Addressing port congestion in Southern California

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Biden-Harris Administration’s Task Force on Supply Chain Disruptions have been working to address the historic magnitude of supply chain disruption that is currently affecting American consumers and virtually any business that imports, exports, or in any way transports material goods.  Specific to Southern California, DOT has worked with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to convene stakeholder working groups to identify and implement near-term actions to address the congestion in the country’s largest port complex, which handles 40% of U.S. imports and 30% of exports.  RILA participates with stakeholder working groups—which have covered topics ranging from container availability, truck appointments, costs, workforce, and more—to represent RILA member interests and perspectives. 
Recently, LA and Long Beach announced another round of initiatives aimed at increasing port throughput.  Along with measures it has previously implemented, the Port of LA will explore expanded weekend hours.  The port has also focused on increasing effectiveness and utilization of existing gate hours, with a pilot initiative characterized by the port as “a push approach instead of a pull approach.”  Some stakeholders point to the number of unused truck appointments at both ports as evidence that shifts are underutilized—however that stat alone does not reflect the full story, including unavailability/inaccessibility of containers for pickup, shortages of chassis, restrictions on when and where to drop empty containers, and other factors. 
In addition to other measures, the Port of Long Beach has expanded to 24-hour operation at one of its seven terminals, adding the 3-7 AM shift Monday through Thursday, for a total of 16 additional hours.  Dual transactions are routinely accepted during this time as well.  Additionally, the terminal will relax appointment requirements during earlier nighttime shifts.
RILA has held several calls for members to discuss port conditions with both LA and Long Beach, most recently hosting LA’s Executive Director Gene Seroka last Friday, and Port of Long Beach leadership this Friday, October 1st.  For more information, contact Jess Dankert.
  • Public Policy
  • Supply Chain
  • Transportation and Infrastructure

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter