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Backlog in US West Coast Ports

Backlog in US West Coast Ports

Written by Dr Raymon Krishnan, Editor-at-Large

The backlog situation in US West Coast ports is quite severe, impacting turnaround time back to APAC. US experts are guessing until March to stabilize the situation, resulting in direct and indirect impacts to supply chains. Ocean rates will shoot up and equipment shortages will continue to be severe.

Some ocean volume will spill over into air but they will be competing with vaccine shipments for space, leading once again to jacking up the air freight rates.

These are images of vessels at anchor in LA/LB as of January 15th.

In LA, there are currently 35 vessels anchored, of which 33 are container vessels. In Oakland, there are 8 vessels at anchor and 6 are container ships with the average backlog sitting at 9 to 11 days.

A series of constraints in logistics capacity such as container shortages, first and last-mile capacity due to lock-downs and driver shortages has emerged in the past year. Adding on higher oil prices could fuel significant inflation. Logisticians now have yet another variable they must consider as they plan, manage and execute their global supply chains.


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