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Ports of LA/LB to extend gate hours in bid to reduce congestion

Image: Port of Los Angeles YouTube Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are expanding operating gate hours for trucks at weekends and night-time as the two ports try to tackle a surge in imports and unprecedented congestion.

As the number of containerships queued in San Pedro Bay hit 65 on Friday the two ports jointly announced the planned measures in concert with the US Department of Transportation.

The announcement did not give specifics as to what the extended hours would be, but it said the Port of Long Beach would take the first step towards 24/7 supply chain by maximising night-time operations while the Port of LA will expand weekend gate opening hours.

“In addition, both ports have called on marine terminal operators to incentivize the use of all available gate hours, especially night gates, to reduce congestion and maximize cargo throughput capacity,” the joint statement said.

The two ports said they would work closely with the trucking community so that they understand the opportunities created

Port of LA director Gene Seroka said: “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.”

“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,” added Port of Long Beach Director Cordero.

One of the key issues in US West Coast port congestion cited by shipping lines is that while highly efficient export terminals in Asia work 24/7, 365 days a year loading containers bound for the US, the receiving ports in the US West Coast do not operate 24/7 resulting in a pile up of cargo, and ships queued waiting to berth at the ports.

Year-to-date the Port of LA has handled 7.27m teu, up 30% year-on-year.