California ports for weeks have been inundated with import containers at levels
well above last year. The volume has choked supply chains and left stakeholders
to increase throughput.
very, very difficult to efficiently and fluidly move cargo through the gateway
right now," said Weston LaBar, the CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association.
LaBar and the HTA have been among the leaders calling for the increase in dual
Cordero said it
will be up to the terminals to prioritize how they increase the number of dual
Port of Long Beach is not currently considering financial incentives
The Port of Los
Angeles is also trying to increase its dual transactions. Port of Los Angeles
Executive Director Gene Seroka said last month it would propose monetary
incentives for dual transactions to the Los Angeles Board of Harbor
Commissioners in the coming weeks. Cordero said The Port of Long Beach is not
currently considering financial incentives but said it will continue to monitor
its options as it works to address the volume surge.
Changes to the appointment systems are an important step in improving
the rate of dual transactions
LaBar said changes
to the appointment systems are an important step in improving the rate of dual
transactions and noted the HTA has worked with terminals on these efforts. Many
of the issues at port facilities, including chassis and driver shortages, would
be improved with increased dual transactions, he said.
to the appointment systems included getting rid of the requirement to make a
separate appointment for an empty return for a trucker making a pickup
appointment. Other changes could revolve around making user interfaces more
intuitive, LaBar said.
"Why can't I
just signify at that import appointment that I'm bringing an empty container
with me?" LaBar said. "Those are the types of common sense things
that we've asked folks to institute."
Cordero said a
single appointment system to cover all of the terminals is "an ongoing
More clarity from
ocean carriers on where empties will be dropped off along with terminals
guaranteeing appointments would also aid in increasing dual transactions, LaBar
Issue of appointments goes both ways
Cordero said the
issue of appointments goes both ways. "Marine terminal operators maximize
appointments, but on the other hand, the truckers meet those
appointments," he said.
have been involved in the discussions around the fluidity of cargo movement,
Cordero said. But he and LaBar agreed the carrier's alliance structure has
complicated container movement in ports. Before the alliances, one carrier
would have containers at one terminal, but that is no longer the case, Cordero
LaBar said the HTA
had met with three carriers but had not seen any changes to operations after
making suggestions for how to improve cargo movement.