Westcoast Container Back-Up is Over But Still, Lots of Problems


In January this year, the number of ships in line waiting to unload at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach was 109 stretching 60 miles into the Pacific.  This week, it dropped to just four according to the Wall Street Journal. In pre-Covid times the queue was usually zero to one container ships anchored and waiting to unload.

And that’s not the only number that has decreased.  The cost of shipping a 40ft container from Shanghai to LA now averages $2720 per container, an 84% drop from a year earlier when rates exceeded $20,000 per container.

It all sounds good and we’re breathing a sigh of relief that things are now moving easily through the west coast ports…but the worries are not over.

Cargo that was diverted from LA and Long Beach to other U.S. ports of entry on the gulf and east coasts are still delayed due to backups and bottlenecks.  The ports of New York and New Jersey just reported their busiest August ever while the Port of Los Angeles handled “the least amount of import containers in the month of September since the Great Recession in 2009, per Freight Waves.”

But the real reason that volumes are down on the west coast besides the shift to other U.S. ports is that U.S. import volumes are declining.  In recent months some big-box retailers have cancelled many orders due to overstock positions and a shift in consumer buying patterns.

“Descartes Datamyne, a data analysis group owned by supply-chain software company Descartes Systems Group Inc., says container imports to the U.S. in September declined by 11% from a year earlier and by 12.4% from August 2022.”  And shipping Lines have cancelled between 26% to 31% of upcoming sailings from Asia as they prepare for the downturn in demand.

Yes, consumers have finally received their furniture, appliances, and household goods after waiting for months and months while stuck at home during Covid-19, but it’s also left retailers with loads of inventory amid high inflation and rising interest rates. The peak season for shipping holiday goods from China to America is long over, yet retailers are still hopeful that consumers will dig deeper into their pockets this year and spend significantly on holiday purchases over the next eight weeks.

In the import-export business, we always say it’s either feast or famine and we’re never far wrong.

Lily Noon


  1. Southern California’s Notorious Container Ship Backup Ends, Paul Berger, October 21, 2022,
  2. Latest News Port of Los Angeles,
  3. Flood of Los Angeles-Bound Containerships Slows to a Trickle by Brendan Murray, August 30, 2022,




ロサンゼルスとロングビーチから米国のメキシコ湾岸や東海岸の他港へ回された貨物船は、今もボトルネックで停滞しているからです。ニューヨークとニュージャージーの港湾は、8月の取扱量が史上最高になったそうです。その一方で、ロサンゼルス港は、「Freight Waves誌いわく、9月の輸入コンテナ数が2009年の不況以来、最低値」になりました。


「サプライチェーンソフトウェアを提供するDescartes Systems Group Inc.傘下のデータ分析会社、Descartes Datamyneによると、米国へ入って来るコンテナは、今年9月、前年同月比11%減、前月比では12.4%減となりました」。海運会社は、予定されていたアジアからの出航を26~31%キャンセルしていて、需要減に備えています。



Lily Noon



  1. Southern California’s Notorious Container Ship Backup Ends(カリフォルニア南部の悪名高きコンテナ滞留が終了)、著:Paul Berger、2022年10月21日、
  2. Latest News Port of Los Angeles(ロサンゼルス港の最新ニュース)、
  3. Flood of Los Angeles-Bound Containerships Slows to a Trickle(ロサンゼルス行きコンテナ船の大洪水が小流まで減速)、著:Brendan Murray、2022年8月30日、

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