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California docks see ‘significant progress’ with supply chain backlog, port chief says


Long Beach/Los Angeles Port Complex in Long Beach, CA. Container cargo ships are seen offshore on Wednesday October 6, 2021.

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WASHINGTON – The executive director of the Port of Long Beach said Wednesday that the twin ports in California are making “significant progress” in addressing the backlog of cargo ships and containers.

Mario Cordero of the Port of Long Beach, the executive director, said that they are making progress. “I believe that we are going forward with some momentum and hopefully, as the next 6 months go by, we’re going be continuing to mitigate the situation we’re currently seeing here,” Mario Cordero told Becky Quick of CNBC on “SquawkBox.”

Cordero indicated that Long Beach’s twin port and Los Angeles’s Los Angeles port, which together account for 40% sea freight into the United States, work round the clock in order to unload the containers.

The twin California ports levied unprecedented fees for shipping companies to help address congestion in container ships due to a backlog.

Port directors announced the new fines in an Oct. 25 joint statement. They will charge $100 per container for each day that it is left on the dock. The maximum time that carriers would be allowed to transport containers by truck is nine days before penalties start accruing. Rail transportation takes six days.

The lingering cargo containers at both ports has decreased by 33% after the new fees were announced. Cordero said that approximately 61 cargo vessels are currently awaiting unloading off California’s coast. This compares with a record 111 shipsThe Marine Exchange data shows that this happened just two weeks back.

Following the Biden administration’s “Container Dwell Fees” plan, the fines were referred to as such. to run operations 24/7 at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Cordero states that although the increase in operations helped to relieve congestion at the busiest port complex of the country, there are still issues within the supply chain.

Cordero explained that there are “truckers, maritime terminal operators, warehouses. railroads. port authorities.” He added that finding a permanent solution requires “a genuine collaborative effort” by all involved.

It will be a slow process, but there is a robust discussion about the necessity for a transformative change.