The household goods shipping industry continues to face significant issues. Aside from ongoing inflationary problems, situations like the Russia-Ukraine conflict, pandemic-related port shuttering, and port strikes (including a looming strike at the UK’s Felixtowe location) continue to persist. Additional obstacles continue to emerge.
A strong contributor to shipping problems in the U.S. is congestion at ports along the West Coast, where freight sits waiting for rail service. As CNBC noted in mid-July, $1.5 billion in trade was landlocked at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, with roughly 20 times this amount at sea waiting to be docked around the United States. Rail container dwell times are up to four times as long as they were in January of this year. Long-dwelling containers reduce land capacity and reduce movement at port, leading to longer vessel processing time.
The primary reason for rail shortage issues is a lack of marine chassis in the U.S. market, a problem that is expected to continue for some time due to duties imposed by the U.S. on Chinese-made chassis. Additionally, the White House recently issued an Executive Order that temporarily stopped a strike of U.S. rail workers by creating a new board to work toward a compromise. If these efforts fail, the 12 unions representing the railroad workers could go on strike as early as mid-September. This would undoubtedly cause port issues to worsen.
While shipping industry problems persist, Aires is working closely with our partners as they continue efforts to increase capacity and meet our clients’ needs while balancing costs. While the stress on the supply chain continues, we do expect it to ease at some point in the future, with the balance of supply and demand normalizing.
As the summer season continues, please remember to keep the following tips in mind to help create a positive and successful household goods move experience:
- Book your dates as early as possible
- Avoid date changes and cancellations
- Initiate new relocations as early as possible (6-8 weeks prior to start date is ideal)
- The first and last weeks of the month are the busiest
- Be available by phone for updates and delivery confirmation
- Be available on each day of your delivery spread
For more information, please contact your Aires representative.