The largest port in the United States hit a new record in ship arrears almost every day last week, as 65 huge container ships float off the California coast.
- The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach hit several new records almost every day last week.
- The queue of ships awaiting unloading grew by 10 ships last week.
- The average time it takes to transport a package from Asia to the United States has increased by more than 43% since last year.
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Southern California ports, which are responsible for nearly half of all U.S. imports, hit a new record almost every day last week.
Over the past week, the queue of ships awaiting unloading at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has grown by 10 ships. As of Friday, the ports had 65 cargo ships stranded at anchor or in drift areas while waiting for spots to open to dock and unload. The ports, which are a main artery for key imports between Asia and the United States, had 147 ships at these sites, including 95 towering freighters on Friday – two new records.
The average wait time for ships is around 8.7 days, about 2.5 days more than at the same time the previous month, according to data from the Port of LA. So far, ports have handled around 862,000 imports in 2021.
The locations set new records for the number of ships in the port, as well as the number of container ships awaiting disembarkation each day last week except Thursday, as the Marine Exchange of Southern California failed to provide a shipping report for that day. The group did not respond to a request from Insider as to whether the ports also hit a record on September 16.
Ports hit six new records in less than four weeks as shipping delays continue to exceed early pandemic levels. When ports hit an all-time high in late August, it was the first time since February, when the start of pandemic closures and the panic-buying frenzy wreaked havoc on global supply chains.
“The normal number of container ships at anchor is between zero and one,” Kip Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told Insider in July.
Freightos told Bloomberg that the average time it takes for ocean freight to go door-to-door has increased by 43% in the past year, from 50 days to 71.5 days.
At the same time, shipping costs have skyrocketed. Last week, Freightos head of research Judah Levine told Insider that the price of transporting a 40-foot container between the United States and Asia had jumped 500% from the same period l last year to reach $ 20,586.
Ultimately, ports face backlogs due to COVID-19-related disruptions and a labor shortage associated with spikes in demand.
Executives warned that rising transportation costs would increase commodity shortages and require more price hikes. UPS chairman Scott Price said last week the company expects supply chain problems to continue until 2022.
Meanwhile, many companies have already started to increase their prices to offset the costs of transportation.
“When we see these massive increases in transportation costs, it’s clear that someone will have to pay for it,” Douglas Kent, executive vice president of strategy and alliances at the Association for Supply Chain Management, told Insider. (ASCM). “One more disturbance could send it [the global supply chain] in the most complete chaos. “