Congestion, Chassis Shortages, and a Lumber Fire – Issues the West Coast Ports Face
West Coast port executives have admitted that big ships and carrier alliances are contributing to terminal congestion, equipment shortages, and excessive truck turn times. Although the executives of the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, and Tacoma have no direct control over the operations of shipping lines, terminal operators, chassis providers, railroads, or truckers, they agree on needing to take a proactive approach in bringing all of their tenants and stakeholders together to make the ports “facilitators of trade.”
Chassis shortages became an issue this year as a result of the shipping lines exiting the chassis business by selling those assets to equipment leasing companies. It is now up to the trucking companies to rely on chassis pools and leasing companies to provide the equipment however, the demand is high and the chassis availability is insufficient.
The current congestion in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is also being amplified by larger vessels calling at the terminals. Larger vessels mean more containers, causing some that have already been offloaded to be “buried” by others coming in after them. This can cause some containers to be delayed by a week or two, while others may move normally simply because they were placed on top of the “pile.”
On top of congestion and chassis shortages, the Port of Los Angeles closed its terminals and the Alameda Corridor at 8:30 a.m. today due to air quality concerns resulting from a lumber fire at the port. The TTI terminal at Long Beach was also closed for the day, but hopes to reopen tonight at 6 p.m. It has been reported that a welding torch ignited World War II-era pylons soaked in creosote at the Pasha break bulk terminal around 6:40 a.m. this morning. No injuries have been reported at this time.
By Marisol International