Vessel Congestion At LA Ports Soars As More Ships Join Queue

Vessel congestion outside the busiest US gateway for trade with Asia is clogged with the most inbound container vessels in nearly six months. 

Bloomberg data shows the number of containerships queuing off the coast of Los Angeles has reached 37 on Sunday evening, that’s three less than the all-time-high observed on Feb. 1. 

On Sunday, the average waits for berth space, a designated location in a port used for mooring vessels when vessels are not at sea, was 6.2 days, compared with 5.7 in late June. That number topped eight days in April. 

Readers may recall the collapse of the trans-pacific supply chains has been among the main reasons for soaring consumer goods prices. It’s also hardly a secret that the most vulnerable section of supply chains are West Coast ports where congestion remains off the charts.

The transpacific trade routes have experienced significant port delays in China in recent weeks because COVID outbreaks are shutting down terminals. 

We’ve discussed the latest meltdown down of the trans-pacific supply chains in “Supply-Chains Brace For Collapse: Port Of LA Fears Repeat Of “Shipping Nightmare” As China Locks Down” and “Shippers Frantic After China’s Busiest Port Shuts Container Terminal Due To Covid.” 

Goldman Sachs has explicitly warned that “port closures or stricter control measures at ports could also put further upward pressure on shipping costs, which are already very high.”

But as new data suggest, shipping congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is worsening and could even surpass levels seen earlier this year. The timing of this bottleneck is ahead of back-to-school and the holiday season when importers ramp up shipments of goods from Asia. 

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