The vessel queue outside of Los Angeles/Long Beach (LA/LB) recently dropped to 66 vessels from 100-105 vessels. However, data from Sea-Intelligence indicate that this may not last long.
ea-Intelligence modelled an average transit time of 2½ weeks from Asia, to get the expected number of vessel arrivals on US West Coast each week.
If we take 2021-Q4 as a baseline, we can calculate the relative cumulative change in the number of vessel arrivals. As the TCO database is forward looking, we can do this out to May 9th, 2022
The maximum reduction is reached in the first week of March, with 60 fewer vessel arrivals compared to a situation where the 2021-Q4 flow had continued uninterrupted.
In Q4 the queue outside LA/LB grew from about 80 vessels in October to 105 by the end of the year. Because of the fall in Asian departures, there could be 60 fewer vessel arrivals by the first week of March.
If we assume this mainly impacts the LA/LB area, that would lead to a situation where the queue instead of growing to 120 vessels would decline to 60 vessels, and we are presently seeing a queue of 66 vessels
Furthermore, the data also imply that if there are no other changes, then the queue will be 25 vessels larger than the baseline by the end of May 2022. The baseline, in keeping with the queue growth in 2021-Q4, would imply a queue of 145 vessels. Adding the additional 25 would bring the queue to 170 vessels.
This is extremely unlikely to happen as there are not that many vessels to be had. “What will happen instead, is that the sheer shortage of vessels will lead to many more blank sailings,” explained Sea-Intelligence.
More realistically, we might simply be back to the 100-105 vessels in the queue, by the time we get to April