Industry News

Transport & Port Updates – May 2022



Between the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the lockdowns in China, we can expect continued heightened costs, especially with regard to fuel, which will impact all sectors of the transportation industry. 

Transpacific cargo inbound: Supply and demand remain in better balance though the future is uncertain with regard to the Chinese lockdowns. Chinese ports are fully operational however flows of trucks into the ports and factory shutdowns are impacting the flow of goods.

Space remains tight due to the disruption of schedules and blank sailings caused by severe congestion at the ports. Most carriers are booked 4-6 weeks in advance. COVID outbreaks in China and Vietnam further strain the backlog. This puts further constraints on sailing schedules, capacity, and congestion. SPOT rates have come down a bit, however, obtaining space with these rates is challenging.

Inland destinations are particularly strained by some carriers omitting through service to inland points and as a result of the combined bottlenecks at ports/terminals and rails.

All industry projections suggest no change in demand.


U.S. East Coast – Import: Congestion at East Coast ports has risen dramatically as importers are rerouting their goods to avoid west coast congestion.

U.S. East Coast – Export: All east coast ports have severe schedule disruptions due to a backlog of incoming freight. Expect delays and possible rolling of vessels.

U.S. & Canada West Coast – Import: Congestion remains consistent with rate levels elevated relative to the pre-COVID market. We recommend booking at least 2-4 weeks in advance and being open to using various modes/routes of transportation.

U.S. West Coast – Export: We continue to see gate capacity restrictions and limited rail reservations available at inland points such as Chicago. Carriers are accepting bookings from inland ramps but not in the volume needed in the market. With limited space/bookings available we are having to book on average about 4 weeks in advance.

The Congestion and subsequent vessels in the queue to unload are causing a continued backup of export cargo staged to go outbound. We are seeing more export bookings missing scheduled departures as the terminals can’t accept the loaded container with limited space and labor constraints. Not only is this causing a delay in freight loading and arriving at the destination, but the carriers are now charging significant demurrage and per diem, for the time their containers are held up which is being passed on to the cargo owners.

U.S. Midwest – Inbound & Outbound: Chicago rail delays have eased a bit and generally chassis availability has improved.

Trucking capacity has improved gradually as well. However, with only 48 hours of free time at the rail ramp storage is being incurred on many containers.

We are working with our customers to trans-load cargo using less congested routes. We also offer air freight services, which in some cases may be more attractive than ground. For more information, please contact Ronald Vincent, our Director of Logistics.

We are continuing to monitor all lanes, ports, and services to provide you with the best possible service at the best possible price.

M.E. Dey and Co. monitors the market daily to find competitive rates that pair well with exceptional transportation services. We provide fixed-rate contracts in addition to standard market rates. Contact us to talk with a representative or request a quote to get started.