Securing of container ships comes to an end in Long Beach

As discussed on More Than Shipping, one of the top issues of congestion in the US supply chain during the Covid-19 pandemic has been securing container ships off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. However, now it has simply disappeared thanks to a sharp drop in import demand at the national level.

The waiting time

The line of ships waiting to be unloaded in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has fallen to four ships in the past week from a peak of 109 ships in January, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

The biggest impact came from fewer containers reaching US seaports for containerized imports. U.S. import volumes are declining, according to trade data analysts, fueled by a growing share of shipments calling at ports on the country’s East and Gulf Coasts.

Through the numbers

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach combined handled 686,133 loaded import containers in September, down 18% year-on-year and the lowest since June 2020, according to port figures. Imports in August were down 12% yoy, a sharp drop during the traditional peak shipping season.

Statistics also show that containerized imports to the US in September fell 11% year-on-year and 12% from August.

Meanwhile, the cost of shipping a container from China to the United States has fallen below $3,000, down from last year’s peak of around $20,000.

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