Congestion: East Coast Angst
In the San Pedro Bay ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, average vessel waiting times for berth and labor have improved significantly in the past few weeks, halving the number of queuing ships to below 50 from the 100+ ships last year around December. According to the latest data from Los Angeles’ Signal port optimizer platform, the average waiting time in the LA terminals has fallen to 3.1 days. Some facilities are even reporting little or no delay.
These ease in congestion stem from the supply chain disruptions in China, which improved landside operations and the continuing coastal shift to the now congesting the US east and Gulf coast ports. With 64 container ships waiting off the East and Gulf Coast ports in early March, it appears to only be getting worse from here. While ship queues have fallen to new lows in LA/LB the number of liner services calling from Asia will surge to a new record high in the coming months as more cargo is diverted away from the Pacific gateway.
Rising to 28 (with 30 planned in May) the number of Asia-east coast services per month continues to trend upward. Increased 40% from the 2021 full year average, deployed capacity of services is projected to reach 889,000 TEUs in the month of June.
Ship sizes are decreasing to smaller ships in both regular services and as extra loaders, even though it’s more efficient for ports to unload 10,000 TEUs from one 10,000 TEU ship than it is from two 5,000 TEU ships. This reduces efficiency and is contributing to backlog problems.
This flotilla of smaller ships is about to increase the delays for calls at east coast ports. We here at Bestway will try to find the most efficient way to help your cargo to stay moving during this time of congestion. We’re not just a freight forwarding company, we’re a customer-centric service provider that listens and endeavors to meet your everyday needs when it comes to shipping. If you have any questions please contact your Bestway representative today.