After 25 months, the Marine Exchange of Southern California said that the container ship backup for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has ended.
he backup started in October 2020 due to high consumer demand for imported goods in the early months of the pandemic. By February 2021, it counted 42 ships before dropping back down to 9 a few months later.
However, with peak shipping season approaching, the backup continued to grow, achieving a record of 109 ships. Since then, the backup has been reduced steadily.
What is more, in November 2021, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA),the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), and Marine Exchange introduced a new queuing process. The new system did not solve the backup but moved the backed-up container ships 50-150 miles offshore, outside the safety and air quality area (SAQA) where they waited.
The new system worked for the past 53 weeks to guide the labor allocation process, improve safety, and improve air quality.
We went from 86 container ships anchored or loitering/drifting in our waters 16 Nov 2021 first went to zero loitering on 3 February 2022 and remained at low levels subsequently
explained Marine Exchange, adding that it “is time to move into a different phase of operations and declare that the backup has ended because there is ample labor to discharge and load the cargo for container ships, and ocean carriers, working with their terminals, are sometimes choosing to arrive after their Calculated Time Of Arrival (CTA) for labor because it optimizes their vessel operations.”