Does US Port Congestion Need a Rethink?


In a new report released by the Journal of Commerce, entitled ‘Long Truck Turn Times in LA-LB Persist after Congestion Clears’, it argues that container terminals are under increasing pressure to service the larger class of mega-ships and that is causing congestion to worsen.

The report suggests that more ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions are required to tackle the problems.

The report also points to a number of causes of congestion, including a lack of information due to the absence of transparency.

Congestion was previously an issue for the Port of Long Beach due to the strikes that took place as a result of a dispute between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association in early 2015.

Technical Paper: How the Port of Long Beach conquered congestion

Performance has since improved, with the port seeing a five month jump in November, 2015, representing a throughput increase of 6.6%.

Long Beach also proposed a new solution for tackling congestion, called ‘Free Flexible Time’, which aims to increase the velocity of containers moving through the port.

The 18,000 TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin recently left the US mega-ship ready after the Port of Los Angeles successfully turned around the ship in late December, 2015, suggesting that the US could indeed handle the larger class of containerships.

Technical Paper: The Port of Los Angeles: How to Be Green

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