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The erosion of ocean carrier schedule reliability is one of the glaring by-products of the pandemic induced port congestion. In January, global container vessel schedule reliability fell to 34.9%, the lowest ever recorded, and down 33.5% year over year. The transpacific trade from Asia to the U.S. was substantially affected in January, with reliability sinking to 13.8% to the West Coast (second lowest on record), and 21.5% to the East Coast – also a record.

The domino effect of vessels departing late from Asia origin ports, and delayed arrivals to U.S. ports of discharge, has led to vessel bunching at the ports, terminal congestion, increased container dwell times, and difficulties in picking up and returning containers.

Among U.S. ports, LA/LB is the most heavily impacted by the huge volume surge. Import volumes for week 9 are anticipated to be 153,195 TEU, up 195% over prior year. Week 10 is forecasted at 170,654 TEU, up 489% over previous year. The current market situation is anticipated to continue into the 3rd quarter of this year. There may be some softening in the 4th quarter – but volumes will remain robust.

March 2 Port Updated:

U.S. West Coast


  • 24 ships at anchor in LA/LB
  • Terminal congestion at critical levels. LA/LB 78 – 118% of capacity
  • Berth congestion continues, average wait time 7.5 days
  • Still seeing truck shortages in the LA/LB area due to COVID cases, chassis and congestion


  • 14 ships at anchor of Oakland
  • Oakland terminals are operating on a first come first serve basis to try to mitigate growing number of ships at anchor
  • Terminal congestion at critical levels – Oakland estimated at 85%+

U.S. East Coast

  • NY/NJ – currently experiencing berth congestion due to schedule delays
  • Norfolk – 2 ships at anchor
  • Wilmington – 0 ships at anchor
  • Charleston – 0 ships at anchor
  • Savannah – 12 ships at anchor

Rail Operations

  • Shortage of rail cars and terminal capacity issues are adding to dwell times on terminals
  • Service is still affected in most areas due to COVID and winter weather for the UP, BN, CN, CP, CSX and NS.
  • Average container dwell times
    • Vancouver – 4.2 days
    • Seattle/Tacoma – 3.1 days
    • LA/LB – 5.2 days
    • Oakland – 3.5 days
    • Halifax – 1.0 days
    • NY/NJ – 8.7 days
    • Norfolk – 2.5 days
    • Wilmington – 2.0 days
    • Charleston – 2.0 days
    • Savannah – 3.8 days
    • Jacksonville – 1.5 days

Noatum Logistics is working diligently on limiting these impacts for our customers. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Noatum Logistics representative.