West Coast port logjam reaches new record numbers

Shipping costs are beginning to weaken. Spot rates for dry bulk vessels dropped between a quarter to a dollar per metric ton lower this week, depending on the route taken.

Analysts pin the change on uncertainty around iron ore and coal. Chinese iron ore import supplies are at the highest level in three and a half years, as domestic production weakens. However, coal production has increased in China and is limiting the number of imports needed to support China’s markets.

It comes as a record number of container ships linger off west coast ports.

Let’s take a look at these numbers:

  • 56 container ships are inside the 40 miles zone of LA and Long Beach

  • When you count the number in the new waiting areas, the backup jumps by 74 ships

  • 28 are actively loading or unloading

  • For a total of 130 ships within 150 miles of the port


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