AmericasPorts and Logistics

Long Beach waives box stacking limits

Another emergency measure has been taken in southern California to alleviate the box crunch hammering operations at America’s main maritime gateways.

From last Friday the port of Long Beach has eased restrictions on stacking containers for three months whereby stacks four containers high will be allowed on private property instead of the normal two. The port, where record volumes of ships are lined up waiting up for berth space, has recently moved to 24/7 operations in a bid to move the box backlog, a move that has had limited take up to date.

Box dwell time at Long Beach and neighbouring Los Angeles rose to a record 5.94 days in September, according to the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, more than twice its pre-pandemic normal.

New data from Clarkson Research Services shows that across the US west coast a total of 870,000 teu were at port or waiting for berth space to open up as of last Thursday, almost three times the 2016-19 average of 320,000 teu.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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