05 Feb Huge Backlog of Vessels Impacting Schedules in Los Angeles and Long Beach ports
Daily Breeze reports A perfect storm of weather storms, record cargo and COVID-19 surges have contributed to the current situation. Both ports have battled to fend off bottlenecks as cargo volumes surged by about 50% in the last half of 2020.
Complicating the high volumes are increasing COVID-19 cases hitting longshore workers. Infections since December 2020 and in the first 25 days of 2021 have “almost surpassed the total cases reported in the final eight months in 2020,” according to Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield.
Some 800 longshore men and women of the total workforce of 15,000 working in both ports have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine.
The Loadstar and Alphaliner reports, the capacity of the 27 ships berthed and 41 at anchorage at the San Pedro Bay ports stood at a massive 579,100 teu on Monday.
Alphaliner calculated that the 41 ships at anchorage – some facing a wait of up to two weeks for a berth – equated to some 336,500 teu of idled capacity.
The chronic port congestion impacting the San Pedro Bay ports is also hobbling the restitution of empty containers back to Asia, a logjam in the supply chain that is further restricting the availability of boxes for US export loads.
For months carriers have been prioritising the return of empty equipment back to Asia over offering them to US exporters in order to return equipment back into the more lucrative headhaul leg, but many boxes have been left stranded on the quay or stuck in export holding areas.
Anecdotal feedback from an IFCBAA member’s USA agent
“Crazy thing is better than last week… Also East Coast pretty bad as well don’t have an anchor map but they had to shut terminals yesterday due to bad weather. Next week Midwest has a cold front coming in expecting to create a major impact to truckers adding to the back log… Rails too are experiencing a lot of delays and some not accepting any more containers until they can resolve some of the back log at the ports due to no drivers and chassis… Everyone is saying the worse congestion in History at the ports… Understand you guys are having a tough time as well.. Not that misery loves company but am sure you can relate.
Very difficult to keep up with all the changes happening, finding drivers and dealing with cancelled booking/ vessel and drivers waiting hours in line to only get to gates and told no equipment INSANE.
But we will get through this we always do… just need to keep customers informed so they aren’t surprised of delays… At this time no booking, vessel or routing I guaranteed.“
The Pacific Coast Express direct service to Australia, shared by ANL-CMACGM, Maersk, Hamburg Sud and Hapag Llloyd is not reporting delays at this time.
Further Information – Daily Breeze and The Loadstar:
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