Trade Experts on Port Congestion Part 1

Trade Experts on Port Congestion Part 1

The congestion continues at U.S. ports, making it hard for agricultural commodities to ship overseas. Ray Bowman of California is an international trade consultant and chairs the District Export Council of Southern California. He says the logjam at American ports didn’t happen overnight.

“There's this perception that it kind of happened overnight, but a lot of the container congestion is something that was a long time coming. We've had a lot of these problems that we're experiencing now, we've had for quite some time. When you start spiking the purchasing behavior as we've experienced, there's a point at which a system just can't handle it. I'd like to say this has gotten better for exporters, but I'm just not hearing that.”

Bowman says ships are returning to overseas ports empty because the shipping companies make a lot more money carrying goods into the U.S. than they would by returning with cargo.

“They make so much money on the inbound side, they're staging more on the inbound side than they are on the outgoing side, and they're positioning their containers to handle that outbound cargo. They're making far less money on that export side, right, so they're leaning their business models to where they make the most money. So, what I've seen is that exporters have an even tougher time.”

Join us next time for part two… Bowman joins us again to talk more on shipping containers and its part in the logjam.

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