US west coast ports delays cost lines $150m in last quarter of 2014, says Drewry

US west coast ports delays cost lines $150m in last quarter of 2014, says Drewry

San Francisco: Congestion at US west coast ports over the past nine months obviously impacted the business of container shipping lines – now there’s a number to put on some of the damage after UK shipping consultants Drewry produced its estimates for the last quarter of 2014 on Monday.

In the Q4 period, Drewry says the delays at seaports along the Pacific coast represented a $150m blow to the industry.

The consultancy came to its number by factoring in elements such as time waiting at anchor, extra ships chartered, extended time in port and export loads cancelled.

Drewry wrote that the average turnaround time – from arrival at anchor or on berth to departure – during the period was 5.25 days, with 13% of ships obliged to wait for 10 days or more.

So far APL, part of Singapore’s NOL Group, is the only individual firm to produce their own figures for estimated losses at $15m for the same period, and slightly better than average turnaround times of 4.1 days.

The labour disagreements that caused the delays were largely resolved on February 20 but there is still a backlog of ships and cargo at the west coast’s 29 ports, leading Drewry to say the cost to the industry for the first quarter of this year would be “larger than the 2014 fourth-quarter bill”.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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