San Pedro Bay Ports’ Cargo Dwell Time at a Record High: PMSA

San Pedro Bay ports
San Pedro Bay ports
Dwell time for containers at the San Pedro Bay ports reached a record high 7.6 days in October, according to Pacific Merchant Shipping Association data. Image via PMSA.

Last month, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach saw a record high in the length of time that containers dwell at their terminals, according to new data released by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

In October, containers leaving marine terminals by truck lingered for an average of 7.64 days at the twin ports, higher than the previous month’s 5.9 days.

Meanwhile, the average dwell time for containers improved significantly month over month, with average time down from 5.5 days in September to 3.9 days in October.

“Terminals are not designed to be a long-term storage facility for cargo,” said Jessica

Alvarenga, manager of government affairs at PMSA. “It is vital for containers to be picked up in a timely manner in order to ensure cargo fluidity and velocity.”

Port officials could see better dwell time averages in November and December. Since announcing plans in late October to penalize ocean carriers for imports that stay too long at terminals, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have seen a 37% drop of containers on the docks past their allotted time. This development has prompted both ports to delay enacting their planned container dwell fee to Dec. 6, it was announced Monday.

By Mark Edward Nero