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Port congestion in western US expected to ease! Da Fei, Wan Hai, to star new routes are no longer linked to the port of Los Angeles

The container freight and leasing markets continued to boom after the Lunar New Year holiday, and analysts expect favorable conditions for carriers and shipowners to continue at least until the second half.


Demand is strong on Asia-Europe trade routes, and Daniel Richards, container ship analyst at MSI International Maritime Strategy, expects the boom to continue into the second quarter, thanks to a backlog of orders over the Lunar New Year holiday and a new round of stimulus measures, but congestion is expected to ease at U.S. and western ports.


The surge in U.S. imports overwhelmed the two major U.S. and Western container ports, with 518,000 TEUs imported in January, according to the Port of Los Angeles, or 60 percent of all imported containers handled at the port in the first quarter of last year.


The port's forecast for the rest of February suggests Los Angeles will import 500,000 TEU this month, with inventory details of import containers arriving on ships in the first week of March up 217% from the same week in 2020.

Nevertheless, the heavily congested ports in the West Coast of the United States are expected to have an effective solution. Some container ships will be diverted to other ports on the West Coast of the United States, and many shipping companies have responded positively.


In the past month or two, shipping companies have announced several new trans-Pacific services that do not stop at either Los Angeles or Long Beach.


Star ZIM's new ZX2 expedited trans-Pacific service will call at the Port of Tacoma.The new route will begin operations in mid-March with stops at: Limchaban, Gaimay Harbor, Salt Tin, Los Angeles, Tacoma and then back to Limchaban.


In addition, starting in mid-March, shipping company Manhai will increase its two existing trans-Pacific routes to four, including a new Pacific Northwest route from North Asia to Seattle and Oakland that will completely ignore Southern California.Port of call: Kaohsiung, Yantian, Shanghai, Ningbo, Seattle, Oakland, and finally return to Kaohsiung. 


In addition, Cajority has launched its new Golden Gate Bridge service (a recombination of its previous Seapriority Express service), which will launch on February 12. The new route will no longer be connected to the Port of Los Angeles and will travel directly from Asia to the Port of Auckland.Port of call: Shanghai, Yantian, Auckland, Seattle, Kaohsiung and Shanghai.


MSC launched its Chinook service in December, offering service at the ports of Yantian, Shanghai, Busan and Vancouver.

It is also worth noting that recent data show that congestion in the western United States continues to spread to northern ports, waiting for ships to enter the Port of Oakland, also began to long lines.


The Port of Oakland is no better off either, Happerot said, adding that the number of ships waiting at the Port of Oakland has increased as shipping companies try to avoid the congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by rerouting to Oakland for berths.