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LA Lesson on Congestion

A new program has been released by the Port of Los Angeles recently that seeks to clear the backlog of containers at the port and speed up operations.

The backlog was exacerbated by the recent US West Coast (USWC) port closure, which took place as a result of a labour dispute between the International Longshore Workers Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.

Launched on February 25, 2015, the “Peel Off” Program has added a new operational model to the port to improve the flow of cargo.

Under ‘Peel Off’ import containers loaded with goods belonging to high-volume shippers are stacked together in a block upon arrival at the port.

The terminals expedite trucks through their gates to retrieve the containers and deliver them to the near-dock yard where they are sorted.

The same trucks loop back to the terminals for the next inbound container. The trucks keep boxes moving by delivering outbound containers on the return leg.

Cargo owners can move their containers through the Peel Off yard in less than 48 hours and make those trips at night during off-peak traffic hours.

Gene Seroka, Executive Director at the Port of Los Angeles, said: “We have found an efficient way to get containers to their destination that is beginning to pay off. We’re acting on our pledge to our customers to harmonise the supply chain and make it work better. Permanently”.

The port teamed with stevedoring company The Pasha Group, harbour trucking firm Total Transportation Services (TTSI), several marine container terminal operators, and a core group of major retailers to create the program, which involves peeling off containers of high-volume customers to a near-dock yard where they are sorted for destination to inland distribution centres.

Vic La Rosa, President and CEO of TTSI, said: “The trucks are doing exactly what everyone needs them to do – make more turns every day. This single step eliminates multiple inefficient moves so cargo flows faster and more reliably.”

Seroka concluded: “With bigger ships delivering more cargo in a single call, this program improves the way we all do business. It is also a prime example of how the Port of Los Angeles is bringing our partners together, facilitating meaningful dialogue and driving real solutions.”

There are still concerns as to whether going back to normal operations will be of any real benefit to all USWC ports, as many have lost services to the US East Coast via the Suez Canal – a route that charges more but can offer additional capacity.

(Source: World Port Source)