Container Dwell Time Continues to Drop at LA, Long Beach Ports, PMSA Says

The Long Beach Container Terminal. File photo by Mark Nero.

The amount of time that cargo lingering at the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports continued to fall in January, according to new data released by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association on Feb. 21.

The average dwell time in January was 3.2 days for cargo departing by truck, a drop from the average peak time of 8.4 days in November 2021. Meanwhile, the average dwell time in January for rail-bound cargo was 4.3 days, a decrease from a peak of 16.5 days in August 2022.

The new average times are now closer to pre-pandemic average times, PMSA said. During the pandemic, both ports experienced months of congestion due to record import surges and high consumer demand, resulting in ships at anchor waiting for berths and lack of space for cargo.

Since then, both ports have been working to move the cargo quickly.

“Before the pandemic, the average container dwell time was between two and three days, and we are happy to see it back to normal,” explained Jessica Alvarenga, director of government affairs for PMSA. “Cargo is back to flowing smoothly, and marine terminal operators are ready to handle more.”

By Karen Robes Meeks