The year in which the ports were stolen Christmas? I hope not. – News Couple
LOGISTICS

The year in which the ports were stolen Christmas? I hope not.


West Coast Port congestion is a hot topic as it is featured in general trade publications, and even the evening news. I suppose many readers of Logistics Perspectives are busy with their day-to-day responsibilities and haven’t been able to delve into the port congestion situation, but I’d like to know more as it relates directly to one’s day-to-day responsibilities at work. Moreover, we are all consumers and do not like to be greeted by empty shelves in the supermarket.

LA and Long Beach container ships

Images of cargo ships docked waiting to berth in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach surely generate an emotional response, “What is going to affect those containers on my business or personal consumption plans?” The next question is “Why don’t they go to another port?” Of course, it is not that easy. The west coast has only a large capacity of ports, and the east coast and the Gulf are separated by the Panama Canal – another potential congestion point. I decided to review container productivity data at the four largest West Coast ports to get a better idea of ​​volume changes and the degree to which each port supports container volumes on the West Coast.

Source: Los Angeles Ports, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle Tacoma

Yup, LA, and Long Beach are critical

If you count the two ports of LA and Long Beach as one, they’ll rank them together as roughly 10NS The world’s busiest container port, according to the Top 50 Ports – World Shipping Council. Given the volume of US cargo imports and the limited number of container ports on the West Coast, common sense suggests that it may be time to evaluate the expansion of West Coast container port capacity — regardless of current restrictions on these ports. Los Angeles and Long Beach account for the majority of West Coast port volume, nearly 75 percent of volume (Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, and Seattle-Tacoma) in September 2021 – the last recorded month. It is difficult to determine throughput capacity just by looking at the throughput schedule. Although it looks like Seattle-Tacoma might have a little extra capacity. But this is negligible compared to the total container volumes.

Current government and private initiatives to alleviate bottlenecks

The Biden administration announced in June that it was setting up a supply chain disruption task force to address the supply-demand mismatch that has emerged as the economy recovers. In mid-October, virtual roundtables comprised of representatives from business, employment and the government developed steps that will be taken to ease some congestion at West Coast ports. The fact sheet released by the Biden administration outlining the commitments from that meeting included the following:

  • The Port of Los Angeles has committed to expanding to 24/7 operation. This is a conceptual agreement that will take time to be implemented. There are many terminals, parties, and stakeholders involved.
  • Large companies have announced that they will use extended hours to move more cargo from the docks, so that ships can come to shore faster. Some of these companies include Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, The Home Depot, and Target.

On October 14, White House envoy John D. Porcari and Port of Los Angeles CEO Jane Siroca virtual briefing. During the briefing, the Port of Los Angeles stated that it had the best September container volume in its history, which also includes the lowest monthly exports since 2002 (indicating that volume is driven by imports). There were 12 days of ships sitting waiting at the pier. It was noted that there are a number of barriers to increasing the throughput of the processing. Key indicators include reducing accommodation times on sidewalks, railways, or in warehouses and duty stations. Meanwhile, some of the towable winches include secure data sharing for improved efficiency, more off-port properties for earthing containers, and additional labor capacity, including warehouse workers and truck drivers.

Below is a link to a virtual media briefing video of the Port of Los Angeles from October 14.



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