Port of Los Angeles makes “great strides” in eliminating backlog of ocean freight, director says

Americans buy more things – retail sales increased 1.7% higher than expected in October, consumers spending more for inflation, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday – and some of America’s largest retailers have found ways around supply chain issues that have hampered global trade . Walmart and Home Depot, which reported quarterly profits higher than expected Tuesday, and Target all chartered their own cargo ships and took other steps to avoid congestion at U.S. ports.

One of the most congested ports, Los Angeles, has cleared part of his backlog In recent weeks, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in an online forum with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday. “There is a lot more work to be done on this front, but great progress by our dockers, shipping companies, truckers, marine terminal operators and rail partners,” Seroka said.

The port has reduced all import containers at its docks by 25% since Oct. 24 and reduced the amount of cargo waiting for at least nine days by 29%, Seroka said. The port has also speeded up the removal of empty containers littering the docks, using sweepers to remove the voids and help bring them back to ships returning to Asia. There are now 84 container ships waiting offshore to unload at the ports of Los Angeles and its neighboring port of Long Beach, compared to more than 100 recent ships still waiting to dock, but many more than normal.

The Port of Los Angeles is open about 19 hours a day, still under President Biden’s pressure to operate 24/7, Seroka said, and “we’ve had very few takers to date.” for night shifts. The warehouses “traditionally work during the day and they have had difficulty in bringing in workers during this period”, he said, and an insufficient number of truck drivers can only work 11 hours a day under federal rules.

“It’s an effort to try and get this whole orchestra of supply chain players on the same schedule,” Seroka said. Buttigieg noted Clearing the backlog is “not flipping the switch” and the ports are grappling with both “unprecedented consumer demand”, the global pandemic and “decades of underinvestment in our chain infrastructure. supply”. Biden infrastructure bill just signed directs $ 17 billion to US ports, including Los Angeles and Long Beach.

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