Shipping carriers allegedly refuse to transport US goods

According to a 2021 CNBC investigation, ‘shipping carriers rejected US agricultural export containers worth hundreds of millions of dollars during October and November, instead sending empty containers to China to be filled with more profitable Chinese exports’.

Bluntly put,  this means that foreign shipping carriers are refusing to take American and California-made products, and instead, the shipping carriers take empty containers back to China. The investigation found that in October and November 2020, shipping carriers rejected 178,000 agricultural export containers worth $632 million.

China pays shipping carriers so much money to export Chinese-made goods, they are then paid a premium to carry the empty containers from America back to China. As a result, hundreds of thousands of containers with American products are delayed or remain sitting rotting on American docks in American ports while foreign customers wait.

In the past year, members of congress, the US Secretary of Transportation, the US Secretary of Agriculture, the California State Transportation Agency Secretary, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture sent letters to the shipping council, leading ocean carriers and Federal Maritime Commissioners. However, the export situation has only gotten worse.

California State Transportation Agency Secretary David S. Kim and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross sent a letter in early January 2021 to leading ocean carriers “requesting they take full advantage of underutilized California ports, including the Port of Oakland, to increase capacity for agricultural exports and help relieve supply chain congestion in the San Pedro Bay.” To no avail.

The CNBC investigation unearthed that ‘carriers rejected an estimated 177,938 containers known as TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in October and November, according to the analysis of data compiled from the Census Bureau and the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, California, and New York and New Jersey.

‘According to port trade data, the total export container deficit for the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles was 136,392 TEUs. An estimated 41,546 TEUs were denied out of the Port of New York and New Jersey. The total value lost export trade from those ports is $632 million.’


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