In response to recent congestion, the Port of Long Beach intends to begin operations in December at a “temporary empty container depot” planned for a vacant pier.
The Long Beach Board of Harbour Commissioners approved the use of 30 acres on the Pier S site on Terminal Island for temporary storage of empty shipping containers.
It is hoped that the temporary empty container storage depot will bring more chassis back into circulation by providing them a location to deliver empty containers and then move on to pick up loaded ones.
The holiday shopping season has seen several US ports experiencing higher cargo volumes due to increased imports and terminal congestion means there is a lack of storage space for empty containers.
At the local port complex, a new chassis ownership system has at times left terminals and truckers without the equipment they need.
The plan is to close the site, which will be operated by private company, Pasha Stevedoring and Terminal, by 31 March 2015.
Jon Slangerup, Port of Long Beach chief executive, said: “Clearing up the congestion is our top priority at the port. We are confident that utilizing Pier S as an empty chassis yard will expedite this process and create the opportunity to move and allocate chassis to the terminal operators and truckers.”
The Port has also identified a plan to operate its own chassis fleet for peak cargo shipping seasons and peak demand. Long Beach facilitated the introduction by private chassis fleets of an additional 3,000 chassis into the local area.