Container Chaos

In October 2020, ocean carriers started refusing export bookings to get empty shipping containers back overseas as quickly as possible and capture high-value imports. One year and a half later not much has changed. Congress intervened and ocean carriers can no longer ‘unreasonably’ decline exports. SB&B Foods President Bob Sinner says that language is the problem. “What is unreasonable and how do you define that? That’s been our frustration.” Importers are incentivized to unload their containers at the port and pick the product up by truck. “That means we’re not going to have these containers coming into the Midwest where we need them, and it’s only going to increase or add to the congestion.” Sinner says another complication in on the horizon with the current labor contract for West Coast port workers expiring July 1.