As the East and Gulf Coast ports continue to deal with a high volume of incoming vessels, they are looking for any and all ways to increase their efficiency. Despite warnings of inflation, consumer demand remains high and is forecasted to remain so throughout the summer.
“We’re handling a full 33% more containers through our terminals than we were in the same period in 2019,” Bethann Rooney, port director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), said during a July 1 media briefing. “That staggering increase in overall volume gives a picture of what all of the various nodes and links in the supply chain are trying to absorb.”
Some of this growth can be attributed to normal seasonality but the difference this year is imports to the East Coast began arriving even earlier in an effort to avoid disruption. The ports are now increasing storage space, using “pop-up” yards to house empty containers and other means of clearing the congestion.