West Coast Ports Face Congestion Again

Posted on Dec 20

The record volumes shipped into the West Coast port complex of Los Angeles and Long Beach in recent months has now again caused port congestion issues that already manifest itself in longer container dwell times and truck turn times, as well as containers being out of the port longer, causing additional problems on the chassis supply side.
Increased volumes, additional vessels to relieve pressure at origin, warehouses in the area working at peak capacity and labor shortages in the holiday season are the main factors contributing to increased pressure on the port terminals, which will be further impacted by shortened terminal hours during the next two weeks.
The Port of Los Angeles estimates that it handled over 800,000 TEUs in each of the last six months, record numbers that are 5% over last year’s volumes. As most of this volume are import containers, with export transactions being down 20% for LALB, fewer dual transactions are being done, further causing issues with the ports’ productivity.
In addition to their ongoing improvement efforts the ports are implementing short-term solutions like off-site drop-points for empty containers in hopes to take pressure of the terminals.