The port congestion in the southern California ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles really seems to have no end in sight. It’s been constant for several months, and terminal operators, warehouse workers, truckers, and everyone in-between is working overtime to simply stay afloat. The California Governor recently signed an executive order marshaling the state’s resources. Apparently the Biden Administration is also reaching for extreme measures to decrease the congestion.
If you haven’t recently updated yourself on the details of how bad the coast of California is right now, here’s a summary. On October 20th, their update stated that 25 vessels of all types were scheduled to arrive over the next 3 days, which comes in addition to 160 vessels in port with a record breaking 106 waiting off-shore or anchored since the berths are full.
The Biden Administration is legitimately considering employing the National Guard to help alleviate the extreme congestion the southern California ports are experiencing. CNN asked the White House during their briefing whether or not Biden would deploy the U.S. Navy to help with the congestion. While no official affirmations of that plan were given, they did state that they are not removing any options from consideration.
That’s what’s going on at a national level. But even on a state-level, the governor is working hard to ensure the congestion is alleviated. California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, just signed an executive order that directs several state agencies to work on identifying ways to alleviate the port congestion. In the executive order, he says state agencies are to work with the Biden Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. The governor is also encouraging local state agencies to identify properties to be used for increasing container storage capacity, increase the workforce training and educational programs, and work to either find or plan out potential freight routes to make truck access to the ports easier.
The ports of California have been talking of long-needed improvements to their infrastructure and supply chain for quite some time, and it may become a reality in the future. The California’s Department of Finance was told to work with these state agencies on devising long-term solutions for consideration in the next state budget meeting to support and streamline their operations. This could include improvements to infrastructure at the ports, automation of systems from port to delivery, and further developing the workforce at the ports.
The hope is that these recent government efforts make a difference both in the short term alleviation of congestion at Long Beach and LA, as well as begin an initiative to bring long-overdue change in infrastructure and technology to the ports.