Dec 02

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West Coast Update

2 minute read

The struggle with congestion and delays continues at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. It’s the same story—high import volumes, labor shortages, chassis shortages, and restricted empties return appointments are all still in play.

High Import Volumes

Forecasting for both of the ports remains very high through December. Here’s an example of the forecast for the Port of LA.

Labor Shortages

We continue to see labor shortages, primarily because of the record import volumes. An outbreak of COVID-19 cases has also affected the labor pool. Ships may be berthed at terminal, but they are waiting to get worked or are getting worked with a significantly smaller number of labor. 

This is contributing to around 20 ships sitting idle outside the port waiting to get in.

Vessel delays are also causing SSLs/terminals to shorten export receiving windows—in some cases only allowing 1.5 days for us to in-gate the full containers. 

Vessel schedules are also fluctuating and not showing in timely manner, causing scheduling issues for truckers who must suddenly react to a change with very short notice.

Chassis Shortages

Chassis shortages are still a problem because of the record high import volumes.

The weekly imbalance of chassis coming in versus going out remains negative. The Week 47 report said there were NEGATIVE 239 chassis.

Idle equipment was at 17% for Week 47. These chassis are not being used because they are broken. Some have even been sitting for two or more months.

A Week 47 report showed extended dwell times at terminals and severely extended street dwell times due to overall congestion, as well as empty return issues. 

WBCT, ITS, and TPAC are still all out of chassis and asking drivers to bring in their own.

Empty Returns

We continue to see empty return appointments being restricted. There is now mounting pressure to hold SSLs liable for their actions, which has caused significant demurrage/detention burdens for the NVOCCs and BCOs.

We’ve Got You Covered

With all of the chaos happening on the west coast and in ports across North America, the Port X Logistics team is here to help.

If you need to expedite cargo, send us the information ASAP—like a week in advance.  For service or more intel on the situation at the ports, email us at or follow us on LinkedIn here.