Can Maritime Logistics Keep Up with the Demand?

In the past two decades there have been enormous changes in both the volume of world trade and the direction of its flow. Newly expanding economies in Asia, especially goods from China, have led to significant increases in the amount of cargo that is coming into the US, up as much as 280% in Californian ports. This has put pressure on port services across the board and caused many to question how ports can improve their performance to keep up with the pace that is being set by the huge growth in containerized imports. Part of the problem has been a lack of infrastructure, which has contributed to a serious congestion of the supply chain for these newly imported goods. Every delay in the flow of freight adds to its overall handling costs. As the congestion in our ports increases the pressure that is exerted on the existing infrastructure also increases all of the way down the supply line. There are even growing shortages of trucks to remove containers from the storage facilities in our ports. Further exacerbating the problem is that in systems which are already operating at capacity, there is inadequate redundancy and few alternatives in the event… read more »