Dwell Time for Rail-Bound Cargo Remains High at LA, Long Beach: PMSA

Port of Los Angeles
Port of Los Angeles
A Port of Los Angeles container terminal. File photo via POLA.

In June, the amount of time rail-destined cargo lingered at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach was among the highest recorded by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, according to new data released Monday, July 18.

Last month, the average time containers stayed at terminals before leaving on rail was 13.3 days, two days longer than the 11.3 day average recorded in May and the highest average dwell time observed since January 2021 when PMSA started regularly tracking dwell times in San Pedro Bay.

Imports leaving by truck in June were also up from the previous month. Last month, imports stayed at terminals an average of 5.5 days, a slight uptick from the May average of 5.3 days,

Long dwelling rail cargo on marine terminals negatively impacts terminal capacity and can slow vessel discharge and loading operations, PMSA Manager of Government Affairs Jessica Alvarenga said.

“Terminals were not designed and should not be used as storage facilities to store containers for long periods of time; they should function as transit points,” she said. “The current problem with long dwelling rail cargo is symptomatic of broader supply chain problems. We hope this isn’t a reflection of what the holiday peak season has in store for our terminal operators.”

By Karen Robes Meeks