Port Snarls Ease in Parts of Asia and U.S., Worsen in Others

Date: Monday, December 13, 2021
Source: Bloomberg

Port congestion on Friday showed both improvement and some worsening around Asia and the U.S.’s major gateways for trade, suggesting an uneven recovery ahead in global supply-chain disruptions as economies battle to control the spread of the coronavirus.

One of China’s largest container ports, Ningbo, is still dealing with a Covid outbreak reported earlier this week. Its combined anchorage with Shanghai has yet to show a pileup of vessels, as the total count of 232 vessels was 40 fewer than usual, reflected in a congestion rate that’s 11.5% below the median calculated by Bloomberg since the second quarter of 2021.

A drop was also recorded in the region’s second-largest hub, the combined anchorage area for Shenzhen and Hong Kong, where the 188 vessels recorded Friday was nine shy of its median.

Still, congestion further north in Qingdao was 18.7% greater than usual heading into the weekend, as the 58 vessels in that port’s anchorage was 16 above normal. The 21 anchored ships off Qingdao was the highest since Sept. 29.

In Malaysia, Port Klang led all major global ports in net congestion change, as its 55.8% congestion rate was 26.7% greater than the median. Anchored ships off Port Klang have been on a steady rise this month, hitting 29 on Friday. Prior to this week, the last time the anchorage topped over 20 anchored vessels was on Sept. 9. according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Further south, Singapore’s congestion rate was 24.5%, about 12% below its median since the second quarter.

Recent environmental mandates have made for some tricky spatial accounting around the U.S. hub of Los Angeles/Long Beach, where almost a quarter of its waiting vessels are drifting off the coast of Mexico. More than 20 vessels destined for those two ports were south of the border Friday.

On America’s East Coast, the port of New York/New Jersey has seen a rise in vessel activity, totaling 21 ships early Friday, the highest since Sept. 28, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. The 11 waiting vessels off Savannah were the lowest since July 23.


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