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70 waiting at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

49 cargo vessels outside LB/LA port complex

Current port delays on the US West Coast are contributing to the extraordinary lack of available vessel capacity that we are currently seeing globally, which is putting immense pressure on ever-tightening rates, according to VesselsValue, a shipping online valuation and data provider.

There are currently 49 cargo vessels that are waiting outside Long Beach/Los Angeles port, with the longest vessel having waited 23 days according to container-news.com 

VesselsValue noted that 38 of these vessels are container ships waiting to enter the port, equating to a total of 228,955TEU, most of which have travelled to the US on the Transpacific leg from Asian manufacturing ports having left over a month ago.

Aside from the anchored vessels, a further 15 or more boxships are seen to be drifting further away from the port in an overflow zone, biding time.

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reach an incredible 70 container ships waiting for a docking site
The previous week the unthinkable sum of 71 ships waiting to berth in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (LA-LB) was counted. Jon Monroe, an industry analyst explains that a ship can take up to two weeks to get a mooring. In addition, approximately 40 vessels are at the anchorage and another 20 or 30 remain adrift and once they have drifted, for example 2 miles, they return to their original position. "Can you imagine the amount of fuel that is burned?" Asks the analyst.

In addition, a ship already docked can later lose yet another time to be unloaded. “If a small vessel (less than 2.000 TEUs) took 2 and a half days to unload and leave a terminal, now it can take between 4 and 6 days. In this plane, he explains that the documentation of the time of arrival and the obtaining of the mooring does not guarantee the workforce, which has become as problematic as the mooring. Crews are assigned daily and the number of crews (1 crew = 1 crane) needed to unload the ship depends on the size of the ship according to blueberriesconsulting.com

"Right now it's crazy," he points out. Monroe, who explains that if the pier is too congested, the terminal will cancel crews to wait for the pier to clear. Thus, these are the three most pressing problems congesting Southern California terminals today: berths, manpower (the right number of crews for the ship to work efficiently) and capacity of the vessels. ports.

He maintains that it appears that the LA-LB ports will move to a 24/7 operating model, at least for the time being. “This will help to some extent, however, if importers do not step up to adapt to this change, we will not be able to bear the potential inefficiencies. Once the ports are full, the terminals cancel crews and wait for the containers to clear before unloading more containers. Importers will have to modify their resources (trucks) to collect containers at night.


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