Vessels Backed up for Days off the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are experiencing higher than normal congestion.  According to a Journal of Commerce interview with executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, Capt. J. Kipling Louttit, cargo container ships are dropping anchor and waiting in line to be received at terminals.  “There’s usually zero wait times with container ships. The only time a container ship is usually at anchor is if something weird happens: a breakdown, a casualty or a Coast Guard holdup. Container ships normally run on rails,” Louttit noted.

In a perfect storm, this peak season at LA/LB has been plagued with severe congestion through a combination of several factors that have led to 12-72 hour wait times for anchored vessels waiting to berth.   Major contributing factors include chassis and drayage trucker shortages, ILWU work slow-downs, and increased ship sizes requiring longer discharging schedules.

Importers should take note of heavy volumes and potential delays.  Please contact your Shapiro representative with any questions or concerns. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and advise you of any important updates.

For more information, please review our October 3rd Shap Flash:  Severe Chassis and Labor Shortages Plague LA-Long Beach Port.