How the Transpacific Trade Impacts Your US West Coast Shipments

The surge on imports coming from Asia is impacting the entire logistics supply chain on the US West Coast.  Ocean carriers have maxed out vessel capacity, spot rates from Asia to the USA are at record highs (almost 8 times higher than the westbound direction), and there is a massive demand for containers.  Read more about the situation in the latest article from Freight Waves “Holiday shipageddon update: Container sector scrambling” 

As a result, the Los Angeles and Long Beach port complex (the largest destination for inbound freight from Asia), and other US ports are experiencing more overall congestion and higher dwell times at the terminals.  Terminals are requiring appointments for container pickup and empty returns due to the backlog.  Trucking capacity and chassis unit supply has not been able to keep up.  If truckers cannot secure an appointment along with an available chassis unit within the allotted free time, additional charges will accrue. 

Los Angeles / Long BeachJanuary – June-11%
New York / New JerseyJanuary – June-7%
Sources: Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, Port of New York, New Jersey.  More background in articles on Journal of Commerce.


Hillebrand as our freight forwarding partner is working to find solutions to avoid demurrage at the terminal wherever possible.  In order to improve outcomes we are encouraging the following:

  • Work with your local offices to provide advance notice on bookings to secure capacity and alternative pickup arrangements.
  • Adjust lead times and spacing of booking to give the most flexibility on available services (transit times) and shipping volumes per week.

Should you have any questions or need more information please contact your Hillebrand representative.  You can also manage pending shipments, pickups, invoices, set up alerts and more on myHillebrand.