Chock Full

August 13, 2007 (LBO) – Congestion in Asian ports like Colombo is affecting cargo flows to the United States and ship schedules with the squeeze expected to continue into the next year, a body representing major shipping lines has said. Forward bookings suggest that the trend will continue into August, and retailers forecasts record eastbound transpacific volumes by October. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) has warned of increased congestion at Asian ports notably Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Colombo due to booming intra-Asia and Asia-Europe trade growth.

TSA, a research and discussion forum of 14 major container shipping lines serving the trade from Asia to ports and inland points in the U.S., said the tightness in the market is likely to continue as the peak season for exports to the US gets underway.

“While trade growth has moderated in line with expectations, U.S. importers face supply chain congestion challenges that get progressively complex to manage moving into the peak shipping season,” it said in a statement.

Traffic Jams

“The main concern for container lines in 2007 and into 2008 is supply chain disruptions from Asia port congestion, labour slowdowns, and truck and inl