Market News International Inc. reported Wednesday that “cargo entering the U.S. in September and October overwhelmed ports, railways and trucks, gumming up real-time inventory deliveries
in what marks the heaviest peak-shipping season ever.”
According the article by writer Gary Rosenberger, “By mid-October there were 94 ships idling around the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the nation's gateway for most Asian goods, unable to discharge. The bottlenecks were two-thirds as severe as during the worst of the port lockout two years ago.”
The only good news is that the weeklong delays experienced in September and October are now down to about three days.
Meanwhile, according to Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics, a quarterly publication of the Intermodal Association of North America, intermodal volume increased a significant 9.2% for third quarter 2004, the strongest gain in volume since the first quarter of 2003.
International containers showed their strongest gains in 18 months with an overall 13.3% increase over third quarter 2003 results. Gains in import, export and domestic repositioning of units were evident in all regions. Seven of the nine regions tracked by Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics posted double-digit growth.