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The largest port in the United States is serious! Congestion is getting worse, 23 container ships are waiting at anchor in California

It is reported that the Port of Los Angeles, the largest port in the United States, is continuing to bear the pressure of a large number of containers entering the port. At the same time, the port is seriously congested and a large number of ships are waiting to berth. Workers are currently picking out Christmas goods from the mountain of containers to ensure that these goods can appear under the Christmas tree of American families in time.

According to data released by the Port of Los Angeles, the port handled a total of 889,746 TEUs in November this year, a 22% increase year-on-year. Factors such as rising consumer spending, holiday gifts and restocking have contributed to an unprecedented surge in freight volumes in recent months.

Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said that the average monthly container throughput since August has been close to 930,000 teu. It is rare that it is so busy at the end of the year, but 2020 itself is also a rare year.

The Port of Los Angeles (blue line) in the fourth quarter of 2020 was significantly higher than last year, source: Portoptimizer
Seroka further stated that as consumers continue to stay at home to shop online instead of going out to consume services, the port is expected to remain busy for at least a few months. In order to help shippers manage the influx of goods, the port has introduced new data tools and services. More places to stack containers.

▍A large number of containers enter the port and the backlog of goods is serious

The logistics pressure at the end of the year was mainly due to the impact of the epidemic in the first half of this year. As of mid-December, the annual freight volume of the Port of Los Angeles was still 3% lower than the same period in 2019. The main reason was the 19% drop in freight volume in the first five months. Since the second half of the year, containers from Asia have poured in at a record rate.

"After 11 months of year-on-year decline in freight volume, we have now achieved year-on-year growth for 4 consecutive months (August to November). During this period, the monthly average TEU was close to 930,000, which is a strong increase in imports. An indicator of duration."


According to the Port of Los Angeles, imported 20-foot standard containers reached 464,000 in November, an increase of 25% year-on-year; export standard containers fell 5% to 130,000; at the same time, empty container transportation in Asia with strong demand rose 34.2% year-on-year to 294,000. .

The congestion of port transportation has also made the US toy industry worried. It is now less than two weeks before the industry's most important Christmas.

Isaac Larian, chief executive officer of large toy company MGA Entertainment, said that on Tuesday, the company had a backlog of 250 containers at the port. It has been three to four weeks before the scheduled delivery date. Currently, it can only withdraw some of them every day with the help of the port. .

▍Serious port congestion, a large number of ships waiting to berth

According to media reports, the surge in container imports has also caused congestion in the port, making it more difficult for trucks and trucks to transport goods from the port quickly, which has also caused a slowdown in the speed of cargo ships entering the port. According to Seroka, 50 of the 88 ships that arrived at the Port of Los Angeles in November waited 2.5 days at the anchorage before unloading. By December, 80% of arriving ships had to wait an average of four days.

Seroka said that every part of the logistics supply chain in major ports around the world is still under constant tension. On Tuesday, 15 container ships berthed at the Port of Los Angeles, but there were 23 anchored at the anchored San Pedro Bay. Of these, 14 will go to berth in Los Angeles and 9 will go to berth in the Port of Long Beach.

It also introduced, “The stay time of containers at the terminal remains at about 5 days, which is twice as long as before the surge in imports in the summer. However, the average waiting time for warehouses and storage space is currently only 6.3 days compared to 7.1 days in October. Get better."

"The situation of the anchorage is currently a concern for all of us. At present, many ships need to anchor and enter a waiting mode before berthing." Seroka continued.


Los Angeles will maintain strong imports in early spring

The demand for empty containers in Asia is still high, with the number of empty containers exceeding twice the number of US exports from the port of Los Angeles.

Seroka said that from January 1 to November 30, the port of Los Angeles handled approximately 8.3 million TEUs. "This is a drop of about 3% from 2019. But considering that this value has fallen by nearly 20% in the first five months of this year, many people can't believe that this number can be reached."

Seroka said: "Considering the roller coaster-like market we have experienced throughout the year, I am very happy that we can complete this challenging 2020. It is expected that the new year will also have a strong start."

Seroka said: "Our preliminary survey of imports in January shows that there will be approximately 850,000 TEUs, which will be 5% more than during the busy January 2020." He pointed out that retailers and economists It is predicted that imports will remain strong at least until early spring.

"Maybe after the Chinese New Year in mid-February, we will see a small decrease in container volume, because this time is usually when the Chinese manufacturing industry slows down. This means that our throughput at the Los Angeles port will be at least March Should be strong in the first week