Long Beach Tackles Chronic Port Congestion
Long Beach, CA – Responding to the chronic congestion snarling the movement of cargo containers through one of the country’s busiest ports, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved the use of port property as a temporary site for the storage of empty containers.
The “Temporary Empty Container Depot” will be operated on 30 acres of a vacant, undeveloped area on Pier S on Terminal Island in a move to “help to free up needed equipment to move cargo out of shipping terminals faster” and “put back into circulation more chassis,” the wheeled trailer-frames that trucks use to haul containers.
Truckers using the new will be able to deliver empty containers and remove them from a chassis, and then use the chassis to pick up and haul loaded containers to nearby intermodal rail facilities or their regional destinations.
The depot will be operated by a private company, Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals, under a permit that will expire at the end of March 2015.
Designation of the new depot is reportedly one of several measures the port is pursuing to relieve the congestion issues that have come with a surge of cargo in the last two months caused by the busy peak shipping season, the advent of larger ships and a change in the ownership system for chassis fleets.
In addition to the depot, the port has reportedly crafting a plan to operate its own chassis fleet for peak cargo shipping seasons and facilitate the introduction by private chassis fleets of an additional 3,000 chassis into the local equipment pool.
“We hear our customers loud and clear,” said Doug Drummond, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “This congestion is not acceptable, and the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is ensuring that the Port of Long Beach is doing everything it can to see that we clear up these issues now and forever.”