As volumes continue to surge at the nation’s ports on the coasts of the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, two of the nation’s biggest facilities — Los Angeles and Long Beach — are taking the first steps to expand their hours of operations to 24/7 to keep up with the backlog of freight.
Port of Los Angeles will expand weekend operating gate hours on a pilot basis to make sure gate availability meets cargo demand. Long Beach plans to increase nighttime operations and eventually move toward a 24/7 supply chain.
The adjacent facilities also are calling on marine terminal operators to put incentives in place so the additional hours are fully utilized, especially at night or on weekends, to limit congestion and increase overall capacity. Both facilities said they will work closely with the trucking industry to ensure operators understand how to take advantage of incentivized gate hours as well as the expanded opportunities that will be created to move cargo during nonpeak times.
“I thank directors [Mario] Cordero and [Gene] Seroka for their leadership and all of the men and women who have helped meet the challenge of moving extraordinary cargo volumes during a global pandemic,” said John Porcari, ports envoy to the Biden administration’s Task Force on Supply Chain Disruptions. “I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to strengthen the resiliency of our transportation supply chain.”
Transportation economist Paul Bingham with IHS Markit told Transport Topics the port’s intention to expand operations is encouraging, but much more needs to be done to relieve congestion at Los Angeles and Long Beach.
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