Will the Threat of Congestion Hamper Marine Terminal Capacity Being Added to the Ports on the USWC?
It has been a busy couple of months (some could say, years) for the ports out on the U.S. West Coast. In fact, this past June marked the busiest June ever on the eastbound Trans-Pacific lane, with U.S. imports from Asia rising 12.7 percent in June year-over-year, reports show.
In addition to that, rail boxes have been piling up at the ports out west and updates on what has been happening at the Port of Oakland involving the Assembly Bill 5 protests and chassis shortages.
Rail Boxes Piling Up
In Los Angeles-Long Beach, rail boxes have been piling up. Los Angeles (the largest U.S. container port) saw 31,186 rail containers on dock – up from the normal 9,000 – with a good chunk of those sitting on the terminals for 9+ days, the Journal of Commerce reports.
In Long Beach (the 2nd largest U.S. container port), rail containers on dock were at 12,650 – up from 4,293 in March – which has resulted in the port’s busiest June in total container volume, reports show.
“The cargo continues to come in and the port responds as we work through these issues,” Noel Hacegaba, Deputy Executive Port Director and COO at the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach said. While the NWSA COO, Thomas Bellerud stated that even with the rail and chassis issues, the NWSA does have sufficient overall terminal capacity to handle a surge in peak season cargo volumes, if the carriers do increase the capacity they deploy to the gateway, the JOC says.
Update on the Port of Oakland
A lot has been happening at the Port of Oakland this year, especially these last few weeks with the Assembly Bill 5 announcement. Last Monday, July 18th, at the Port of Oakland protestors took to the port to voice their opposition on the AB5 bill. The protests continued all through the week, with some of the terminals being disrupted because of the protests. On Friday, July 22nd, the port announced it would be implementing a “designated safe protest area” at the four terminals. Should any protestor not comply with the law, they could be cited.
Now, on Monday July 25th, the port announced that the four marine terminals were back operating normally, as protesting truckers remained in the assigned areas. Some say it will take the port “weeks to reduce the backlog created by the protests”, Supply Chain Brain reports.
The biggest issue right now in Oakland is the chassis shortages. Some truckers are even having to wait in line for hours at the chassis pit for more equipment to be delivered. Ed DeNike, President of SSA Containers says it appears that chassis, which are carrying laden inbound containers, are tied up in the yards of local warehouses, which are full and struggling to handle additional inbound loads.
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