West coast ports have lost market share to east coast ports as many took the congestion earlier this year at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as a sign to move their voyages to arrive on the opposite side of the country. Concerns are now being raised, as the west coast sees a slower season than in recent years, that those moves could be long-term if not permanent. Unfortunately, the reasons for the shift are more complex than the number of boats we saw queued at the port this same time last year.
Congestion has become old news to logistics professionals who have watched the pandemic unfold into labor issues, capacity shortages, inventory roadblocks, rail negotiations, and a myriad of other problems. We’ve lived through several decades of compounding delays and rate fluctuations in the last three years. That experience, daunting though it might have been, has given your partners at Coppersmith a chance to show off our knowledge and find solutions for the most complicated cargo questions.
As we approach the new year, 2023 looks to be a slower, albeit still successful, time in our industry. The angle of reactive supply chains and putting out fires as they arise because there isn’t a moment to rest will be over, but plenty of growth will be left to drive success in the first quarter.
With China facing a slowdown, exports to the US drop as demand resets to pre-pandemic levels. Many remember that time as a sleepy era of blind consumers sampling products while cargo arrived on shelves in plenty of time to supply everyone with their needs efficiently. It wasn’t. In the immediate years before, there was a policy of trade news by tweet that had us jumping to keep our readership up to date on the new rules and regulations of fresh negotiations, bi- uni- and multi-lateral trade agreements that had been cobbled together with minimal updates to previous iterations or stalled and diverted to include other nations without the United States.
The waves are less volatile; that much is obvious. But the awareness, education and determination we found during the pandemic will stay with us long after we’ve encountered the next disruptive situation. The key lesson? Having a logistics partner like Coppersmith can elevate your services and save you time in every situation. Contact us today and learn more about our services.