Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

China – US West Coast transit more than doubles to 36 days

Photo: Unsplash - Pat Whelan pat-whelen-RHC5ar0MFkE-unsplash.jpg
With vessels queued outside Californian ports for weeks the average transit time from China to the US West Coast have more than doubled.

The average transit time from major Chinese ports to Los Angeles and Long Beach (LA/LB) ports has increased from 16 days in a normal market to 36 days in October 2021, according digital freight forwarder Shifl. Even back in May this year the average transit time was just 19 days on the key transpacific trade route.

“Usually, a ship from Chinese base ports like Shanghai, Ningbo will take between 16-18 days to arrive and discharge cargo at US West Coast ports. The increase in transit to 36 days, makes it extremely painful for businesses dependent on supply chains,” said Shabsie Levy, Founder, and CEO of Shifl.

As of 16 October there were 62 containerships waiting in San Pedro Bay waiting to enter LA/LB compared to 29 vessels at berth in the two ports, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Last week US President Joe Biden announced a plan to get the ports of LA and LB working 24/7 in an effort to clear the congestion.

Shifl noted that even once containers were unloaded from vessels that due to lack of adequate landside infrastructure boxes were then stuck inside closed areas of the ports.

“With 40% of US inbound containers moving through Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, efforts by the administration is rightfully focused on a critical node of the global supply chain. The fact that the President of the world’s largest economy is getting involved in addressing this problem is already a huge relief for importers who have been struggling so much,” Levy commented.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.