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Ports operating in the U.S.’s biggest gateway for trade with Asia will extend night hours and work weekends to clear port delays amid record volumes.
The Port of Los Angeles will expand weekend operating gate hours while neighboring Long Beach will extend the hours during which trucks can pick up and return containers, they said in a joint statement Sept. 17.
The hubs, located in San Pedro Bay, Calif., move about 40% of all containerized cargo entering the U.S. each year and about 30% of all containerized exports. Bottlenecks at maritime operations have exacerbated capacity constraints in shipping and are pushing trans-Pacific freight rates to all-time highs.
Both ports are also working closely with the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force “to alleviate bottlenecks and speed up the movement of goods to consumers, while expanding export opportunities for U.S. exporters, including agricultural producers,” they said.
The number of containerships waiting to enter the twin ports reached an all-time high of 65 vessels this week, carrying potential payloads of cargo boxes that would stretch halfway across the country if lined up end to end.
The average wait was 8.7 days compared with 6.2 days in mid-August, according to L.A. port data. The ship waiting the longest arrived on Aug. 23.
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