LA-LB port set for another month of congestion

LA port congestion continues

“US importers shipping through Los Angeles-Long Beach should expect congested marine terminals, lengthy truck turn times, equipment shortages, and distribution warehouses that are stuffed beyond capacity for at least another month.

Since other major gateways, including New York-New Jersey, are also experiencing various degrees of equipment shortages, and delays in the return of empty containers, it is possible that Asia could soon experience a shortage of empty containers.

The causes of the extreme gridlock in Los Angeles-Long Beach include the 34 extra-loader vessels that called at the largest US port complex since November, an unprecedented year-over-year increase in imports of more than 20 percent in December, the worst container dwell times in two years, and severe equipment shortages. Southern California was the epicenter of front-loading of spring shipments to get ahead of the Trump administration’s now-delayed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports, and retailers are holding on to the merchandise at their warehouses in Southern California awaiting decisions on where to ship the freight.

With warehouse space in Southern California maxed out, retailers are storing import loads on chassis in their yards, or anywhere else where they can find space. By tying up chassis for weeks at a time, the beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) have precipitated a chassis shortage in the region, which in turn prevents truckers from returning empty containers to the ports. An executive at an intermodal equipment provider (IEP) said that this could result in a shortage of empty containers in Asia this winter.”

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