In an interview this month with Maersk CEO Soren Skou, it was predicted that the epic shipping backlog we’ve experienced during most of the COVID-19 pandemic will ease up by the middle of this year. Maersk is an international shipping company that accounts for around one-fifth of the world’s ocean container traffic. Skou told Bloomberg, "We expect quite a strong first half of 2022, and then we expect what we call a normalization early in the second half.” (Source: Bloomberg)
The shipping container backup in Southern California ports is starting to decrease for the first time in months. The number of ships waiting to access Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have dropped from 109 to 78 in the past month. This number is still high compared to pre-pandemic, but it is starting to decrease.
As these numbers in the ports continue to decrease, it will help promotional product suppliers who source blank items from China and other major manufacturing centers in Asia. Irregular shipping patterns also stem from China’s lockdown policies. So if those begin to ease, there is a greater chance of the shipping container market to normalize.
The timing of a return to normal shipping pattern is extremely hard to predict, but numbers are currently trending in the right direction.