After a hairy three months at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, there is finally some good news to share. As the trade community knows, the congestion and delays at LA/LB, measured in the record-breaking number of vessels that were anchored or adrift in San Pedro Bay awaiting a berth to discharge, has been tough on shippers, especially those with perishable cargoes.
On Thursday, March 11, Capt. Kip Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, reported “two nice trends down.” One, a total 51 container ships were in-port, which is the lowest level since December 28. Secondly, 25 container ships were at anchor, which is the lowest number since December 24.
From Friday through Sunday, 20 vessels total (container ships, bulk ships, etc.) are scheduled to arrive and anchor, while 34 vessels are scheduled to move from anchor to berth, “so the total level of vessels at anchor should overall trend down over the next 3 days and we do not expect to need drift areas,” noted Capt. Louttit.
We’re not popping the bubbly yet, but it certainly seems that we’ve navigated out of the chronic congestion that plagued the ports of LA/LB over the last few months.
Meanwhile, there are undeniable pain points at other ports around the world, such as the Port of Southampton and the UK’s other primary gateways, which we will continue to monitor.