companies and warehouses serving these ports also reap the benefits of additional containers. CSX and Norfolk Southern rails carry import and export containers on the East Coast. BNSF, owned by Berkshire Hathaway and Union Pacific, moves containers in and out of the Port of Houston.
Increased container handling adds to the wait off East Coast and Gulf ports. Congestion adds to delays in arrival times for manufacturers who need components to complete their products or to place finished goods on store shelves for sale.
During the week of September 19, MarineTraffic monitored 28 container ships waiting off the Port of Savannah with an average wait of 9.9 days. For the port of New York and New Jersey, 12 container ships wait an average of 9 days. The Port of Houston has 25 container ships anchored, waiting an average of eight days.
“While volumes are on the rise, congestion at East Coast ports could be at an inflection point after months of record import levels,” said Josh Brazil, vice president of news at the channel. procurement for Project44.
Data from Project44 shows the number of ships queuing at the Port of Savannah has fallen from more than 30 last month to just 16 today. Congestion in New York is also down slightly. However, Houston is still supported by 20 ships, about the same number as last month.
“During the fourth quarter, backlogs at ports may continue to shrink due to a drop in the number of ships resulting from slowing consumer demand,” Brazil said.
Shipping prices fall
The flow of trade from the west coast has reduced the demand for space for ships, which has led to a drop in sea freight prices from the Far East to the west coast.
“Adjusting retail sales inflation, U.S. retail sales were flat compared to last month, so demand hasn’t fallen sharply,” said analyst Peter Sand. expedition leader for Xeneta. “Shippers are still bringing in a lot of containers, also on the east coast, west coast and gulf coast.”
Xeneta followed a new all-time high divergence between spot rates from the Far East to the coasts.
“It’s a sign of congestion all but eliminated on the West Coast, with inbound volumes manageable for ports and terminals,” Sand said. This caused rates to fall faster on the transpacific route than for freight bound for the East Coast.
Logistics prices are one of the main inflationary triggers over which the Federal Reserve has no control.
“Congestion on the U.S. East Coast is keeping rates high, in combination with further disruption of that coast due to unrest in Northern Europe,” he added, referring to recent strikes by port workers in the United States. United Kingdom which have strained the European port network.
Shippers are still hesitant to send rerouted goods back to the US West Coast, Sand said.
The CNBC Heat M Supply Chainap the data providers are the artificial intelligence and predictive analysis company Everstream Analytics; the global freight booking platform Freightos, creator of the Freightos Baltic Dry Index; the logistics provider OL USA; the FreightWaves supply chain intelligence platform; the Blume Global supply chain platform; third-party logistics provider Orient Star Group; the marine analysis company MarineTraffic; marine visibility data company Project44; shipping data company MDS Transmodal UK; Ocean and Air Freight Rate Market Benchmarking and Analytics Platform Xeneta; leading research and analytics provider Sea-Intelligence ApS; worldwide crane logistics; and air, DHL Global Forwarding; freight logistics provider Seko Logistics; and Planet, provider of daily satellite images and global geospatial solutions.