During the last weekend of August, there was a record 47 container vessels waiting outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.1 When ships are anchored offshore waiting for an available berth, they miss subsequent departure dates. This leads to cancelled sailings, reduction in much-needed capacity, and slowdown of container and chassis circulation, which adds to the upward pressure on already record-high rates.2
Many experts believe the congestion will not unwind until well into 2022. Customers are looking for better alternatives through Canadian ports or ports on the US east coast.
1. Cargo Congestion Worsens With More Ships Waiting to Enter U.S. Ports, Bloomberg, Sept 9, 2021. Accessed Sept 13, 2021.
2. Port congestion sapping major Asia-US ship capacity injection, Journal of Commerce, Aug 30, 2021. Accessed Sept 13, 2021.