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San Pedro Bay ports chock-a-block after deployment of extra services

EXTRA loaders deployed by transpacific carriers to meet booming import demand have overwhelmed the US gateways of Los Angeles and Long Beach

04 February 2021 - 19:00
EXTRA loaders deployed by transpacific carriers to meet booming import demand have overwhelmed the US gateways of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

According to a survey by Alphaliner, the capacity of the 27 ships berthed and 41 at anchorage at the San Pedro Bay ports stood at a massive 579,100 TEU early this week.



The consultant calculated that the 41 ships at anchorage - some facing a wait of up to two weeks for a berth - equated to some 336,500 TEU of idled capacity.



MSC, with a capacity increase of 81.4 per cent, compared with July last year, has injected by far the largest amount of additional capacity on the transpacific trade, followed by Yang Ming at 29.9 per cent and Hapag-Lloyd's 20.3 per cent, UK's The Loadstar reported citing Alphaliner data.



It noted that MSC had launched several new services between Asia and the US west coast ports outside its 2M alliance with Maersk, with ships of up to 15,000 TEU.



This week, Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen told customers that, in the absence of open charter vessels available to perform 'recovery voyages', the carrier would be obliged to adopt a strategy of delaying, or 'sliding', advertised sailings from Asia in order to recover weekly schedules.



'This will result in some services not having a sailing for one to two weeks,' he warned.



Meanwhile, CMA CGM, which according to Alphaliner data has increased its capacity offering from Asia to Los Angeles by 6.8 per cent since July, said it was removing the port from its premium Seapriority Express service, (now redubbed Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) in favour of Oakland.



The chronic port congestion impacting the San Pedro Bay ports is also hobbling the restitution of empty containers back to Asia, a logjam in the supply chain that is further restricting the availability of boxes for US export loads.


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