Fourty-four containers are stranded at California ports. This increases shipping costs and delays.
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This story originally appeared on Business Insider
Forty-four freight ships are stuck awaiting entry into California’s two largest ports, the highest number recorded since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported on Saturday.
This is due to the holiday buying surges and a labor shortage. Port of Los Angeles data indicated that the ships’ average wait time had increased to 7.6 days.
“The normal number of container ships at anchor is between zero and one,” Kip Louttit, the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told Insider in July.
About one third of US imports come from California, with Los Angeles and Long Beach being the main ports. They are the main source of Chinese imports and were heavily congested during the Pandemic.
Louttit stated that part of the problem was the fact that ships today are twice or three times the size of ships that we saw a decade ago. They take more time to load. To place the cargo, you need to have more trucks and trains.
Container ships must anchor while they wait for berth space. Companies importing or exporting goods from Asia can expect delays in shipping.
This comes during one of the busiest months for US-China trade relations, as retailers buy ahead in anticipation of US holidays and China’s Golden Week in October, Bloomberg reported.
“To give you a real-life example of the kinds of challenges we’re seeing, one of our dedicated charters was recently denied entry into China because a crew member tested positive for COVID, forcing the vessel to return to Indonesia and change the entire crew before continuing,” Michael Witynski, Dollar Tree’s CEO, said on a Thursday earnings call. The voyage was delayed overall by two months.
Witynski also stated that the transit time from Shanghai to Chicago has more than doubled from 35 to 73 days in previous years. Another carrier executive estimated “that voyages are now taking 30 days longer than in previous years due to port congestion, container handling delays, and other factors,” Insider’s Aine Cain reported.
Witynski stated that industry experts believe the ocean shipping capability will stabilize no later than 2023 when new ships are added to it.
“Despite record levels of ships in port and at anchor and in drift areas, the Marine Transportation System in LA and LB remains safe, secure, reliable, and environmentally sound, while not being as efficient as it should be due to COVID protocols in these uncertain and unsettled times, and record levels of cargo,” the Marine Exchange of Southern California wrote in a statement.
Publiated at Tue 31 August 2021, 16:18.05 +0000