W.B. Skinner > News > Important Update! Worldwide rollover’s & capacity issues!

Important Update! Worldwide rollover’s & capacity issues!

The turmoil in the ocean freight industry from Asia to the USA continues even after some of the more dramatic issues have been resolved. The Panama Canal is fully open and the after-effects of the Baltimore bridge collapse are behind us.

Currently, the situation in the Red Sea continues as is. Vessels are bypassing the Suez Canal and the Red Sea and are transiting around the Cape of Good Hope and then arriving at the Mediterranean to resume their schedule, or they are headed to the US East Coast or Panama/Caribbean to resume their voyage. These timetables are now built into the carriers’ schedules, and they no longer have the Red Sea route listed only to divert around it. The plan is to go around from the start.

A space shortage has resulted from Asia due to increased volume and reduced capacity. More Blank sailings are showing up on key routes, leaving loaded containers at the terminal waiting for the next vessel. Transship bottlenecks are increasing dramatically in key terminals such as Busan, Korea, resulting in delays and container rolling. Also, an equipment shortage is plaguing many of the larger ports such as Yantian/Shanghai as carriers struggle to replenish empty container inventory.

The result is a vast increase in rates and a decrease in available space. Special equipment needs such as Open Top, Flat Rack, and Refrigerated cargo are increasingly expensive and also hard to find empties as well as overweight containers. Vessel Operators are able to refuse overweight bookings because the vessels still have weight and balance limitations. Heavy containers are also more likely to be held at Transship chokepoints like Busan.

US Port backlogs are not as prevalent as in past days, but it is occurring again, especially on the USWC. Los Angeles and Seattle both have longer berth times than just a few weeks ago as more volume was moved via IPI through SEA/TAC and LA/LB to the Midwest and even further east due to the trouble in the Panama Canal. With the Panama Canal situation back to normal, there is a return to USEC as the port of preference for most points as far west as Memphis and Indianapolis/Cincinnati, and the USWC Rail dwell times are back to a minimum of 10-15 days before moving on the rail.

Pre-bookings and forecasts are vital. If you would like to send WBS copies of your orders to your suppliers, we will ensure that our agents at origin are communicating with them well in advance to book space to meet your needs.

Lastly, not to add to the drama, but talks between the ILA (Longshoremen) and the USMX (group representing the carriers) have broken down and are currently on hold regarding the next contract. We will continue to update our customers on the progress. The current issue revolves around the Auto-Gate issue being used at APMT in Mobile, AL, and others. This automated gate system, according to the ILA, is a direct violation of the current contract. Hopes are that talks will resume and that the issues will be resolved without any major disruptions. We will keep you informed.


WBS has invested in tracking software that can show you where your ocean cargo is at all times. If you have not been signed up for it yet, please contact your WBS Rep. We will get you an automatic email every day, and you can see where the vessel is, etc.


Please contact the undersigned if any clarification is needed or if you have any questions!

Chuck Skinner

William B Skinner Inc | Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder

VP Trade and Logistics



Chuck Skinner is an industry veteran with 36 plus years of experience in the industry. Rejoining the family-owned business in 2016, Chuck brought with him a wealth of experience from a distinguished career in branch and regional management with notable IFF/NVO/CHBs, including Tigers (USA) Global Logistics, Panalpina Inc., and Phoenix International Freight Services. His extensive professional network and experience gained from collaborating with industry leaders are invaluable assets to WB Skinner Inc.