Los Angeles Port will operate 24/7 to ease cargo backlog

Hundreds of thousands of containers are stuck at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, West Coast gateways that move more than a quarter of all US imports. Dozens of ships are anchored ashore, with waiting times of up to three weeks.

US president Joe Biden has hailed a new 24-hour working system, which he says will help to shift bottlenecks in US supply chains bringing products to market for Christmas.

According to the White House, expanded operations at the Port of Los Angeles will nearly double the hours of cargo moving. It said the additional shifts have been agreed to by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents dock workers.

Some terminal operators say there is no point in extending hours when many of their regular pickup slots are not used by truck drivers.

Truckers say they are troubled by the lack of equipment needed to transport containers and warehouses that are packed or open during limited hours.

The Port of Long Beach struggled to increase cargo flow after increasing its opening hours, with truck drivers complaining that the restrictions on them for lifting and dropping containers were too tough. The shortage of truck drivers and warehouse workers has also created problems in supply chains. It is unclear how many terminals in Los Angeles will operate 24/7 and when those operations will begin.

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