Port Works to Increase Chassis Supply

Port Works to Increase Chassis Supply

The Port of Long Beach is pursuing a new measure to respond to customer concerns and tackle congestion issues that are slowing cargo movement at some of its terminals during the current pre-holidays “peak shipping season.”

The Long Beach Harbor Department, led by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, has been meeting with stakeholders to gather data, facilitate solutions and speed cargo flow in recent weeks.

Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup has introduced a new proposal to free up more truck trailers or “chassis” that would see the Port provide an area in the harbor district where trucks could drop off empty shipping containers for temporary storage while they proceed with their chassis to retrieve loaded import containers from Long Beach docks.

While the Port is still investigating the plan, it could be a solution in the short-term to help ease an ongoing “chassis imbalance” that is the root cause of the congestion ― the chassis aren’t where they are needed to move cargo from the docks.

Along with recent moves to facilitate more privately owned chassis being dispatched to the Port and near-term plans to start the Port’s own chassis fleet, Long Beach is actively working on solutions to benefit cargo owners and other freight shippers.

“We are taking measures to ease congestion by freeing up more chassis,” said Port of Long Beach Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Noel Hacegaba. “The solutions that are being put into action will ease and speed cargo flow during the peak season.”

The Port of Long Beach announced two weeks ago that it would allow terminals to grant three extra business days of free time for international import containers, which would save cargo owners the cost of “demurrage” or storage fees charged by the terminals.

At the direction of the Board of Harbor Commissioners, Harbor Department staff is seeking permission from the Federal Maritime Commission to discuss congestion solutions with the Port’s neighbor, the Port of Los Angeles. The Board also directed staff to develop a plan for the Port to own a chassis fleet that could be used to balance the chassis supply when needed.

The Board of Harbor Commissioners’ Subcommittee on Port Efficiency, led by Commission Vice President Rich Dines and including Commissioner Lori Ann Farrell, has been convened to address these issues. Port executives also monitor and actively seek solutions with the Port’s Congestion Relief Team.

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. With 140 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles $180 billion in trade annually, supporting thousands of Southern California jobs.