Good News: West Coast Congestion May Clear

Terminal operators say the container volumes will continue til the Spring, but there are hopes to have the backlog shrink by late spring cause of two factors: faster vaccine roll outs and Chinese Lunar New Years.

With more vaccines getting FDA approval and vaccine distribution ramping up, there are hopes that the large port labor-force will also be vaccinated and back to somewhat close to regular capacity. Also, Chinese Lunar New Years will give 2 weeks for ports around the world a break to catch up.

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor of JOC writes in his article, "Vessel backlogs in Los Angeles-Long Beach continue unabated. According to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, there were 63 container ships in the Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor on Thursday, 34 of which were at anchor awaiting berths and 29 at the berths being worked."

The main factor of this congestion labor shortages due to Covid. Port workers were hit hard and this lost in labor reflects the growing congestion. The longer containers are at port, the worst the congestion will get. Container wait times have increased to 4.99 days in DEC 2020 compared to early 2020 PMSA record of 2.5 days.

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