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More pressure on infrastructure United States

Hundreds of containerships at anchor without any options for unloading. And because of that for example more and more empty shelves in (web)shops around the world: the current situation in global logistics is reaching extremes. The infrastructure of the USA plays a significant role in causing this congestion.

USA congestion dsv

In the United States, lockdown measures preventing Covid-19 led to a more than 30% increase in consumer e-commerce purchases.  This has major consequences for the country’s infrastructure. Many US (air)ports, road transport- and rail hubs are outdated and cannot cope with the still increasing demand for transport.

Sea-, air-, road- and rail transport experience serious problems

At this moment all forms of transport in the US are under pressure. The exceptionally high demand for consumer goods is causing congestion at several ports in the country. On the American West Coast hundreds of containers ships are waiting to be unloaded at the container terminals. The biggest port in the country, Long Beach nearby Los Angeles, has come to a complete stand still. 

Since these problems with sea freight, the demand for air freight in the US has risen rapidly. At the same time, this increase is accompanied by an enormous decrease in freight capacity. Due to the restrictive Covid-19 measures there is a drop in passenger flights, meaning that there is less cargo space on passenger flights available. A shortage on workforce and lack of maintenance at US airport terminals is also a negative factor, resulting in further congestion. 

An example on the gravity of the situation: at the airports of New York and Chicago, cargo is now stored on the streets outside the gateway. Freight trucks are in long waiting queues (for several days) for loading and unloading cargo. 


The situation in the US has severe worldwide implications. Containers on board of anchored ships are temporarily unavailable, which is an estimated 10% of the global freight capacity. A problem that is expected to last at least until 2022.

Air freight congestion in the Netherlands

The South-East part of Schiphol is now also dealing with severe congestion problems. Due to congestion problems at the airport of Frankfurt in Germany many freight forwarders are moving freight to Schiphol Airport. This is creating long traffic jams for that part of Schiphol. The airport was already dealing with serious congestion due to Covid-19 measures and shortage on driver and ground handling staff.

For further insight into the current market situation, you can request our full monthly rapport here.

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