Decentralizing the movement of goods will help reduce maritime congestion

Casey, told a panel of industry leaders that while major ports are strained by high levels of congestion, facilities that can accommodate smaller container ships and general-purpose ships, such as that Hueneme, San Diego, Wilmington, DE and Canaveral FL are generally crowd-free.

Large US retailers and midsize companies have seized the opportunity to charter conventional vessels and explore an alternative to port hubs in their quest to regain control of distribution channels. However, one such problematic area is refrigerated containers, which cost shippers billions of dollars. J

he global shortage of refrigerated containers has impacted imports of perishables which, due to the seasonal nature of these refrigerated products, further exacerbate congestion, as Casey explained: “The condensed nature of some products such as grapes and clementines leads to increased pressure. Many ports where fruits and vegetables come from, such as South Africa, Chile and Morocco, are much smaller with less sophisticated infrastructure than Asia, North America and some European ports. In case of delay or omission of port, it can further aggravate the congestion.

This delay is currently evident in Chile’s main ports, which are congested and give priority to container ships. “Conventional reefers that transport the majority of GTW’s fruit from Chile are forced to load in alternate and multiple ports, which will make it difficult for exporters and growers to get their produce to market on time.

With many stakeholders involved in the ocean freight supply chain, it is difficult to determine who has the responsibility for control. Traders, shipping lines, drivers, supply vessels and government departments all have a role to play in helping to reduce an already struggling system, as Casey put it, “shippers need to maintain a degree of flexibility on origin crossings, and tightly controlling and prioritizing freight. , effectively manage customs clearance documents and payment, this will give importers the best opportunity to clear customs and move cargo forward through the networks.

Maritime transport is an industry that is already embracing digitalization and Gulftainer remains at the forefront after receiving the CXO Middle East 2021 award for the “Future of Ports” which yielded four innovative ideas to transform the maritime sector. Neutral vendors like Project 44 continue to develop technology solutions to provide valuable real-time visibility information to shippers, carriers and logistics providers. Advent-E Modal, dock yards and 24/7 operations prove that automation and the move to digital technology will continue to improve operational performance.

“Technology needs to be leveraged, but more importantly, it needs to enable the right business processes,” Casey concluded.