While limited marine terminal capacity hampered imports at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., last month, the port recorded its second-busiest October on record.
The Port of Long Beach on Nov. 11 reported that dockworkers and terminal operators moved 789,716 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month, down 2.1% from October 2020, the port’s strongest October on record. Imports fell 4.3% to 385,000 TEUs, and exports rose 6.6% to 122,214 TEUs from the same month last year. Empty containers moving through the port declined 2.4% to 282,502 TEUs vs. October 2020.
Through the first 10 months of 2021, the Port of Long Beach hauled 7,884,565 TEUs, up 21% from the same point last year. The port said that it is on pace to move more than 9 million TEUs by year-end, surpassing the current record of 8.1 million TEUs achieved in 2020.
“Every sector of the supply chain has reached capacity and it is time for all of us to step up and get these goods delivered,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “In Long Beach, we are trying to add capacity by searching for vacant land to store containers, expanding the hours of operation at terminals, and implementing a fee that will incentivize ocean carriers to pull their containers out of the port as soon as possible.”
On Nov. 1, the Port of Long Beach enacted a Congestion Dwell Fee, charging ocean carriers for cargo containers that linger on the docks in an aim to speed container flow and to reduce the record number of vessels waiting off the Southern California coast. The Port of Los Angeles adopted an identical measure. Both ports charge ocean carriers for every container that is scheduled to move by truck and dwells nine days or more, or by rail and dwells three days or more.
As of Nov. 10, the Port of Long Beach reported seeing a 20% decrease in loaded import containers that have dwelled past their respective time limits. Additionally, the port said it “continues to work with marine terminals and other supply chain partners to expand hours as part of a framework for 24/7 operations.”
In related news, the Biden Administration on Nov. 9 unveiled U.S. ports and waterways action plans. Also, the state of California and the U.S. Department of Transportation are teaming to modernize supply chain infrastructure and speed goods movement, under a new Emerging Projects Agreement announced Oct. 28.