L.A. & Long Beach Port Status

Just a quick peek at the ports of Los Angeles & Long Beach and how that whole Logistics FUBAR is working out (given that about 2 weeks from now drivers to Canada will be mandated the Vexxine and that’s likely to put a big FUBAR in Canada / US logistics as well…)


Weekly Vessels Anchored and at Terminals as of 1/3/2022
LA & LB: Anchored 23 (NM)* | Terminal 27 | Loitering/Steaming 77 (NM)**
Oakland: Anchored 5 | Terminal 8 | Drifting/Loitering 1
NWSA: Anchored 1 | Terminal 8 | Drifting 2

So 23 are Anchored out in the California expensive special Diesel mandated zone. 27 are actually in the terminal being unloaded / loaded.

Then there’s that 77 of them loitering, drifting, or just steaming around outside of the anchorage. (Plus God Only Knows how many have decided to cross the ocean on Dead Slow to save a bit of fuel costs, or diverted to other ports, or just not taking on cargo destined to LB or LA.) I make that about 127 in / near California (and more out to sea or loading in China?).

Vessel Congestion Update
On December 25, 2021, the Southern California Marine Exchange reported 97 total ships in the twin ports of Los Angeles (LA) and Long Beach (LB). Of the vessels, 49 are container ships including 23 at anchor or loitering and 26 at berth. The specific number of container vessels that normally loiter or are anchored outside the 150-mile safety air emissions exclusion zone, referred to as SAQA (Safety & Air Quality Area), was not released by the Marine Exchange. On December 27, 2021, the Port of LA Operations Report indicated 100 container vessels with 23 container vessels (LA 5 & LB 18) anchored within the 40 mile (NM) in-port area and 77 (LA 38 & LB 39) loitering/steaming toward the San Pedro Bay. Container vessels are waiting for an average of 20 to 27.3 days to reach a terminal to unload their containers.

Note: Nautical Mile (NM) *Within 40 NM and **Outside 150 NM
Loitering = Container vessels slow speed steaming and not at anchor

All the threatened “penalty for containers that sit on the dock too long” has done is have more ships holding off unloading, near as I can tell. The “backup” is being pushed more toward the At Sea and China side.

Maybe this will let the port get the inventory of containers down to where they can more efficiently load them on trucks, but it still doesn’t fix the shortage of trucks caused by the mandate by the State that only “2010 or newer” engines are allowed into the State.

I think this is going to continue for at least another 1/2 year.

Looks like they figured out they can use Other Land to place containers.

Additional container storage has been authorized by the City of Carson, a neighboring city to the twin ports. As the congestion continues at the ports of LA and LB, an agreement was struck and is part of the ongoing effort to reduce the number of containers lingering at terminal yards. The deal will now allow a shipping company to store containers on 60 acres at the Marathon Petroleum Refinery. Carson officials authorized the land usage for the temporary storage of the neighboring twin ports excess containers, to aid in reducing on dock containers stuck at the ports, a problem that stems from the cargo surge that began last year and shows little signs of letting up. The usage includes cargo containers and trucks but may not be stacked. The shipping company will pay Carson $1 million annually in fees in exchange for total access to the Marathon area during a two-year period.

60 acres. $1 Million / year. $16,666 / year / acre. $1389 / month /acre. For bare dirt.

You would think someone might figure out that there’s a Whole Lot Of Empty Dirt in the Mojave just a very short drive away… Set up a relay of Short Haul Trucks taking containers across the L.A. Basin between 10 PM and 5 AM when roads are reasonably open.

Note they expect to need this for 2 years.

They do note that folks are adapting where they ship to, but also note bad weather at sea is causing some changes on the fly, especially in the Atlantic:

Winter Weather Leads to Unpredictability of Vessel Calls

Due to harsh weather, North Atlantic Seas has transatlantic carriers omitting ports of call, on an ad-hoc basis, to recover schedules. As adverse weather conditions continue with little let-up, carriers are making temporary network adjustments. Northern Europe to U.S. east coast routes are omitting ports of call at some of the east and Gulf coasts as part of their winter plan.

As carriers had shifted from the severely congested U.S. west coast ports to east and Gulf coast port terminals, it has also created additional berthing delays and last-minute call omissions.
Despite the weather delays affecting vessel operations, the U.S. east coast ports are experiencing impressive volume growth, which has also resulted in some docking and landside congestion delays.

Data from Blue Alpha Capital suggests that, in November 2021, the imports at the ten largest U.S. container ports recorded a shift away from the west coast ports redirected to the east as shippers from Asia redirected containers to avoid prolonged delays on products shipped to LA and LB ports. The data indicates a west coast decline of 7.5% while the east coast experienced a 9.9% growth of container imports.

