Container Build Up at Southern California Ports

Containers at Southern California warehouses have been piling up due to high volumes and the nearly doubling of the amount of street dwell time, disrupting the delivery of merchandise in the US market.

The container accumulation at the ports is largely due to the import surge since the economic recovery from the COVID-19 lockdowns began in June. The buildup is creating a chassis shortage which could continue to worsen as carriers increase their volumes.

“We’re seeing containers stuck at the ports for as long at seven days or more, resulting in the the need for very close coordination with our import customers and intensified pre planning both in terms of making drayage arrangements and in many cases receiving at our Torrance, CA warehouses ,” said Joe Monaghan, President/CEO of Worldwide Logistics Group.

The crunch is expected to continue for at least another month as carriers deploy extra-loader vessels to handle the import surge. For example, in August, MSC launched their new Santana line, a service to handle the continuously strong Trans-Pacific market demand.

“With stronger volumes expected to continue, it is possible the container back up and chassis shortage could linger for the next few months,” said Mr. Monaghan.

Since the recovery began, carriers rely on Southern California ports for personal protective equipment, E-commerce fulfillment and inventory replenishment from Asia. West coast ports are preferred because of time-to-market abilities and lower storage rates than New York/New Jersey ports.

Truckers, drayage providers and shipping companies are working on solutions to ease container congestion and chassis shortage. Reach out to your Worldwide Logistics representative for more information.