Port of Los Angeles logs third busiest year in history in 2014, despite congestion problems

Source: Long Beach Press Telegram

Container ship activity at the Port of LA. Cargo ships unloading at the Evergreen terminal. Jan. 16, 2015.  (Brad Graverson / Staff Photographer) 
But that news was tempered by issues related to congestion, which has been brought by the arrival of larger ships carrying more cargo for various shipping lines, the lack of available chassis (the trailers that allow trucks to tow cargo containers) and unresolved contract talks between the longshore workers union and their employers that have grown contentious.
“(The issues related to congestion) are creating dynamics we’ve never seen before,” said port spokesman Arley Baker.
During the first half of the year, the Port of Los Angeles was No. 1 in productivity, according to the Journal of Commerce. That dropped off around the latter six months, around the time longshore contract negotiations began and bottlenecks along the supply chain began to increase.
Los Angeles’ port moved 658,567 units in December, up only 1 percent from the same time last year.
“The 2014 numbers are an encouraging indication that the national economy continues to improve,” Port Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement. “Beyond that, the second half of the year ushered in a mix of unprecedented challenges due to transformational changes in the shipping line business.”
He also encouraged the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association to work quickly and in good faith toward a contract.
“We are working hard to help our customers and supply chain partners overcome those challenges and urge them to work together with us to find solutions,” Seroka said.
The Port of Long Beach expects to release its cargo numbers next week.
Contact Karen Robes Meeks at 562-714-2088.


Karen Robes Meeks

Newspaper reporter with more than a decade of experience in journalism. I cover trade and transportation. Reach the author atkaren.robes@langnews.com or follow Karen on Twitter: karenmeekspt.