In the last article: “A Perspective of the Supply Chain Issues – Ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles: Part 2”, we reported about the efficiency of the ports and the main owners of the vessels. The data showed the efficiency was improving since President Biden requested that the ports increase their operations to a 24/7 operating environment.
Based on information from a LinkedIn post from Nancy Swisher, only “1 port of all of Long Beach’s 7 ports plus LA’s are open 24/7 and that is only Mon. thru Thur. Biden wasn’t leveling with the operators when he bragged that he got them to open 24 hours 7 days a week. Port terminals in China usually operate 24/7, many tasks are automated and labor slowdowns are rare [Reuters]. The labor-management contract between Pacific Maritime Association [trade association for world’s largest cargo shippers & terminal operators] & International Longshore & Warehouse Union [dock workers in California, Oregon, Washington state]: dock workers’ base pay $46.23/hour ($96,000 annually) & higher rates for workers w/specialized skills. The Los Angeles Times reports that the average wage for unionized dockworkers is $171,000 annually. Most workers do the standard 8-hour days 5 times a week but can be required to stay on the job for up to 2 additional hours while getting overtime. Operating on a 24/7 basis is the norm for shipping in the rest of the world. The primary issue appears to be the unions, whose contract effectively dictates when work can be done [CEI.org]. The real problem is unions’ tooth-and-nail opposition to labor-saving equipment. Cranes in automated ports operate at least twice as fast as manual labor. [NY Post Oct 18]”
We’ll remind you that A TEU or Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit is an exact unit of measurement used to determine cargo capacity for container ships and terminals. This measurement is derived from the dimensions of a 20ft standardized shipping container. … For example, one forty-foot container is two TEUs.
WHAT DOES THE CURRENT SITUATION LOOK LIKE FOR SHIPS AND TEU COUNT OFFSHORE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?
While continuing to focus on the supply chain and shipping/trucking data we learned that the vessels sitting/idling offshore LA/Long Beach are required to report their status. There are still ~80 container ships operating right now and more are approaching every hour. As of data downloaded 15 are “At Anchor”, 22 are “Moored”, 14 are “Stopped” and the rest of “Underway using Engine”.
Digging into the statistics we discovered that there are over 1 dozen ships offshore Baja, Mexico that is stopped outside of official shipping lanes that are waiting for the notification to anchor near Los Angeles/Long Beach, California, and have been routed away from the two ports.
If you were not aware, there are dedicated shipping routes that ships did not adhere to which eventually led to ships dragging their anchors across an oil pipeline which caused the oil spill that occurred in October of this year.
WHERE ARE THE SHIPS FROM THAT ARE STOPPED OFFSHORE IN BAJA MEXICO AND HOW MANY TEUs ARE ABOARD?
Data from MarineTraffic shows that the ship’s flag varies and the vessels are from China, Hong Kong, Liberia, Malta, Panama, & Portugal. TEU capacity range from ~4,500 to 15,000! Based on the data we’ve collected, there are over 383,000 TEUs on board these vessels just waiting to reach the coast.
Tim Rathmann – Riviera Unconventionals, LLC
Daniel Armine – Grand River Analytics, LLC
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