Both import and export port dwell times have made a “massive recovery” at U.S. West Coast ports throughout the end of 2022 and into 2023, according to data from supply chain visibility software and analytics company project44. The company’s report, “Supply Chain Insights – State of Ocean: April,” was released April 7.
On the import side, the Port of Los Angeles, which consistently has one of the highest dwell times, sits at 3.4 days for March 2023. This marks a 2.5-day improvement over the recent peak in March 2022 of 5.9 days and a 20% decrease from February 2023. Dwell time also decreased notably at the Port of Long Beach, which peaked in July 2022 at 6.2 days and has seen a 60% decrease since then, at 2.5 days for March 2023.
The decrease in dwell time has been aided by the shift in trade patterns, said project44, with many shippers opting to use the Port of New York and New Jersey instead, causing those terminals, collectively, to have four consecutive months, from August 2022 to November 2022, with higher import TEU volumes than either Los Angeles or Long Beach. Volume is returning to the West Coast now that the dwell has decreased, but dwell numbers demonstrate the Port of New York and New Jersey’s ability to handle additional capacity.
Other ports made significant improvements, according to project44’s data. The Port of Houston has seen a steady decrease in import dwell since January 2022 with March 2023 being its lowest month at 2.5 days. This is a 54% decrease from the 5.4 days seen in January 2022.
The Port of Savannah has continued to see some volatility throughout 2023. Import dwell saw a spike in December 2022 and January 2023, but February and March show a promising rebound, the company said. March 2023 marks the lowest import dwell time Savannah has seen in recent months at 2.2 days.
Export dwell in the U.S. has seen also improvement from the beginning of 2022, project44’s data showed. Long Beach and Los Angeles have seen the largest improvements. In January 2022, the Port of Los Angeles had a 15.5-day dwell time for exports. As of March 2023, the dwell time is a “whopping” nine days fewer at 6.4 days.
While not as large of a difference, the Port of Long Beach has still made a 5-day improvement from 11.9 days in January 2022 to 6.4 days in March 2023.
Meanwhile, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe are all seeing lower timeframes between the gate in time at origin port to gate out time at destination port. The report said this shows a healthy recovery for port dwell globally and more reliable vessel schedules.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.