A record number of cargo ships are stuck outside LA. What’s happening?

Business

The Guardian 23 September, 2021 - 12:28am 46 views

Why is there a backlog of cargo ships?

The backlog is linked to surging demand for imports as the US economy has reopened. Retailers and manufacturers have rushed to place orders and restock their inventories, but the global shipping system is struggling to keep up. BBC NewsRecord backlog of cargo ships at California ports

The bottleneck this week at America’s busiest port complex is the result of a shortage of trucks and drivers to pick up goods, coupled with an overwhelming demand for imported consumer products.

The backup of ships has grown since last week, when 60 ships were waiting to unload. On Sunday, there were a record 73 cargo ships waiting to enter the ports.

The surge has put increasing pressure on the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, already the largest in the US and the ninth largest in the world. Together the ports move 40% of container imports in the US and 30% of exports, and serve as a key gateway for imported goods from Asia.

“The Americans’ buying strength is so strong and epic that we can’t absorb all this cargo into the domestic supply chain,” Gene Seroka, the port of LA director, told CBSLA.

With the peak shipping period getting under way as the holiday shopping season approaches, in recent weeks the ports have been setting new records for ships in port almost daily. Traffic has been rising since last summer amid a pandemic-induced buying boom that created a backlog at both ports and overwhelmed the workforce, some of whom were themselves recovering from Covid.

The ports have broken monthly cargo records regularly since last summer. The Long Beach port is on pace to process more than 9m container units this year, exceeding last year’s record of 8.1m units, the most in the port’s 110-year history. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles port in June became the first western hemisphere port to process 10m container units in a 12‑month period.

Robert Garcia, the Long Beach mayor, announced this week that the southern California ports are working with the Biden administration and the transportation department to reduce delays for ships.

The ports said this week that they would expand their hours for cargo pickup, with Long Beach experimenting with a 24/7 pilot program, in response to the historic cargo surge.

“The port of Long Beach is prepared to take bold and immediate action to help the supply chain move the record cargo volumes that keep our economy moving,” said Mario Cordero, the executive director the the port.

Read full article at The Guardian

Southern California ports see backlog of cargo ships

Associated Press 23 September, 2021 - 07:20am

Record 70 Cargo Ships Waiting To Unload Off Port Of LA

CBS Los Angeles 23 September, 2021 - 07:20am

Record 70 Cargo Ships Waiting To Unload Off Port Of LA

Los Angeles Times 23 September, 2021 - 07:20am

Long Beach Container Terminal Pilot Program Moves Toward 24/7 Access

The Maritime Executive 22 September, 2021 - 02:32pm

Published by The Maritime Executive

Published by The Maritime Executive

Published by The Maritime Executive

Published by The Maritime Executive

Published Sep 22, 2021 3:32 PM by The Maritime Executive

One of the large container terminals at the Port of Long Beach has become the first to announce a new pilot project to expand overnight access for truckers to move containers as the ports explore moving to 24/7 operations. The pilot project follows the recent announcement by the ports working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to take steps to improve freight movement and reduce delays at the San Pedro Bay port complex.

Total Terminals International container terminal on Pier T in the Port of Long Beach is making it easier for trucks to access the facility during the overnight hours with a goal of reducing the amount of time cargo spends on the dock. The terminal is taking two significant steps to increase cargo pickup in the late-night, early morning hours when there is less traffic on the region’s freeways and surface streets.

“We are in the midst of a historic surge in cargo, and our terminal operators and other supply chain partners are giving their all to keep it all moving,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We welcome this pilot project by TTI as a first step toward extending gates to 24/7 operations, and we encourage our cargo owners and trucking partners to give this innovative program a try.”

As part of the pilot program, TTI Terminals is widening the arrival window available to truckers between the hours of 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Trucks with appointments will be permitted to enter the gates at any time between those hours as opposed to having to arrive or wait for their specific reserved time slot.  Additionally, TTI is opening gates during the third shift, from 3 to 7 a.m., Monday to Thursday, for two-way, prearranged truck appointments to both drop-off and pick up a container in the same trip, a practice that increases efficiency for the port and the driver.

“If we can increase utilization of our late night gates, we can better serve the supply chain, and help speed cargo to market,” said Bill Peratt, CEO of TTI. “By making it more convenient for truckers, we are optimistic that these steps can reduce the dwell time at our terminal.”

