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36-day average transit time on China-US West Coast route underscores the extent of supply chain breakdown

  • The usual transit time from China to US West Coast ports more than doubled, increasing from 16 days to 36 days in October 2021
  • Long waiting times outside US ports are a major factor driving supply chain breakdowns in the US
  • Digital freight forwarding company Shifl applauds the Biden administration’s efforts to address the supply chain disruptions

With the Biden Administration now stepping in to tackle the port congestion crisis at Long Beach and Los Angeles, China-US West Coast transit data and insights provided by digital freight forwarding company Shifl underscores how bad the situation has become, and how much work it will take to get cargo moving on time again.

Between the 2nd half of May 2021 and the 1st half of October 2021, the average transit time from Chinese base ports to the US West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach increased from 19 to 36 days.

transit time delays - china US west coast - shifl - shipping and freight resource

This means that customers are currently forced to wait an additional 20 odd days for their products to reach them, which is only part of the equation. With the ports facing delays due to inadequate landside infrastructure, containers are sometimes forced to be stuck in closed areas within the port, delaying inland transit even further leading to potential business-crippling conditions.

Commenting on the Biden administration’s efforts, Shabsie Levy, Founder, and CEO of Shifl said “With 40% of US inbound containers moving through Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, efforts by the administration is rightfully focused on a critical node of the global supply chain. The fact that the President of the world’s largest economy is getting involved in addressing this problem is already a huge relief for importers who have been struggling so much.

“However, this is just the tip of the iceberg and a lot more will need to be done to get our industry under control towards a sustainable future.” added Levy.

Usually, a ship from Chinese base ports like Shanghai, Ningbo will take between 16-18 days to arrive and discharge cargo at US West Coast ports” said Levy, commenting on the findings of the data analysis. “The increase in transit to 36 days, makes it very extremely painful for businesses dependent on supply chains.” added Levy.

While we are in constant communication with our customers about the location, release, and delivery times of their shipments, when a ship spends 2-3 weeks waiting to unload, that’s a nerve-wracking situation for the customer” said Levy.

To speak with Shifl about the conditions facing importers, and how freight forwarders are working to address congestion, please contact Charlie Pesti at

About Shifl: Shifl is bringing the freight forwarding industry into the future with technology and innovation that brings a huge array of real-life benefits to its customers. If you’re an importer looking to bring your business into today’s digital age, be more in control of your shipping processes, and pay less — Shifl is for you. Shifl is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Georgia, and The Philippines. To learn more, visit


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