DHL releases service announcements every week so shippers in their network know what to expect at ports all around the world. The most recent announcement came out today, and it shows that the situation at America’s top West Coast port complex is not improving. Here’s DHL’s summary of the port conditions at Los Angeles/Long Beach:
Ships are waiting 13-22 days to catch a berth. Currently there are 72 vessels waiting for a berthing spot. Both ports are seeing record volumes month after month and the ships at anchor are delayed an average of 4 days. Delays forcing the ships to wait at anchor are expected to continue for the remainder of the year. All terminals remain extremely congested and evaluating a reduction on their window for export cargo acceptance from four to three days. The expected spike on imports generated by the peak season and cargo pre-shipped is already here making the operation more complex. Local trucking delays have been reduced and are being closely monitored. The LAX/LGB rail operations from all terminals and the off dock ramps continues to deteriorate as demand exceeds capacity, therefore inland moves by rail can suffer considerable delays.
That’s not an encouraging description, and there has not been movement in the right direction. The waiting time and number of ships waiting have been steady for over a month now, according to DHL. If anything, they are getting slightly worse. Here’s how those estimates have changed over time:
The number of vessels waiting is still large, and higher this week than it was last week. DHL doesn’t report the wait times the same way each week, which is why those are in a table instead of a graph, but those times are not improving either.
Port congestion has been a problem for months now, and we’ve yet to see signs of improvement. But don’t worry: The president’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force has started publishing a supply-chain dashboard online with key metrics to be updated twice a month.