Disruption Report #36: Container Prices Decline, Ports to Stay Open 24/7, and Cyclone Hits Port of Yantian

Los Angeles Ports to Open 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week

The Biden administration has secured an agreement between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. As a result, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will be open 24 / 7.

The agreement has several moving parts. For a 24-hour workday to be viable, workers must be willing to work late night hours. That is why it is so important that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has agreed to the arrangement.

That is great for unloading ships, but what about moving products into the American interior. That is why, as part of the arrangement, shippers (FedEx was named) and retailers (Walmart, Home Depot were named) have agreed to extend hours so that they can interact with a 24-hour workday at the ports.

This agreement will undoubtedly help a supply chain mess that currently wreaks havoc throughout the toy and consumer products industries. The only fly in the ointment is an ongoing shortage of U.S. domestic truck drivers. It’s a generational problem as older drivers age out, and younger drivers are no longer enamored with the open road. Something needs to be done; whether it’s better pay, improved working conditions or self-driving trucks,

Port of Yantian Hit By Cyclone

The Port of Yantian in China is critical to the toy industry as it services an area vital to the toy industry, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and the Pearl River Delta. Delta. In June, the Chinese government closed the Port of Yantian due to a case of Coronavirus (see Disruption Report # 16). The closure further disrupted a supply chain that was already under distress.

Well, here we go again. An approaching cyclone named Kompasu has again forced the closure of the port, leaving 67 ships sitting offshore. Let’s hope the cyclone does little damage and dissipates.

Container Prices Beginning to go down

Here’s a headline that will cheer you up: “Container Shipping Rates Drift Lower After a Record-Setting Climb.” The Bloomberg article by Brendan Murray describes the decline this way:

On the busy Shanghai-to-Los Angeles trade route, the rate for a 40-foot container sank by almost $1,000 last week to $11,173, an 8.2% drop from the prior week that was the steepest weekly fall since March 2020, according to Drewry. Another gauge from Freightos, which includes premiums and surcharges, showed a nearly 11% plunge to $16,004, the fourth consecutive decline.

The reasons for the decline are uncertain. So, before we take too big a sigh of relief, let’s keep our eyes on those ships waiting to load and off-load at the world’s ports.

Leave a Reply