Meeting the congestion challenges in Southern California

By STG Logistics

September 27, 2021

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This week, the tally of ships at anchor - or adrift because the number of anchorages has been exhausted - broke through 70 container-carrying vessels. Absent an immediate cessation of global supply chains and freezing everything in place to clear space on the terminals for both local cargo and IPI intermodal cargo, an alternative solution is required.

There's no question there are times when the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are competitors and try to create differentiators to woo terminal operators, port calls and infrastructure investments. Under the guidance of the Ports Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration's Task Force on Supply Chain Disruptions John Pocari, both ports came together to offer extended gate hours for truckers to pick up and return containers.

According to the press release, the San Pedro Bay ports account for nearly 40% of all containerized cargo entering the U.S. annually and for 30% of all containerized exports. Together, they are the two largest ports in the nation and combined are the ninth largest port complex in the world and are on track to handle a collective 20 million TEU's this year.

In Los Angeles, Port Executive Director Gene Seroka announced a pilot called "Accelerate Cargo LA" which will operate on a pilot basis to ensure gate availability meets cargo demands. Both ports have also called on the marine terminal operators to incentivize the use of all available gate hours, especially night gates, to reduce congestion and maximize cargo throughput. 


Like any newly announced policy, the devil is in the details. The press release speaks broadly to changes but is short on specifics. STG is going to continue to remain in communication with our truckers, our customers, and the terminals themselves because as the broad goals are translated into actionable items, we will be ready to contribute to helping make the proposed solutions a success and providing valuable feedback to our experiences in order to offer refinements and improvements as time goes on.

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