Container Dwell Time at San Pedro Bay Ports Continue to Improve: PMSA

Stacked cargo containers at a Port of Los Angeles terminal. Photo: Port of LA.

The average time that a cargo container remains at the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports before being sent out continued to improve in June, according to data released July 19 by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

Containers lingering at the ports before leaving by truck stayed an average of 2.9 days in June, holding steady from the 2.87 day-average in May.

“An approximate three-day average is within the normal range and is an indicator that the supply chain is operating smoothly,” according to PMSA.

Meanwhile, the average dwell time for rail-bound cargo in June was four days, a significant improvement from the 5.2 day-average in May. June’s average was the lowest since January 2022, PMSA said.

In May, 6.7% of truck-bound containers and 23% of cargo destined for rail stayed for more than five days.

PMSA Vice President Michele Grubbs said the organization is encouraged to see rail and truck cargo dwell times where they are.

“Our primary focus is on ensuring the efficient movement of containers through marine terminals so that imported goods can arrive at their destination in a timely manner,” Grubbs said. “The efficient flow of goods is critical as it ensures goods reach consumers in a timely fashion while also minimizing congestion around the ports and on the roads and highways.”

By Karen Robes Meeks