The first in likely a series of steps by the terminal operators and ports comes as vessel activity remains elevated at near record levels. On September 21, the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported that a total of 153 vessels were in the complex, which included 60 vessels at anchor and another 29 in drift areas as the anchorage remains full. Included in these figures are 69 containerships waiting for terminal space, just shy of the record of 74 containerships waiting set two days earlier on September 19.

Highlighting the continuing surge in the number of containerships arriving at the ports, the Marine Exchange reported so far in September a total of 125 containerships have arrived with 17 extra ships beyond forecasts, which is 15 percent above the pre-pandemic levels in the ports. Over the next three days, the Marine Exchange reported, a further 41 vessels are scheduled to arrive, including 13 additional containerships. 

“This is an ideal time to start these new measures as we work across the supply chain to find solutions to the current capacity crunch,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Steven Neal. “Our supply chain workforce is to be commended for toiling tirelessly throughout this surge to keep record amounts of cargo moving.”

Published Sep 23, 2021 12:20 AM by The Maritime Executive

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to make a ruling on the longstanding maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia, a development that is expected to have far-reaching ramifications on the use of Indian Ocean waters claimed by the two nations. Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid revealed that the ICJ has set an October date for determination of the case, which has been a source of diplomatic tensions between Nairobi and Mogadishu since it was filed in...

Published Sep 22, 2021 11:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

Thanks in large part to LNG sales, America exported more energy than it imported last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. It is the first time that the U.S. has recorded a net energy-trade surplus since at least 1974, the first year in the U.S. Census Bureau's trade value data.  In 2020, the trade balance of America's energy products - petroleum, natural gas, coal, and electricity exports - ran a net surplus of $27 billion. That compares very...

Published Sep 22, 2021 10:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

The giant offshore decommissioning vessel Pioneering Spirit has loaded a new sheerlegs system onto her back deck, giving her the capability to hoist both platform topsides and platform jackets. It will have a capacity of 20,000 tonnes, making her the world's largest floating sheerlegs by a factor of two (in addition to her other world records).  Pioneering Spirit, the world's largest vessel by displacement, was purpose-built for two highly specialized tasks - laying pipe and removing topsides. She has a...

Published Sep 22, 2021 9:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

The UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has reported the second fatal crushing accident involving a rolling gantry crane within a little more than a year. The gantry aboard the coaster Cimbris crushed a stevedore against a hatch cover in July 2020, mirroring a nearly-identical accident aboard the freighter Karina C in May 2019. Some European coastal freighter designs have a small gantry crane that straddles the hold, used for lifting and moving the ship's cargo hatches. Each leg of the...

© Copyright 2021 The Maritime Executive, LLC. All rights reserved.

Long Beach Container Terminal Pilot Program Moves Toward 24/7 Access

Seatrade Maritime News 22 September, 2021 - 02:32pm

Published by The Maritime Executive

Published by The Maritime Executive

Published by The Maritime Executive

Published by The Maritime Executive

Published Sep 22, 2021 3:32 PM by The Maritime Executive

One of the large container terminals at the Port of Long Beach has become the first to announce a new pilot project to expand overnight access for truckers to move containers as the ports explore moving to 24/7 operations. The pilot project follows the recent announcement by the ports working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to take steps to improve freight movement and reduce delays at the San Pedro Bay port complex.

Total Terminals International container terminal on Pier T in the Port of Long Beach is making it easier for trucks to access the facility during the overnight hours with a goal of reducing the amount of time cargo spends on the dock. The terminal is taking two significant steps to increase cargo pickup in the late-night, early morning hours when there is less traffic on the region’s freeways and surface streets.

“We are in the midst of a historic surge in cargo, and our terminal operators and other supply chain partners are giving their all to keep it all moving,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We welcome this pilot project by TTI as a first step toward extending gates to 24/7 operations, and we encourage our cargo owners and trucking partners to give this innovative program a try.”

As part of the pilot program, TTI Terminals is widening the arrival window available to truckers between the hours of 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Trucks with appointments will be permitted to enter the gates at any time between those hours as opposed to having to arrive or wait for their specific reserved time slot.  Additionally, TTI is opening gates during the third shift, from 3 to 7 a.m., Monday to Thursday, for two-way, prearranged truck appointments to both drop-off and pick up a container in the same trip, a practice that increases efficiency for the port and the driver.

