While major container ports on the U.S. East Coast remain congested, some of them have relatively good cargo mobility.
As container liner companies shift the port of call for some routes from the West to the East, the pressure on the East Coast logistics network has suddenly increased. At present, among the 10 largest container terminals in the eastern United States, 4 terminals have a long waiting time, namely New York and Elizabeth Terminals under the New York Port and Garden City and Savannah Terminals under the Savannah Port. As the chart below shows, the average hold time in New York Harbor has fluctuated between 20 and 50 hours for most of this year, well above last year's levels. Last year rarely exceeded 20 hours, and the last 3-year average rarely exceeded 10 hours.
The other six terminals are operating normally with relatively short berthing times, including Norfolk International and Virginia International Container Terminals in the Port of Norfolk, Mach and Newark Terminals in the Port of New York, Park Avenue Terminal and Charleston in the Port of Philadelphia Wando Welch Pier in the port. As the chart below shows, the average wait time for container ships at the Port of Norfolk rarely exceeds 6 hours and is currently practically zero.
The four congested terminals mentioned above are the busiest on the East Coast of the United States and can accommodate larger ships, including currently the largest ultra-large container ships. It is worth mentioning that among the six terminals with less congestion, Virginia International Container Terminal and Wando Welch Terminal have also docked very large container ships this year. It can be seen that large ships can also dock more quickly.
Here, shippers and liner companies with more flexible schedules are advised to consider alternative routes to key markets, such as less congested ports on the US East Coast.