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Shipping Containers - Ports of L.A., Long Beach appears to be easing

Written: November 12, 2021


The stockpile of containers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach seems to be alleviating, days prior to brand-new fees are set to begin for shipping business responsible for containers obstructing the docks.

The number of containers that have been dwelling on the docks in Los Angeles and Long Beach for at least 9 days has fallen over 20% in a week– a “promising sign” that recent actions are helping with port congestion, the White House stated Wednesday.

The ports– which handle 40% of the country’s container imports– have actually been seeing a record variety of shipments get here, with containers accumulating at the ports and producing bottlenecks.

As a result, the typical variety of days a container invests in the docks has approached, using up area that is needed for new shipping containers.

Before the shipping container holdup…

Prior to the stockpile, Los Angeles shipping containers were generally left for less than four days at terminals, but just recently, around 40% of containers are left for 9 days or more, officials stated.

Starting Nov. 15, businesses will be fined for freight containers that dwell at the port for six or 9 days, depending upon if the container is traveling by rail or truck, respectively.

New 24/7 operations at the L.A., Long Beach ports

Officials also just recently revealed the ports will shift toward 24/7 operations to help alleviate the stockpile.

Decreasing the variety of containers accumulating at the ports solves one concern since the congestion has slowed the entire system down, leaving less space to move containers between docks and ships and less space for trucks to maneuver.

Is the shipping container backlog the cause of inflation?

The supply chain stockpiles stay an ongoing issue that’s at least partly to blame for an aggravating rise of inflation. On Wednesday, the federal government reported that its consumer price index climbed up 6.2% from a year ago– the greatest jump given that 1990.

Last month, the Biden administration revealed a plan to get the ports clear by Christmas to please everyone’s need for stuff. Delivering containers have been piling up for months at the ports due to the fact that of a worker scarcity: there’s no one to unload the containers and no truck chauffeurs or train engineers to bring the items inland to be distributed.

Port officials went to the next finest thing, money.

… authorities at the ports enacted late October to impose a new fee on containers that relax for more than 6 days if planned for rail transport or 9 days if intended for trucks. Starting Nov. 15, the ocean carrier companies that brought those idling containers in will be charged $100 on the very first day past due date, $200 on the next, and so on– an escalating fine that might quickly grow into the tens of countless dollars a day for the countless containers on the docks.

Container volume

Container volume is down 14 percent at the Port of L.A. and 26 percent in Long Beach. The executive director of the Port of Long Beach says “This fee is currently satisfying its objective.”

Carrier Companies have actually likewise dedicated to sending out in ships to clean out containers to avoid fines, referred to as sweeper ships. This would even more help reduce some of the cloggings the port has actually seen to get containers out.

The ocean providers have likewise reacted with strategies to send sweeper ships to eliminate the empty containers– around 30% of the overall boxes accumulated– that are congesting the docks.

Matt Schrap, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association believes that these fines are requiring the business to clear out containers they ‘d otherwise leave sitting, calling it a “forced evacuation.” Will this suffice to get things moving by the holidays? Ideally. Just keep examining those shop shelves.

shipping container ports of la & long beach

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