“If we can increase utilization of our late night gates, we can better serve the supply chain, and help speed cargo to market,” said Bill Peratt, CEO of TTI. “By making it more convenient for truckers, we are optimistic that these steps can reduce the dwell time at our terminal.”

The first in likely a series of steps by the terminal operators and ports comes as vessel activity remains elevated at near record levels. On September 21, the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported that a total of 153 vessels were in the complex, which included 60 vessels at anchor and another 29 in drift areas as the anchorage remains full. Included in these figures are 69 containerships waiting for terminal space, just shy of the record of 74 containerships waiting set two days earlier on September 19.

Highlighting the continuing surge in the number of containerships arriving at the ports, the Marine Exchange reported so far in September a total of 125 containerships have arrived with 17 extra ships beyond forecasts, which is 15 percent above the pre-pandemic levels in the ports. Over the next three days, the Marine Exchange reported, a further 41 vessels are scheduled to arrive, including 13 additional containerships. 

“This is an ideal time to start these new measures as we work across the supply chain to find solutions to the current capacity crunch,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Steven Neal. “Our supply chain workforce is to be commended for toiling tirelessly throughout this surge to keep record amounts of cargo moving.”

Published Sep 23, 2021 12:20 AM by The Maritime Executive

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to make a ruling on the longstanding maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia, a development that is expected to have far-reaching ramifications on the use of Indian Ocean waters claimed by the two nations. Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid revealed that the ICJ has set an October date for determination of the case, which has been a source of diplomatic tensions between Nairobi and Mogadishu since it was filed in...

Published Sep 22, 2021 11:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

Thanks in large part to LNG sales, America exported more energy than it imported last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. It is the first time that the U.S. has recorded a net energy-trade surplus since at least 1974, the first year in the U.S. Census Bureau's trade value data.  In 2020, the trade balance of America's energy products - petroleum, natural gas, coal, and electricity exports - ran a net surplus of $27 billion. That compares very...

Published Sep 22, 2021 10:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

The giant offshore decommissioning vessel Pioneering Spirit has loaded a new sheerlegs system onto her back deck, giving her the capability to hoist both platform topsides and platform jackets. It will have a capacity of 20,000 tonnes, making her the world's largest floating sheerlegs by a factor of two (in addition to her other world records).  Pioneering Spirit, the world's largest vessel by displacement, was purpose-built for two highly specialized tasks - laying pipe and removing topsides. She has a...

Published Sep 22, 2021 9:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

The UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has reported the second fatal crushing accident involving a rolling gantry crane within a little more than a year. The gantry aboard the coaster Cimbris crushed a stevedore against a hatch cover in July 2020, mirroring a nearly-identical accident aboard the freighter Karina C in May 2019. Some European coastal freighter designs have a small gantry crane that straddles the hold, used for lifting and moving the ship's cargo hatches. Each leg of the...

© Copyright 2021 The Maritime Executive, LLC. All rights reserved.

California: More than 70 cargo ships queue outside Los Angeles and Long Beach ports amid surge in US imports

Sky News 22 September, 2021 - 10:37am

The vessels carrying thousands of containers are being forced to wait for a berthing place at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California, which together manage around 40% of all cargo ships entering the US.

A shortage in trucks and drivers to collect the goods amid a surging demand for imports as the American economy continues to reopen have been blamed for the disruption.

Some economic analysts have said they fear the problems for cargo ships entering the ports could continue well into 2022.

Around 60 ships were waiting on the Californian coast last week, but that record-breaking figure jumped to 73 at the weekend with other ports also unable to help clear the backlog due to a lack of capacity.

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have announced measures to try to speed up the "unprecedented growth" in the volume of cargo.

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Both ports will be expanding the hours during which trucks can collect and return containers as part of an effort to "maximise" night operations.

Long Beach port's executive director Mario Cordero said they would continue to take "bold and immediate action to help the supply chain move the record cargo volumes".

Port of Los Angeles executive director, Gene Seroka, added: "These steps, in addition to what has previously been recommended, demonstrate that the Port of Los Angeles will continue to innovate in order to manage this historic cargo surge."

Los Angeles is the busiest container port in North America, a position it has held for more than two decades.

The global shipping network has struggled to keep pace with an ongoing surge in orders by retailers and manufacturers looking to replenish stocks as economies continue to make some recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Shortages of pet food, timber and clothing have been reported amid a spike in orders throughout the coronavirus crisis.

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