Long Beach, CA – Cargo movement through the Port of Long Beach is being delayed from three to five days because of a surge in cargo volume and a “stressed and in some cases, flawed ”supply chain infrastructure, according to port Chief Executive Jon Slangerup.
Speaking at a recent town hall meeting at the Center for International Trade & Transportation at California State University – Long Beach, Slangerup said the flaws result from a failure of the supply chain “to work as an integrated system.”
Slangerup’s comments follow his recent formation of a Congestion Relief Team (CRT) “to meet daily, seek solutions, and solicit feedback from our staff in the field.”
The port, he said, “will do everything we can bring our partners who operate and work at the terminals together to identify bottlenecks and implement solutions.”
The first target of the CRT is the shortage of chassis at the port, a situation that Slangerup has called a “mismanaged mess.” Chassis are the frame trailers used to haul cargo containers.
“There is a chassis imbalance,” said Dr. Noel Hacegaba, the Port’s chief operating officer. “This is a big part of the congestion issue and I have been facilitating discussions with the key players to find relief as soon as possible.”
Cargo numbers rose sharply for the Port of Long Beach in September as the port recorded its heaviest traffic for that month since 2007, the port’s peak cargo volume year.
Nearly 630,000 containers moved through the port last month, a 7 percent increase over the same month last year.
Imports to Long Beach rose 10 percent as retailers brought in products for the holiday shopping season. More than 339,000 containers came into the port, making it the third-highest month for imports in the port’s history. Exports, however, fell 12 percent.
Over the first nine months of the year, container traffic at the Port of Long Beach is up 1.7 percent.
Cargo numbers climbed in September largely due to the importation of products for the upcoming holiday shopping season and the increased container capacity of the newer generation of containerships calling at the port.