Ships were being forced to drift outside of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach because all the anchorages were packed to capacity. The total number of container ships waiting for berth spaces was set to reach an all-time high of 50 vessels on Friday September 10th
The Marine Exchange of Southern California had registered a record 49 boxships waiting for berth space in and around San Pedro Bay. More than 15 ships were due to arrive by the end of the weekend.
The congestion now being experienced at the two main US west coast ports is far worse than the during the high-profile port lockouts of 10 days in 2002 and eight days in 2004, during which the queues never went above 30 vessels.
The backups at the ports of LA/Long Beach were said by Judah Levine, head of research at online box platform Freightos, to be “the major driver of delays that are effectively removing an estimated 20-25% of transpac capacity”.
With carriers once again look to alternative West Coast ports such as Oakland and Portland, volumes had also started causing backlogs in East Coast ports such as Philadelphia.