No End in Sight for SoCal Ports as Container Vessel Arrivals Continue to Peak Ahead of Retail Season


  • Vessels continue to approach Ports of LA and Long Beach in record numbers
  • 44 container vessels are currently anchored in San Pedro Bay
  • Inland capacity remains limited as retailers scramble to fill pre-shopping season inventory

According to project44 data, the number of vessels due to arrive at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach remain at an all-time high. For the first week of September, an average of 63 container vessels have been approaching the Port of LA on any given day. This number is up 24% from an average of 51 vessels approaching on any given day over the previous 4 months. 44 container vessels are currently anchored in San Pedro Bay awaiting available berths.

Vessels Overdue USLAX 0910

Long Beach is experiencing a similar pre-retail season boom with a September average of 56 vessels approaching the port. This number is up 44% from of an average of 39 approaching vessels on any given day over the previous 4 months. The number of overdue vessels at Long Beach is also peaking, averaging 27 vessels on any given day over the last two weeks.

Vessels Overdue USLGB 0910

The Outcome

Inbound containers piling up by the thousands in West Coast ports, detention and demurrage fees rising across the board, higher ocean freight costs impacting shipping-reliant U.S. companies, and many consumers will probably miss out on shipments for Black Friday and Christmas presents.

Disclaimer: The data referenced in this release is sourced from project44’s freight visibility platform, based on the logistics indicators that the platform tracks. The sample data sets referenced do not include all freight movement data tracked by other entities. Data from project44’s platform reflects a statically significant sample size to draw conclusions.

Please email me if you have any questions or comments.
Josh Brazil

Director, Supply Chain Data Insights