The US imported more containerized goods from Asia in the first five months of 2020 than in any previous year, and with the traditional peak shipping season beginning in July, ports and inland logistics suppliers must be prepared to handle continued record volumes. The record pace of imports, which have strained port and warehouse labor, and contributed to vessel bunching and equipment shortages, are projected to increase 33 percent in June, 14 percent in July, 7.5 percent in August, and 1.7 percent in September, according to the Global Port Tracker, published monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. Imports from Asia will undoubtedly continue to increase in the coming months as retailers stock up for back-to-school shopping, which is expected to be much busier than last year as students return to classrooms, as well as holiday merchandise. With so much strain already on the supply chain, what can — and more importantly, will — ports, intermodal operators, and inland hubs do to improve the flow of goods for shippers? Such options as extending terminal gate hours, hiring additional dockworkers, and expediting repairs on chassis and other intermodal equipment are in play, but will the respective stakeholders step up? What does all this mean for importers? What about exporters, who are struggling as much, or more, with finding equipment to move their goods? Finally, what does the peak season even mean anymore, and how long will this surge truly last?
This webcast will answer these questions and more as it takes a deep dive into this critical time in the trans-Pacific and global supply chain.