Los Angeles Long Beach Ports Losing Shipping Market Share

Congestion at Ports of L.A. & Lengthy Seashore Causes Container Ship Backup

We’ve been speaking about it for a short time now. The Los Angeles Occasions calls it a “logistical nightmare”. Claims Journal calls it the Ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seashore’s “largest disaster in a decade”. What we’re speaking about is the congestion on the Southern California ports, which occur to deal with roughly 40% of U.S. imports.

Our weblog has regarded on the causes of the congestion:

5 Components Inflicting Congestion on the Ports of L.A. and Lengthy Seashore

We’ve checked out how the congestion is affecting shippers and the route the issue is trending in with:

Congestion at Ports of L. A. & Lengthy Seashore Getting Worse, Not Higher

We’ve even checked out a transfer the Port of Lengthy Seashore has made to alleviate the issue and forestall future repeats of this similar congestion situation:

Port of Lengthy Seashore Getting Chassis to Alleviate Congestion

What we haven’t checked out are the container ships which have been sitting idle, ready to unload their cargo. After all, all it takes is searching on the Pacific Ocean off the Ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seashore to take action.

Grace M. Lavigne reported within the Journal of Commerce earlier this week:

Eleven container ships have been anchored off the ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seashore on Sunday, probably the most ready at one time in San Pedro Bay in two years, as gridlock endured on the largest container gateway within the Americas.

The queue dipped to 9 on Monday, down from 10 on Saturday and 11 on Sunday however up from seven on Friday, in line with the Marine Alternate of Southern California. Final week, the excessive was on Tuesday, Oct. 21, with eight ships at anchor.

A quote in a Lavigne JOC story from final week helps illuminate the enormity of port congestion inflicting container ship backups:

“That is very uncommon,” [retired Coast Guard Capt. J. Kipling “Kip”] Louttit mentioned. “There’s often zero wait occasions with container ships. The one time a container ship is often at anchor is that if one thing bizarre occurs: a breakdown, a casualty or a Coast Guard holdup. Container ships usually run on rails.”

The port congestion downside at Los Angeles and Lengthy Seashore is hurting everybody concerned in worldwide delivery. Truckers are spending complete days to get a single cargo out of ports, an unimaginable state of affairs for making revenue. Ship delays value carriers cash. And, after all, shippers get hit with charges from the carriers and truckers whereas struggling delays on getting their cargo.

The emotions of frustration on the state of affairs appear to be common. Listed below are just a few quotes from an L.A. Occasions article by Andrew Khouri on the state of affairs:

“We’ve a meltdown on the harbor,” mentioned Robert Curry, president of California Cartage Co….

“This is a crucial time and we want absolutely functioning ports to verify items get to the shop cabinets,” mentioned Jon Gold, vice chairman of provide chain and customs coverage on the Nationwide Retail Federation….

“That is actually an ideal storm,” mentioned Port of Los Angeles Govt Director Gene Seroka….

This isn’t the primary time container ship backups have been seen on the Ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seashore. Lavigne’s JOC article stories:

The final time congestion on the Southern California ports was this extreme was when placing workplace clerical staff crippled the ports within the fall of 2012, Louttit mentioned. The clerk’s strike led to a peak of 30 container ships sitting at anchor at one level, he mentioned….

Congestion on the Southern California ports was additionally important in 2004, when Union Pacific Railroad was not adequately staffed to deal with the height season that 12 months, leading to 65 ships at anchor or steaming offshore, plus 127 ships that diverted to different ports, Louttit mentioned. Different extreme episodes occurred in 2002, when the Pacific Maritime Affiliation locked out Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union dockworkers for 10 days, inflicting about 30 ships to be anchored at one time with 14 diverted to different ports; and following the 9/11 assaults in 2001, when there have been about 25 to 30 ships at anchor, he mentioned.

A big issue within the present backups is excessive numbers in container ships and cargo quantity at the moment going to the ports. Enhancing economic system and a peak season beginning earlier and surging later resulting from fears of slowdowns or shutdowns due to ILWU contract negotiations contribute to these excessive container ship and cargo quantity numbers.

Maybe there will be some irony present in shippers prudently adjusting import schedules to keep away from doable port delays solely to have that pattern assist enhance port delays.

After all, shippers can’t be blamed for the congestion occurring on the ports. The basis issues are chassis administration and availability, ship sizes, and trucker shortages. Sadly, shippers are sometimes those having to pay the most important value, irrespective of whose fault the issues are.

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