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Port Congestion Eases in Asia While U.S. Battles Import Deluge

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Asia’s largest ports are showing signs that congestion is easing ahead of the holiday season, a potentially positive step for key trade gateways in the U.S. that are still battling an influx of imports.

Total traffic in Shanghai-Ningbo declined by 0.2% last week from the previous week and Hong Kong-Shenzhen’s ship count dropped 10.4%, according to an analysis of data by Bloomberg News. Singapore, Asia’s third-largest trade hub, saw a week-on-week drop of 14.7% as a backlog visible since early November looked to be largely cleared.

The same can’t be said yet across the Pacific, as queues of vessels remained elevated in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. Congestion levels at those neighboring ports rose 6.7%.

As of Friday, at least 75 container ships were waiting for berth space to offload after politicians toured the ports Wednesday, touting a 32% drop in the number of containers sitting on the docks for more than nine days.

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