The mother of all carrier queues, building up at anchorage off the United States west coast, has more than 60 box ships waiting to berth at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
At last count yesterday 65 container vessels were waiting for slots as the US economy gathers momentum and importers rally to meet demand by building up their inventories.
The two ports, which are said to handle about 40% of America’s inbound goods, used to record maybe one ship waiting to offload.
But that was in pre-Covid times.
Systematically, as the world has adjusted to supply-chain pressures, especially in relation to the Transpacific, Long Beach and LA have battled to cope with influx spikes, leading to long lag times.
The current build-up is the worst since the States started falling short of rising port capacity requirements.
Last week, Port of LA head, Gener Seroka, warned that a “significant volume” of cargo was heading America’s way.
He also stressed that current volume levels could be expected through the rest of the year into 2022.
“We continue to monitor a host of variables; disruptions continue at every need of the supply chain,” he told the BBC.
With containers at sea, US stores and suppliers are reportedly running short of everything - from toys to timber, clothes and pet food, most of which are coming in from China.