LA-LB Port Congestion

Late peak-season container volumes, chassis shortages, and rail delays have resulted in congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Both ports have reported that container traffic through August are nearly 5 percent higher than the same period last year. Terminal operators are adding additional shifts to alleviate some of the congestion.

Some operators have said that they are “only working two cranes each week against a vessel with a capacity of 10,000 20 foot containers, rather than five cranes as they should be, because the yard can not absorb anymore boxes. Vessel operations are slowing down to the point where some terminals are in danger of having to tell vessel operators to slow down their arrivals because the ships can not be handled on schedule.”

According to the JOC, “In Southern California, truckers and terminal operators point to chassis being in short supply, in the wrong place at the wrong time, or chassis being out-of-service as being the main culprit.” Wait times of five to ten days before containers are available for pick up are compounded by long truck-turn times at the terminals.

Importers and exporters with shipments transiting the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach should expect delays and be aware of the possibility of additional storage or demurrage costs.

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