Containers Linger at LA Ports More Than A Week Before Shipping

By Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin
January 27, 2022 Updated: January 27, 2022

Consumer goods still wait on the ground for more than a week at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before trucks pick them up for shipment, according to a report issued on Jan. 27.

Wait times remained at an all-time high in December, with cargo containers staying on average nearly eight days at a marine terminal after they are unloaded from ships at the twin ports, according to the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

That was only about half a day shorter than the record wait times recorded in November.

For cargo waiting to be shipped by rail, the average time containers waited during the holidays was nearly four days, which was the same as October, according to the shipping association.

“While container dwell time did not worsen in the month of December, it was still high,” Jessica Alvarenga, manager of government affairs for the shipping association, said in a press release.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the average container dwell time for local containers leaving on trucks was under three days, Alvarenga said.

Managing the flow of containers last year was slowed by transportation disruptions and warehouse availability, she said.

Meanwhile, container ships continued to pile up off the coast of Mexico as they waited in line for a turn to offload goods at the twin Southern California ports.

Marine Exchange of Southern California, which handles ship traffic at the ports, was monitoring seven cargo ships that were waiting or anchored within sight of Los Angeles Jan. 26.

Another 92 cargo ships were waiting at least 50 miles away from the coast of California and Mexico, Marine Exchange of Southern California Director Kip Louttit told The Epoch Times in an email.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of the Marine Exchange of Southern California)

Once they reach the waters near the Port of Los Angeles, container ships wait an average of 13 days to dock, according to the Port of Los Angeles.

At the Port of Los Angeles, more than 11,000 containers have waited nine days or more as of Jan. 27.

At the Port of Long Beach alone, terminals received 1.1 million containers this year.