Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach to expand operating hours to improve supply chain congestion

Yesterday leaders from port authorities, transport workers unions, trucking and logistics associations, and major US retailers came to the agreement to move towards expanded operations at the port of Los Angeles / Long Beach and at major retailer distribution hubs.

Southern California ports have struggled to keep up with the influx of cargo vessels since July last year; vessels at anchor and in drift areas increased to an record 80 this month.  This port takes the brunt of the transpacific trade and unlike counterparts, the terminals (and ancillary supply chain components – drayage, rail, distribution centers) have not traditionally been operating 24/7. 

While this announcement is encouraging given the sheer volume of non-perishable import cargo at the port terminals, there are still more complex issues that drive port congestion and the greater global supply chain situation that will take longer to address.  All terminals would have to move to expanded hours, currently only Total Terminal International (TTI) out of the six terminals at Long Beach has expanded hours as part of a pilot program that started a month ago.  Outside of the major retailers that have committed to extended shifts at distribution centers, other facilities would have to follow suit and address existing labor shortages.  And at the bottom of this all, empty container locations will need to have capacity to accept returns from truckers so that chassis units can be freed up. 

We certainly applaud any industry efforts to ease the pain points in the US port and landside supply chain and will continue to update you on conditions that affect your shipments moving in or out of US ports. 

View White House Press release here