Long Beach and Los Angeles ports extend hours of landside operations

Source: Lloyd’s Loading List; Splash247
Date: 20th September 2021

The US West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are extending the hours during which trucks can pick up and deliver containers.

Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, announced that Long Beach will take the first step towards a 24/7 supply chain by maximising night time operations.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director said that the port will expand weekend operating gate hours.

They said these measures, brought in after consultation with multiple stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Transportation, will enhance the ports’ landside operations to help meet the unprecedented growth in cargo volume moving through the San Pedro Bay.

With 95 container ships either at berth or waiting outside the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on 17 September, according to figures provided by the Marine Exchange of Southern California, the ports say these ‘bold new measures will improve freight movement and reduce delays through the ports”.

The importance of improving container throughput was emphasized by figures posted on Linked In by a container shipping analyst: “As of this morning, I am counting 64 vessels now waiting outside the port – up from 54 vessels at the beginning of this week. At the beginning of the year, the pile-up was around 25 vessels and that was at the time seen as a major disaster…..”

Dubbed Accelerate Cargo LA, the Port of Los Angeles’ programme will operate on a pilot basis to ensure that gate availability meets cargo demands and provides greater transparency to improve efficiency.

‘Incentivised gate hours’

In a written statement, both ports have called on marine terminal operators to incentivise the use of all available gate hours, especially night gates, to reduce congestion and maximise cargo throughput capacity.

“The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will work closely with the trucking community to ensure that all truck operators understand how to take advantage of incentivised gate hours as well as the expanded opportunities that will be created to move cargo during non-peak times.

“In addition to expanded hours and incentivised reservation priority, the ports urge terminals and the trucking community to consider other corrective measures.”

Speaking to local news source Daily Breeze, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association said his organisation had not seen any details yet.

“This is more of a statement of what they’re planning to do… [and there are] no details about how “incentivised” priorities for moving cargo during non-peak times and how “corrective measures” might be applied.

He added that the association has been — and will continue to be — engaged in the ongoing talks.

Government support

The steps, in addition to what has previously been recommended, demonstrate that the Port of Los Angeles will continue to innovate in order to manage this historic cargo surge.

The Port of Long Beach was prepared to take bold and immediate action to help the supply chain move the record cargo volumes that keep the economy moving.

The San Pedro Bay ports move approximately 40% of all containerised cargo entering the U.S. each year and about 30% of all containerized exports.

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are the two largest ports in the nation, first and second respectively, and combined are the ninth-largest port complex in the world. Trade that flows through the San Pedro Bay ports complex generates more than 3 million jobs nationwide.

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