$5.2 billion in cargo stuck off West Coast ports in truck and container bottleneck

2023-06-09 20:53:16  • 10 mins

Key Points

  • "Slow and go" West Coast port workforce conditions stemming from difficulties in labor contract talks have created massive bottlenecks at critical U.S. supply chain and transportation hubs.
  • Truck times in and out of the gate for container pick up at Ports of LA and Long Beach are up.
  • The number of containers waiting off ports limits for the Port of Los Angeles is more than double last week's level.
  • The threat of more ocean trade being diverted to East Coast and Gulf Coast ports is complicated by a Panama Canal experiencing drought conditions, but even if an option, will add as much as 12-18 days to travel time for cargo bound for the U.S.

A photo of Fenix Marine Services rail terminal on June 8, 2023, taken by a trucker.

The "slow and go" pace of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union workforce at West Coast ports has ground port productivity to a crawl. As a result, MarineTraffic data shows what it is calling a "significant surge" in the average number of containers waiting outside of port limits.

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