West Coast port situation improves somewhat

There’s been some improvement to the congestion in West Coast ports. The US Meat Export Federation’s senior director for export services says ongoing congestion in the West Coast ports remains problematic for US exports.

Travis Arp says especially as demand for US beef and pork have been strong, “In March, we saw record volumes for beef and pork exports, but really those numbers could have been significantly better just because there’s a significant number of containers that are still just waiting to find a spot on a ship to go out for export. Those are containers that have been sitting there for months, if not weeks.”

He tells Brownfield there have been marginal improvements in recent months because of a better labor situation, “Ports have been really aggressive at making sure that their employees get vaccinated and they can get a more steady work flow and have just more people available at these ports to offload and onload ships.”

However, Arp says there still battling a shortage of shipping containers – which will take much longer to resolve, “There’s a tremendous amount of demand for containers and the exporters out of Asia that are shipping dry goods to the United States are paying a significant premium.”

The shipping container shortage is forecasted to last well into 2022.

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