Congestion could clog California ports into February, Hapag-Lloyd warns

Hapag container ship

Hapag-Lloyd expects the current congestion at West Coast port facilities to continue into at least February, according to a recent update from the carrier.

The back up has resulted in 35 ships currently anchoring away from the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach awaiting berthing spots, according to the notice, which also mentioned increased dwell times at the New York port facility.

Once ships berth, the congestion continues on land where equipment shortages have hampered rail operations and high demand have made truckers hard to come by, according to Hapag-Lloyd.

It's a new year, but port facilities are still dealing with the same increased import volumes that strained operations in the back half of 2020.

And the high volume levels are expected to continue, according to Port of Los Angeles' forecast, confirming Hapag-Lloyd's expectation of continued congestion through February. Volume at Port of Los Angeles is expected to be up more than 80% YoY between Jan. 17 and Jan. 23, and up nearly 148% YoY between Jan. 24 and Jan. 30.

The uptick in volume has resulted in nearly a quarter of cargo experiencing a dwell time of greater than five days between September and November, according to the latest numbers available from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

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Source: Supply Chain Dive

BDP International will continue to closely monitor the situation with port congestion on the US West Coast and share updates as they become available. For the latest news and updates, please visit our comprehensive Ocean Transportation page.