The backlog of shipping that is currently being seen in the ports of Southern California, is now affected by a winter storm that led many vessels that were anchored off the San Pedro Bay port complex to head to sea on January 25 to ride out the storms.
On January 24 105 ships were in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles an increase of five from the prior day. Yet, the storm was especially challenging for the 49 vessels at anchor off the ports. This included 33 containerships. Six of the vessels had been scheduled to move into the ports on January 25.
In addition, on January 25, a forecast was issued concerning heavy winds, along with heavy weather protocols. Stormy conditions with 30 knot sustained wind with gusts to 55 and as much as 17-foot seas were being experienced across the region.
The Maritime Exchange informed that several scheduled movements did not happen; 17 ships got underway from the anchorage and went to sea. This included 14 containerships, two tankers, and one idled cruise ship. They added that the pilots and tugs are doing a masterful job of arrivals and departures in these conditions. A total of 31 ships decided to ride out yesterday’s storm at anchor while an additional 86 ships remained in the two ports.
Concluding, it is noted that the weather conditions improved, and the operations continued at a normal rate. However, with an additional 28 containerships due to arrive during the remainder of the week, the delay in port operations is expected to continue.