Massive congestion in Long Beach is the wild card in the container sector

The large buildup of container ships off Long Beach and Los Angeles is having a ripple effect throughout the container sector, where an alliance has recently heralded canceled sailings. The bottlenecks are the wild card that will decide when the market normalizes, say Flexport and shipping analyst.

Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

Massive bottlenecks outside of the US ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles represent a wild card in terms of when the red-hot container market will cool down again.

Close to 30 container ships are currently queued outside of the terminals on the US West Coast waiting for berth spots. As recently as last week, 300,000 teu were waiting to be offloaded in the ports, said Flexport's VP for ocean freight, Nerijus Poskus.

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