Larger Vessels Delayed Longer at US West Coast Duo

Larger Vessels Delayed Longer at US West Coast Duo

Vessel arrival delays at the two largest US West Coast ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach, reached a six-month high from mid-September to mid-October, according to an analysis conducted by CargoSmart’s Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC).

The figures recorded delays increase approximately 40% comparing mid-June to mid-July with mid-July to mid-August.

What is more, vessel berth time also reached a six-month high from mid-September to mid-October, clocking up  82.6 hours and 90.3
hours for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach respectively.

“In addition, larger vessels are experiencing longer vessel arrival delays and longer berth times than smaller vessels,” GVVMC noted, adding that numerous factors were contributing to the increase in delays.

The analysis shows that over 60% of the vessel arrival delays exceeded 24 hours for vessels with a capacity of ≥8,000 TEUs at both ports.

At the Port of Long Beach, the percentage of arrival delays of more than 24 hours increased as vessel capacity increased.

At the Port of Los Angeles, the percentage of vessel arrival delays over 24 hours increased as vessel capacity increased up to vessels with under
a 10,000 TEU capacity.

As recorded by GVVMC, the performance of the 10,000 and above TEU capacity vessels at Los Angeles had a smaller proportion of vessel arrival delays over 24 hours than vessels with an 8,000 to 9,999 TEU capacity.

The average berth time for a 6,000 to 8,000 TEU vessel was three to four days. Mega vessels with a 10,000 TEU or above capacity had more than a 100 hour berth time on average, which required 14 to 19 more hours of berth time than the 8,000 – 9,999 TEU vessels.

Bunkering appears unaffected so far by the congestion, according to Platts.

“Congestion is only affecting container berthing, not the wet terminals to my knowledge,” Platts quoted a trader source as saying.

The 10-day moving average of Los Angeles ex-wharf RMG 380 3.5%S was $476.85/mt Monday, down more than 13% over the past month, according to Platts data.

Chassis imbalance has been a big part of the congestion issue in addition to the failure to reach a new labour agreement between ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimates that the industry has a shortage of approximately 30,000 drivers nationwide.

According to Hapag Lloyd,  the success of the import delivery appointment system at some terminals has been limited in part by a lack of sufficient container handling equipment to pre-mount those containers prior to the scheduled pick-up appointment.

In the most recent turn of events PMA has accused the ILWU of orchestrating slowdowns at the Pacific Northwest ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

The two ports handle an estimated 16% of containerized cargo on the West Coast.
World Maritime News Staff