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  May 29th, 2015 | Written by

Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach Battle Congestion With Working Groups

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  • Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach create seven working groups to focus on peak operations and supply chain optimization.
  • Long Beach seeking bids from companies interested in operating a pool of chassis, makes addt’l 1,000 chassis available
  • Long Beach port executive calls for honest data brokerage, providing accurate shipping times.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have joined forces to create seven working groups that will focus on peak operations and terminal optimization in order to develop ways to strengthen the competitiveness of the San Pedro Bay port complex.

According to a joint statement released by both ports, participants in the issue-specific working groups will be drawn from goods movement industry stakeholders, including shipping lines, cargo owners, labor, railroads, trucking interests, equipment owners and more.

Peak Season 2015—the first working group—will meet in early June to drill down on this year’s peak demand needs at the port complex. Overall, the mission of the supply chain optimization effort is to build upon the economic benefits that the port provides to the region.

In total, the seven working groups include Peak Season 2015, Container Terminal Optimization, Chassis, Off-dock Solutions, Key Performance Indicators/Data Solutions, Intermodal Rail, and Drayage.

Earlier this year, the Federal Maritime Commission approved an agreement allowing the adjacent ports to discuss new efficiencies and other improvements that will improve the ports’ business competitiveness, environmental sustainability and security.

The two ports will also convene advisory groups of additional environmental, industry, community and government stakeholders to be asked for input on proposals put forth by the working groups.



Michael Christensen, senior executive for supply chain management at the Port of Long Beach, told attendees at the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce’s World Trade Week luncheon that “the port needs to become an honest broker of data, letting firms like Walmart and Home Depot have a clear picture of how long it takes to get a shipping container out of the port.”

In another move to reduce congestion, Long Beach is seeking bids from companies interested in operating a pool of chassis, which can be leased when the trailers are not available from the “pool of pools”. Currently, three firms control roughly 80 percent of the 100,000 chassis available in the San Pedro Bay harbor area.

“They will be a little higher in cost, as we don’t want to compete with the pool of pools,” says Christensen.

Long Beach will start out by making 1,000 additional chassis available for truckers who cannot otherwise find equipment. The pool will later be expanded by an additional 2,000 chassis.

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are the two largest ports in the U.S., respectively, and combined are the 10th-largest port complex in the world. Combined, the two ports handle approximately 40 percent of the nation’s total containerized import traffic and 25 percent of its total exports.