This week, the Journal of Commerce surveyed about 140 shippers to gauge sentiments on the recent West Coast port congestion debacle. Despite tentative settlement of the labor dispute that resulted in the massive cargo backups at these ports, nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated their intention to redirect shipments away from the West Coast, primarily to the US East and Gulf Coasts, as well as the Port of Vancouver in Canada.
While the majority of shippers specified that they would divert 10 to 30% of their cargo, nearly an equal number signaled that they plan to reroute 31% or more.
Meanwhile, JOC also reports that retailers, a key driver of imports of US West Coast ports, expect shipping delays, product shortages and increased trucking rates caused by the port slowdown to adversely affect business for weeks. Perhaps this development has had some effect on the survey results. (JOC site registration required).