US West Coast Port Congestion Continues

Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Congestion

Shippers continue to face long delays retrieving containers locally and for IPI service from both Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports. The ports have reported unprecedented high volumes of containers coming into port with no relief in sight. Containers are sitting longer than normal and any containers that are out-gating are taking longer to return, causing chassis shortage as well. Contributing factors to the congestion include the following:

  • Strong market conditions and increases in volume prior to the implementation of tariff increases.” (Though a threatened increase in tariffs on $200 million of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent has been delayed until March, many goods were shipped early to beat the tariff clock.)

  • Carriers have added 12 extra loader vessels and three up-sized vessels calling the Los Angeles/Long Beach complex over the balance of 2018. The extra loader vessels are expected to transport an additional 128,000 TEUs of freight over the coming weeks. Many of these vessels are calling terminals outside of the normal alliance pattern, which could result in disruptions in chassis availability because of the mis-positioning of containers and chassis. 

  • Lingering effects of the typhoons in the Eastern Pacific. 

  • Warehouses across the region have all but reached capacity.

  • Driver shortage and ELD enforcement

  • Congestion has been exacerbated by curtailed hours over the Christmas and New Year holidays

  • General increase of containers, 5%, over last year but in much smaller time frame

Despite the ports efforts to assist with technology improvements, congestion is expected to continue through February 2019.