The Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles is focusing on reduction of the dwell times to reduce terminal congestion.
Improved and timely shared data is seen as the key to move the inbound container from the vessel to truckers to the import facilities. Per Mike Christensen, senior executive leader for supply chain optimization at Long Beach, “Information, in a single word, is the focus. We have to put this terribly powerful analytical tool to work”.
Sharing of data will allow beneficial cargo owners, truckers, and marine terminals to better plan the delivery process. Terminal operators will be able to efficiently position shipments into peel-off piles, and truckers can then arrange for more dual transactions.
Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) has made available a monthly container dwell time report. The most recent report by the PMSA shows that average container dwell times at the port have declined since a peak in September. The percentage of containers dwelling more than five days has dropped to 7.4 percent in November, from a peak of 8.6 percent in October.
When containers are not picked up in a timely manner, they end up stacked one on top of another, this results in constant reshuffling of containers, slowing down terminal operations resulting in terminal and gate congestion. PMSA President John McLaurin said, “Shorter average dwell time contributes to more efficiency throughout the supply chain”.
The PMSA container dwell time report is available at: http://www.pmsaship.com/
Mr. Christensen has advised that Los Angeles will be partnering within the next few months with GE Transportation, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., beneficial cargo owners and others on a common portal to share information on shipments with all members of the supply chain. This pilot project will then be recreated later this year at Long Beach.
The supply chain optimization meetings at the Port will continue to address a variety of measures designed to reduce container dwell times, including possible changes to the free-time policy, but currently they are concentrating on fostering better information flow.