Amid record cargo volume over the last year at both the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, the ports Friday announced new measures, including expanded truck pickup and return hours, to improve freight movement and reduce delays.
The measures were designed to help the port meet the historic amount of cargo that is moving through the San Pedro Bay, and were developed during consultation with supply chain stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Both ports announced they will expand the number of hours that trucks can return and pick up containers, and the Port of Long Beach is expanding operations into nighttime as a first step toward reaching a 24/7 supply chain.
“The Port of Long Beach is prepared to take bold and immediate action to help the supply chain move the record cargo volumes that keep our economy moving, and we appreciate the support and leadership shown by the Biden-Harris Administration,” said Port of Long Beach Director Mario Cordero.
The Port of Los Angeles is expanding weekend operating gate hours as a pilot program. Both ports are also seeking to have marine terminal operators incentivize the use of all available gate hours to reduce congestion at the port. Officials said the ports will work with truck operators to ensure they take advantage of incentivized gate hours and other measures in place to move cargo during non-peak hours.
“We appreciate the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration in marshalling a response to the unprecedented global supply chain disruption so acutely felt here at the San Pedro Bay Port Complex,” said Port of Los Angeles Director Gene Seroka.
“These steps, in addition to what has previously been recommended, demonstrate that the Port of Los Angeles will continue to innovate in order to manage this historic cargo surge.”
Harbor Trucking Association CEO Matt Schrap responded to the changes, saying:
“When we take a step back to look at why we are experiencing these challenges and how to fix them, a concept to keep the ports open 24/7 doesn’t address the issues. It is not realistic today nor will it be until we can find a better pathway toward fixing the problems plaguing the system now.”
“There is low-hanging fruit out there we can pick, and it will help everyone in the supply chain if we pick it. For instance, we can open gates two hours earlier with the existing PMA-ILWU contract. Those two hours in the morning can make a huge difference for driver efficiency,” he said.
He also said that the association was interested in seeing more details about the proposed incentivized reservation system, but that underlying issues within the port’s processes need to be addressed or will continue “no matter how many more hours are offered or incentivized.”
Together, the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach — the two largest ports in the U.S. — move about 30% of all containerized cargo that enters the country annually, as well as about 30% of all containerized exports. The ports are working with the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to expedite the time it takes for goods to be received by consumers and expand opportunities for U.S. exporters.
“I thank directors Cordero and Seroka for their leadership and all of the men and women who have helped meet the challenge of moving extraordinary cargo volumes during a global pandemic,” said John Porcari, the Ports Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Task Force on Supply Chain Disruptions. “I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to strengthen the resiliency of our transportation supply chain.”