A record-breaking 44 container ships are stuck off the coast of California

This January, freight ships are anchored off the coast California. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some of the most severe bottlenecks in US ports for more than a decade. Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press Telegram via Getty Images
44 container ships remain stranded outside CA ports, increasing shipping delays and freight costs.

This surpasses the 40 vessels that were stuck in February's previous pandemic record.

These ports are responsible for approximately one-third US imports and serve as the main source of trade between the US and China.

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The Marine Exchange of Southern California reported Saturday that forty-four freight vessels are awaiting entry to California's two largest ports. This is the most number of ships since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The long queues are a result of the holiday buying surges, COVID-19-related disruptions, and a labor shortage. The average wait time for ships has increased from 7.6 days to 7.6 days, according to LA port data.

According to Kip Louttit (executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California), "The average number of container ships at an anchor is between zero-one." Insider was told this July by Insider.

About one-third of US imports come from California ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach. These ports are a major source of Chinese imports and have been subject to heavy congestion since the outbreak.

Insider was told by Louttit that the ships are twice or three times the size they were a decade ago. They take longer to load. To place the cargo, you need more trucks, trains and warehouses.

Continue reading: The Suez Canal is not the end of supply-chain failures. These are four things small businesses can do to get the most out of the next supply-chain failure.

Container ships are required to anchor while they wait for berth space. Companies importing or exporting goods from Asia can expect delays in shipping.

Bloomberg reported that this happened during the busiest month for US-China trade relations. Retailers buy ahead to prepare for US holidays and China’s Golden Week in Oct.

Dollar Tree CEO Michael Witynski stated that a dedicated charter was denied entry to China after a crew member tested positive to COVID. This forced the vessel to return home to Indonesia to change its crew and then continue. "Overall, the voyage was delayed two months."

Continue the story

Witynski, a San Francisco freight forwarder, stated in a recent webinar that the transit time from Shanghai to Chicago has more than doubled to 73 from 35 days. Insider's ine Cain reported that another carrier executive stated "that voyages now take 30 days longer than they did in previous years because of port congestion, container handling delays and other factors."

Witynski stated that industry experts believe the ocean shipping capacity will stabilize no later than 2023 when new ships are added to it.

The Marine Exchange of Southern California stated in a statement that despite record numbers of ships at anchor and in ports, the Marine Transportation System (LA and LB) remains safe, secure and reliable. However, it is not as efficient as it should due to COVID protocols in uncertain and unsettled times and record cargo levels.

Business Insider has the original article.

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