LA/LB Port Congestion Impact

According to the recent research by TTC, the operations at at the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach has a huge impact at the North American trade delaying the  supply chains of numerous companies.

Congestion and delays have plagued ports on both coasts. Problems have been especially severe in recent weeks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Much of the Los Angeles-Long Beach congestion has been blamed on increasingly large ships, high volume, and on the inability of chassis providers to supply usable equipment where and when it’s needed. The lack of a new labor contract between the PMA and the ILWU is also  having a big impact on port productivity.

Terminals are running close to or at full capacity which creates delays unloading/loading vessels.  The delays are becoming significant enough that we also are seeing vessel berth dwell times 2-4 days beyond normal, anchoring of vessels outside terminals waiting days for available berth times, and the possibility of vessels being rerouted to discharge in Oakland.

Since the truckers  face significant dwell times waiting for chassis and container availability, they have  begun to charge congestion surcharges. In LA/LGB and Oakland it is typically between $100.00 and $500.00 per container.

As terminals try to operate safely and efficiently in such congested conditions, they are frequently relocating and stacking containers in areas that make them temporarily off-limits. This creates situations where containers are more frequently “unable to be located” which impacts both the availability for drivers and trade.  Containers have gone “off the grid” causing a significant delay, up to 20 days in the worst cases.

Significant terminal congestion also affects  carriers’ ability to perform “on-dock” rail moves, and so consequently more and more containers have to be transferred to off-dock rail terminals – an operation that requires both chassis and drivers which are both in short supply.  Truckers report slow turn times, and shippers say they’re being hit with demurrage charges for containers stuck on the docks for 10 days or more

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