Container dwell time – the amount of time a container stays at a marine terminal after it is unloaded from an ocean carrier and taken off the premises by a truck or by rail – increased at San Pedro Bay ports in March, according to new data compiled by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.
In March, containers leaving on trucks remained on terminals for an average of 6.26 days, up from 5.84 days the month before. Dwell time for containers leaving on rail increased by more than two days with an average of 7.7 days in March, up from 5.2 days the month before. Pre-pandemic, dwell time rarely exceeded three days.
Container dwell time can be an important metric for measuring the efficiency of the flow of containers through the ports.
“Dwell time was already higher than usual and the increase in March did not help,” explained Jessica Alvarenga, Manager of Government Affairs at the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. “Every part of the supply chain is being impacted by the delays, but it is important to continue moving cargo as efficiently as possible to ensure that people continue receiving goods at their doorsteps and shelves remain stocked,” Alvarenga encouraged.