LALB Port Congestion Update

Posted on Feb 11

February 11, 2019

Current congestion at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex is not improving as expected, impacting intermodal rail operations and drayage to regional warehouses, with hopes for relief now being pushed back to early March.
“We still remain in peak situation. We are expecting relief around the third week of February,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.
Imports volumes into Los Angeles increased by over 21% in December, Long Beach saw volumes moving up by almost 8%.
Even though relief was expected to come through the Lunar New Year the ports are now projecting congestion will remain for about two more weeks, with truckers having problems securing appointments at terminals and delivering import containers to already overstocked distribution centers.
Initially caused by last autumn’s start of front-loading by importers in expectation of threatened 25% tariffs on imports from China which led to containers backing up at the ports, warehouses being filled to capacity and empty containers being stored on chassis throughout the region, ports and terminals expected the congestion to dissipate in February with the harbor returning to more regular operation later that month.
Unfortunately the situation has not changed drastically, a shortage of chassis still holds up truckers from delivering inbound containers and terminals are still facing problems in locating containers and making them available for pick-up.
Transit time for containers to inland points has increased to about 15 days on average, with some areas experiencing delays to four to five weeks, partially caused by weather and service issues at the western railroads that are not departing trains on schedule, especially to secondary locations, causing intermodal containers usually move from the marine terminals within 24 hours to wait for days to be moved.
Our account teams are monitoring all cargo moving via the LALB ports and will notify on any delays immediately when they become known.