Container volumes at the Port of Long Beach declined by 2% to 789,716 teu in October as capacity limits hamper cargo flow at the port.
Imports decreased 4% to 385,000 teu, with empties also down by 2% to 282,502 teu, whilst exports increased almost 7% to 122,214 teu.
Mario Cordero, executive director at Port of Long Beach, said: “Every sector of the supply chain has reached capacity and it is time for all of us to step up and get these goods delivered.
“In Long Beach, we are trying to add capacity by searching for vacant land to store containers, expanding the hours of operation at terminals, and implementing a fee that will incentivize ocean carriers to pull their containers out of the port as soon as possible.”
The Port of Long Beach enacted a Congestion Dwell fee on November 1, charging ocean carriers for containers that remain too long on the docks.
It was designed to speed the flow of containers moving through the San Pedro Bay ports complex and to reduce a record number of vessels waiting off the Southern California coast.
As of November 10, there has been a 20% decrease in loaded import containers that have dwelled at the port past their respective time limits.
The Port of Los Angeles has adopted an identical measure.
Additionally, the Port of Long Beach has continued to work with marine terminals and other supply chain partners to expand hours as part of a framework for 24-7 operations.
Steven Neal, Long Beach harbour commission president, said: “We are working around the clock at the port. We’re doing everything we can with help from the supply chain to get goods off the ships and into store shelves in time for the holidays.”
Despite the ongoing congestion and strained capacity, the month was still strong enough to mark the port’s second-busiest October.
The Port of Long Beach has moved almost 7.9m teu during the first 10 months of 2021, up 21% from the same period in 2020.
It is on track to move more than 9m teu by the end of the year, surpassing the current record of 8.1m teu achieved in 2020.