Supply Chain Delays Are Far From Over

Digital freight forwarder Shifl is warning businesses that supply chain delays are far from over. Long transit times, berthing delays, and dwell time inside US ports have resulted in a total average transit time of 45 days in November 2021, compared to 28 days in May 2021, an increase of 61% in the time that consumers are waiting for goods to be delivered.

Transit time, berthing delay, and dwell time data analyzed and published by Shifl are a stark warning to businesses across the country that cargo delays are happening at every step of the journey, from factories in China to factory floors and retailers in the US.

“Containers are still being held up at every step, even after they are unloaded,” said Shabsie Levy, CEO & Founder of Shifl.
“Berthing delays have been inconsistent across the year and in some extreme cases, ships have waited up to 33 days to secure a berth.
Meanwhile, delays in containers leaving the port highlight the issues with chassis, and truck availability in the region,”

Chart showing transit time from chinese base ports
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“Apart from the transit time delays, we have also been tracking berthing delays and delays in the clearance and gate out of containers which are not yet showing signs of meaningful improvement,” said Levy.

Transit time delays

The average transit time from China to the US West Coast on average dropped slightly from 36 days in the first half of October, to 32 days in the 2nd half of October. This 32-day transit time is still 68% higher than it was in May 2021 and double the usual transit time (16 days) it should take for a container from Chinese Base Ports to US West Coast ports.

Chart showing transit time from chinese base ports to US west coast - nov 2021
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Berthing Delays

Berthing delays are another factor pushing up cargo lead time for customers. Berthing delays are a measurement of the time between a vessel’s arrival outside port limits (anchored) till it is berthed inside the port area to commence operations.

Shifl’s data shows that berthing delays at the US ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are still hovering between 8-9 days in October which is an increase of 150% over May 2021.

Chart showing berthing delay comparison
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As of this release, there are around 78 container ships in the queue outside the San Pedro Bay ports waiting to berth and discharge their much-anticipated cargo. This suggests that berthing delays could hold or worsen in the next few weeks.

Dwell Time Delays

Shifl’s port dwell time data for containers, measured from the time of discharge at the terminal till they are gated out also showed a substantial increase between May and the first half of October.

chart showing container dwell time
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However, a decrease in this metric in recent weeks indicates improving conditions. As of this publication, dwell times have returned to May 2021 levels, with average times for Los Angeles and Long Beach being five and seven days respectively.

“Container Dwell Times seems to be on the mend in the West Coast ports while the East coast has been maintaining acceptable levels,” said Levey. “There are however still instances of extreme delays with some containers waiting for 47 days for delivery. And there’s a lot of cleanup to do still. Up to 15% of the containers have been waiting in the port for between 10-47 days with the majority of that in the West Coast ports.”

Press Release | Shifl 

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