70 container ships are waiting for berths! The queues in Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach lasted for three weeks, and the congestion deteriorated sharply!
According to data from the Southern California Maritime Exchange on the 21st, 95 ships lined up for berths in the two largest maritime highways in the United States-Los Angeles and Long Beach Port. Of the 95 ships in line, 70 are container ships. It is worth noting that 37 ships-including 29 container ships-were forced to drift in the Pacific Ocean.
In this process, the ship usually drifts for several miles and then returns to its original position, which often consumes a lot of fuel. Now, the ships behind the queue need up to three weeks to wait for the berth to open.
Søren Toft, CEO of Mediterranean Shipping (MSC), the world’s second largest liner company, talked about the current extreme supply chain crisis in a keynote speech at London International Shipping Week last week and discussed the substantial increase in U.S. demand. In the first seven months of this year, Imports of goods from Asia to the United States increased by 33%. Søren Toft revealed that MSC has shipped 12 months of shipments in eight months. He told the delegates: "The supply chain cannot adapt to such a huge change."
Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said in an introduction to the operation last month that the challenge for the entire supply chain is equivalent to "turning 10 lanes of a highway into 5 lanes." According to data from Freightos, the average door-to-door time for sea cargo has increased by 43% from last year, from 50 days to 71.5 days.
According to the latest data from the signal platform of the Port of Los Angeles on the 21st, there are currently 32 container ships waiting for berths at the Los Angeles anchorage alone, and 12 ships waiting outside the port. A total of 48 waiting ships are waiting for berth on average. The time has increased from 8.5 days a week ago to 9.0 days, and the waiting time can be as long as 22 days. This “congestion” phenomenon has caused shortages of goods and delayed logistics in many places, further affecting the land-side supply chain.
According to data from the Port of Los Angeles, the volume of goods in the 39th and 40th weeks of the two weeks that are approaching the Golden Week of November continues to increase steadily, and the relief is still not optimistic!
Charlotte Cook, chief trade analyst at Vessels Value, said: "During this busy period of the year, this severe congestion has had a significant impact on the supply chain, as many large retailers are preparing to replenish sufficient inventory before Christmas. "
“The vessel was forced to wait outside the port for unloading, which not only hindered the current cargo on board, but also caused a subsequent chain reaction.” Cook explained, “the last mile of transportation interruption was caused by delays, because the inventory was being removed. Truck and rail transportation have to consider port congestion before shipping to the warehouse and final destination."
At the same time, California’s two major ports continue to publish record or near-record freight volume data. In August, the total freight volume of Long Beach and Los Angeles ports exceeded 1.76 million TEUs. The cargo volume of the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) is close to the historical record for 2020, and the neighboring Port of Long Beach (POLB) reached the highest ever cargo volume in August.
During periods of high congestion, the port will use as many terminals and berths as possible to maximize throughput, but this usually puts further pressure on port operations and increases port call time and wait time. Cook pointed out, “delay It also slows down the ability to transport empty containers back to Asia, which is a key issue in the current situation of insufficient capacity and strong demand."