President Joe Biden has ordered California ports to stay open all night to ease supply chain jams — but data showed that truckers weren’t showing up to collect the cargo.
The number of boats at anchor, waiting to dock and unload at the crowded Southern California ports, reached record highs, truckers are also struggling to make space for new containers because they’re having to store empty containers that should be back at the ports.
The slow adoption of 24-hour services at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s busiest port complex, highlights the challenge facing the Biden administration as supply-chain problems persist despite months of government and industry measures to ease congestion.
Terminal operators are reluctant to move to 24/7 operations because truckers and warehouses don’t work those hours.
The Southern California ports complex is a primary focus of administration attention because it handles nearly 40% of the nation’s seaborne container imports by volume.
Port truckers can’t pick up containers because of a shortage of the trailers needed to haul the boxes, and when they do deliver a box it often sits for days longer than usual outside warehouses that are struggling because of a lack of workers and space.
The ports said they would start adding charges for loaded containers that sit for nine days or more on marine terminals from Nov. 1. They have delayed assessing the fee for a few weeks, but by Nov. 8, the number of such containers had fallen by 20% to 101,000.
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