With shippers looking to avoid congestion at the ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach, the US East Coast will start 2022 with 25 percent more vessel capacity than at the start of 2021, according to eeSea.
Typically, West Coast ports handle most of the containers coming into the US. While this remains true, in 2021 East Coast ports saw higher growth in import volumes, which rose 18 percent year-on-year. West Coast imports rose just 13 percent.
“Sailing into the East Coast allows a shipper to avoid the chokepoints on the West Coast,” said Xeneta chief analyst Peter Sand. “Although port congestion and delays are also a problem on the East Coast, there are more hinterland options to choose between and shorter distances to cover on clogged-up networks than the relatively few options offered on the West Coast.”
With carriers responding to East Coast demand with more ship calls, eeSea reports that US East Coast vessel capacity will average around 742,500 teu per month between January and April 2022. This is a 25 percent increase on the same period last year.
The Ocean Alliance this month announced it would be offering a new Asia-direct service to US Southeast ports starting in 2022, while Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Wan Hai Lines are also adding services into the East Coast.