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Congestion forces more boxships to anchor outside Californian ports

Lloyds Loading List

Nine containerships were among the 13 vessels waiting at anchor outside the adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Monday because of congestion in the harbour.

The highest number recorded by the Marine Exchange of Southern California since it started compiling congestion figures on October 16 was 14. That was on Sunday and included 11 containerships, with the number down by two yesterday.

Boxships waiting to enter port were the 4,890 teu Tokyo Express, 4,616 teu Kobe Express, the 2,664 teu NYK Maria, the 6,492 teu NYK Argus, the 4,888 teu NYK Diana, the 4,890 teu APL Egypt, the 9,415 teu CMA CGM Rigoletto, the 1,819 teu Cap Portland and the 3,600 teu Cap Cleveland.

Most of those held outside the harbour are operated by the G6 alliance, whose ships have to call at several different terminals within LA and Long Beach since most members have their own facilities. That is contributing to the difficulties faced by the southern Californian duo in recent weeks.

In addition to the containerships, four bulk carriers were also at anchor on Monday afternoon.

The Marine Exchange figures show that 63 vessels were in the harbour on Monday, of which 45 were on a berth and 18 at anchor. That included 34 containerships in port.

Another six containerships are scheduled to arrive today, Tuesday, seven on Wednesday and eight on Thursday.

All ships about to enter the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach must report to the Marine Exchange, which then tracks their passage into the harbour and alerts pilots, tug operators and line handlers of the pending arrivals.

At the height of the infamous lock-out of 2002 during labour contract negotiations, 65 ships were anchored outside the harbour waiting to berth at one stage.

Two years later, when LA and Long Beach suffered unprecedented congestion as Chinese imports flooded into the US, some 62 ships waited outside the harbour at the peak and more than 50 were in port.

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