San Pedro Bay Ports Announce Measures to Speed Cargo Throughput

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in mid-September announced new measures to improve freight movement and reduce delays through the ports as they continue to experience record volumes.

The ports say that the measures are expected to enhance their landside operations to help meet the unprecedented growth in cargo volume moving through the San Pedro Bay.

Specifically, both ports say they’ll expand the hours during which trucks can pick up and return containers. Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said that Long Beach will take the first step towards a 24/7 supply chain by maximizing nighttime operations.

Also, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka announced that the Port of LA will expand weekend operating gate hours. The program, dubbed “Accelerate Cargo LA,” will operate on a pilot basis to ensure that gate availability meets cargo demands and provides greater transparency to improve efficiency.

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

“These steps,” Seroka said, “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,” Cordero added.

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles say they plan to work closely with the trucking community to ensure that all truck operators understand how to take advantage of incentivized gate hours as well as the expanded opportunities that will be created to move cargo during non-peak times.

In addition to actions taken today, the ports say they’re working with the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to alleviate bottlenecks and speed up the movement of goods to consumers, while expanding export opportunities for U.S. exporters, including agricultural producers.

About 70% by tonnage of all U.S.-international trade moves by water through U.S. seaports, with the San Pedro Bay ports moving about 40% of all containerized cargo entering the U.S. each year and about 30% of all containerized exports, according to data provided by the ports.