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This Port Logjam Has Enough Containers to Cross Half the U.S.

  • L.A.-Long Beach ship queue hits record 65, seen rising further
  • Shipping across the Pacific now takes 71 days, Freightos says
Container vessels wait to enter the port of Long Beach, California on Sept. 13.

Container vessels wait to enter the port of Long Beach, California on Sept. 13.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The number of container ships waiting to enter the biggest U.S. gateway for trade with Asia reached an all-time high of 65 vessels, carrying potential payloads of cargo boxes that would stretch halfway across the country if lined up end to end.

Outside the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, the queue as of late Thursday had lengthened by 10 vessels over the past week and was expected rise even more in coming days, according to officials who monitor marine traffic in San Pedro Bay. The average wait was 8.7 days compared with 6.2 in mid-August, according to L.A. port data. The ship waiting the longest arrived on Aug. 23.