Gateway Directors Want Truckers And Other Parties To Join Hands To Work Overnight And On Weekends To Deal Away The Voluminous Mess
In our follow-up story on congestion in Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach published earlier.
With core focus laid upon tapping core efficiency, Biden administration suggests extending working hours or gate hours but the Port of Los Angeles seems reluctant about it as it struggles through abundance felt at such a gateway that is critical to American supplies.
However, at the neighbouring Port of Long Beach, the suggestion has been adhered to and freight unloading is done 24 hours four days a week but such a difference in operations does point out the discrepancies in Biden administration when it brings into discussion the congestion in the U.S. Supply chains which results in a surge in shipping costs and also brings home inventory shortages.
Gene Seroka, who sits in the seat of executive director at the Port of Los Angeles, complains about the shortcoming in the operational framework that links inbound and outbound containers with trucks transporting goods to inland distribution points. According to his observation, 30% of trucking appointment slots meant to transfer cargo is not utilized properly on each day, on average, while several container ships, say around a dozen, gather offshore and looking for berths as port terminals gets super-busy in the management of large volumes of inbound boxes.
Mr. Seroka reiterates, “If that’s not going to be enough we will go to extended hours.”
“But first I’d like to take care of where we are not working so well at the present time.”
For port’s gates, as is obvious, Sundays are off while hours of operations are limited on Saturdays, and such remain closed during early-morning hours in the middle of the week.
For enhancing operating hours, Mr. Seroka looks for cooperation from truck owners, warehouses and other industries which are hand-in-glove with the ports’ operations. Such need to work round the clock. He points out, ”You can’t hire labor, you can’t open terminal gates and tell everybody you are open for business and nobody shows up.”
The sister ports are managed separately but within a circle of competition when addressing ship calls. Mario Cordera, executive director at Port of Long Beach hailed the 24-hour operations in wake of growing congestion but Los Angeles officials remained indifferent.
Showing obeyance to White House appeal, The Port of Long Beach became operational for 24 hours a day, from Monday to Thursday while it remained lit for 16 hours a day earlier. Mr. Cordero issued a statement stating, “bold and immediate action to help the supply chain” and indicated the possibility of 24-hour operations for the whole week.
More Cooperation Needed:
Now, John Porcari steps in, who is appointed to address port congestion menace by Biden administration, hailed the decision of increasing hours of operation at the Southern California ports, which is the busiest container gateway and looking for the same from trucking agencies, freight railroads and importers.
He says, “One of the overall trends that we are seeing is the need to get closer to 24/7 operations as opposed to eight or 10 hours a day for the entire goods movement chain.”
These ports have become critical to unravel complications present in supply chains around the world, as mega volumes of retailers and manufacturers have pumped in heavy volumes of goods that have retarded logistics networks. Going by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, the freight rose by 23% as compared to pre-pandemic times in the months from January to July and the couple of ports are said to have handled mega volume akin to over 6 million inbound containers that are loaded fully.
On September 19, there were 73 container ships that waited away from the shore in Southern California, which is a record and which resulted in many containers (say hundreds of thousands in number) filled with goods remain stranded in the sea.
Further, such congestion (which is devastating just like heart congestion) digests a lot of time too and checking through reports released by freight company Freightos, in fact, 83% more time is wasted as compared to the time taken when a ship starts its sea voyage from heavily industrialized China to its final U.S. destination.
Now, Steve Hennessey, COO at Pacific Maritime Association which voices terminal operators, commented about the extended hours for cargo handling as it would further intensify congestion unless everyone in the supply chain framework starts working at nights and during weekends too. He says, ”If a warehouse is full, you’ve still created another bottleneck,” Mr. Hennessy further said. “You have to solve for it every step of the way.”
Just last week, informed the world that directors of Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have shown interest in operational increase, but “in two different ways” and such would give way to other enterprises connected to the supply chain to follow the path. In his words, “The port executive directors know their operations and customers best and know how to improve the movement of goods most efficiently.”