Sept. 17th, in the thick of peak season with roughly 50 vessels anchored in San Pedro Bay, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles announced sweeping reforms in an attempt to improve fluidity and reduce delays during what continues to be unprecedented volumes at our nations largest ports.
Among many of the measures being taken, is a much-needed move towards 24/7 operations. Both ports are extending operating hours, allowing a larger window for trucks to pick up/drop off containers. In addition, the Port of Los Angeles will be employing project “Accelerated Cargo LA” which includes expanding weekend gate hours and incentivizing marine terminal operators to maximize all gate hours, both day and night, to increase efficiency and throughput.
The ports leadership has acknowledged the need for better communication with the trucking community, investing in both outreach and technology to inform truck operators of the expanded gate hours and to encourage non-peak hour pick up/drop-offs. One of these investments is the opt-in text alert system called “Truck Alert” which was created by the port of Long Beach in an effort to reduce road congestion at the port. The free application allows truckers to receive real-time updates, enabling them to plan their route accordingly.
Although we have a long way to go before the situation is completely resolved, the recent strides of the Port Authorities of L.A. and Long Beach are moving this theoretical ship in the right direction.