shipping ex the West Coast USA – significant congestion / expect delay

This message is  important to note if you are are a USA importer and perhaps an item of interest if you are not.

Please read an excerpt from a message I have received from a shipline this week attempting to explain / update the situation. This communication is from one shipline  however I assure it illustrates the current market environment all shiplines are currently facing on this tradelane. 
The West Coast of the USA is extremely congested presently (Ports of Seattle, Long Beach, San Francisco).

Hi Murray 

Hope you are doing well. 

Just wanted to share with you the below, as you already know the terminals are extremely congested in LA/LGB and when added that they are at 95-100% capacity + dwell time in port 8-9 days + waiting time 10 days for a berth, the situation it only going to get worse… 

The below is the current port situation as of Friday, its shows 47 vessel at anchorage which is astounding.  As of today it is 50 and getting worse.

 I am sharing this with you so that you are aware that every single vessel with an export will be delayed, at this time we don’t know for how long, in addition this will continue for at least the next 2-3 months based on preliminary forecasts.

Please note that this is not something MSC USA or another carrier can control, we can just say it’s the COVID-19 effect.

We kindly ask you to share with your docs and manifest teams as they are maybe not aware of what’s happening in the area.

Please also share with any other persons in your team that may need to know this so that they are aware that all bookings from the LA/LGB will be delayed for the unforeseeable future and as soon as we know when the port will berth the vessels, we will inform them.
I wish I had better news but this is unfortunately not within our control.



 Sobering news indeed. How does this effect your imports? As at this point in time there is literally one sailing ex the West Coast to New Zealand for the whole month of January (normally there are weekly sailings made by a number of shiplines). This vessel is already fully booked (read: over booked). It is currently awaiting clearance to berth at Long Beach to discharge and then load NZ cargo. 
If at all possible I recommend shipping via the East Coast. I acknowledge depending on shipper location this is easier said than done however you need be aware currently via the West Coast delays will be at least 4-5 weeks.

Should you have any questions or want conversation around the above do please be in contact with your Stellar representative. 

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