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Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Congestion Update

06 November 2014

Container ships are backed up once again off the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach waiting days for a berth as gridlock continues.

Container ship traffic is relatively high at the port complex as ships in the Trans-Pacific trade are getting consistently larger with increased volumes, requiring longer times at berth, often as many as four days, before ships can be unloaded, reloaded and sent back out to sea. Alliance partners are spreading out their vessel calls over multiple terminals in Los Angeles-Long Beach creating a logistics nightmare for truckers and cargo interests attempting to match the right chassis with the right containers.

Severe terminal congestion throughout the port increases wait times where shippers say it’s taking sometimes weeks to evacuate containers from terminals due to shortage of chassis, drayage drivers, rail cars, and most recently, showdowns by members of the ILWU.

Average truck turn-around times at the terminals is now up to 140 minutes. Efforts to fix the congestion problem in Southern California will fall short until the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Agency (PMA) finalize a new contract.

‘Escalating its use of orchestrated job actions that have already crippled terminal operations at Pacific Northwest ports, the ILWU has now targeted the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by unilaterally refusing to dispatch hundreds of qualified, skilled workers for critically important positions transporting containers in terminal yards at the nation’s largest port complex”, according to a press release from the PMA.

In the Pacific Northwest Ports of Tacoma and Seattle, continuing slowdowns have resulted in terminal productivity being reduced by an average 40% to 60%. Carriers are trying to divert cargo to Southern California which will further exacerbate the gridlock there.

Please understand that this is out of Malcolm Total Logistics control and if you have any questions please feel free to contact your MTL representative.

News has been updates by: Morne Ferreira on 06 November 2014

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