So coming to the East Real Soon Now, congestion caused by Stupid California Rules. Enjoy… /snark;

The Port of New York/New Jersey experienced a 3.2% increase in November 2021, overtaking the Port of Long Beach statistically for the month, and becoming the second-busiest U.S. container port. The port of LA reported 403,569 TEU while NY/NJ reported 395,36 TEU. High berth and terminal utilization are expected to continue through the holiday and into the first quarter of 2022. While at the twin ports of LA/LB, the congestion is projected to last well into the first six months of 2022.

Or maybe for the 2 years they have rented the extra dirt?…

Note, too, that shifting to East Coast ports from Asia will mean more congestion at the Panama Canal, around the Capes, or in the Suez Canal if crossing via Europe.

A FUBAR in any one of the 10 or so giant ports ripples back through all the other parts of it. The hope is that they can share out the ripple enough it stays a ripple. The fear is that it will cause a cascade failure as other parts become congested and enter a lower productivity mode.

But neither hope nor fear is a strategy… So we’ll get to watch this play out for the next 6 months to 2 years and see what happens next.

Do note that folks who shifted to Canadian West Coast ports with trucks to bring the containers down to the lower 48 are about to be hit by a trucker shortage to cross the border due to Vaccine Mandates and Vexxine Passports for truckers starting in a week or 2. So that potential work around will slam shut too.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related, World Economics. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to L.A. & Long Beach Port Status

  1. YMMV says:

    But wait, there’s more!

    Vancouver, Canada is one of those left-coast metros where all thoughts must be green.


    “Unifor says the Port of Vancouver’s long-scheduled ban on semi-trucks older than 10 years should be delayed beyond its slated date of Feb. 1.” The union represents 280 truckers.

    “The Port of Vancouver first advised the sector of the “10-year rolling truck age program” in 2015 in line with its mandate to protect the environment and facilitate trade”

    “The environmental regime, which would require container trucks with engine and exhaust systems more than a decade old to be retrofitted or upgraded, includes an exemption application process for older trucks that can meet green standards.”

    Looking at the Port of Vancouver website: zero-emission port by 2050, along with Antwerp, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Le Havre, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, Rotterdam, Valencia, Vancouver, and Yokohama. 2050 is going to be a drag. Assuming the world doesn’t end before then.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    Gee… So Vancouver / BC is as daft as California… Looks like the whole West Coast is committed to preventing efficient truck haulage from ports.

  3. philjourdan says:

    Canada is as daft as California.

  4. Knowbuddy Yuno says:

    Canadian West Coast ports? As in, plural? I thought Vancouver, BC was pretty much the only player up there.

    Vancouver got slammed by floods and mudslides that cut its road and rail links a month or two back, and they’ve barely got them reconnected again. The situation up there is very fragile.

  5. E.M.Smith says:



    The port of Vancouver and The Prince Rupert Port are the most precious and expanding seaports of the west Canadian Coast. Both the ports play an important role in the Canadian finance trade and have a vital involvement in the business supply chain of the country. The western Canadian ports have been known for their benefits that they provide to a number of businesses running over there and help Canada to secure its place in the Asia-Pacific market.
    Prince Rupert Port: Explained

    The Prince Rupert port was built upon the completion of a grand trunk pacific railway in the year 1914 and is used as a great alternative to the Vancouver port which is the largest in the Canada. The port was designed as a 170 million dollars’ terminal project with a capacity of more than 5 lakh TEUs. It is mainly funded by 5 partners. The Port has a 60 million dollars input from the Maher terminals, the govt. Of Canada contributes 30 million dollars to its development, 30 million dollars were contributed by the British Columbia province, the CN rail infrastructure has a 25 million dollars’ donation and finally, it gets 25 million dollars from the main port authority. This clearly depicts how the Western coast seaports of Canada hold great importance in the development of the country business and trading processes.

    I note is uses lakh, an Indian term meaning 100,000 units. No idea why and article about Canadian ports uses an Indian number term, but there it is.

    Yeah, the flooding and road outages definitely put a crimp on things. I’d expect Canada is “having issues” with goods shortages from Asia about now. Watched a “Camping With Steve” video where he was stuck in the middle of it and didn’t get to do much camping. Shows how dire some of it was in that he could not get out of the area and Walmart was cleaned out of foods:

    But he eventually found a place (once he was able to get out of the area) to do a “stealth camp”:

  6. Foyle says:

    Covid kills people with comorbidities, mostly associated with being fat.

    Compare outcomes with obesity rates. USA 36%, Israel 26%, Sweden 20%, India 4%, Japan 4%

    Countries should have been emphasising weight loss and ensuring good immune system health rather than all the theatre they have engaged in (sleep, fitness, vitamins ….)

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    If you are thinking that supply/deliveries are only in the USA, I should point out that I ordered a small parcel (4 DVDs) from the USA and have received notification that it has been dispatched via FedEx on January 13. The estimated arrival is between Feb.2 and April1.

  8. H.R. says:

    “The one thing I live by is the saying of Claude Cockburn “I believe nothing until it has been officially denied””

    Or put another way, “I have no clue” when the idiots will screw up and allow some sense of normality to prevail.

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