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Port of Los Angeles working with Biden administration to clear rail-cargo backlog

There are currently more than 29,000 containers waiting at the Port of Los Angeles to move by rail. Half of them have been on site for nine days or more, said executive director Gene Seroka on Tuesday. In comparison, in January this year, he noted, dwell time for rail-bound containers was an average of about two days.

Seroka said the port is going “all out to catch up.” With a significant wave of containers expected to arrive from China in coming weeks after the Shanghai Covid lockdown eased and anticipation of an early peak season, clearing congestion from the port is critical to provide capacity for incoming cargo.

“We’re working around the clock with White House senior officials in Washington and Sacramento local authorities as well as both private-sector railroads, the Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe,” said Seroka.

The congestion is limited to rail; the port is experiencing “no problem with aging containers [moving out by truck], and we’re moving imports fluidly through this port complex,” said Seroka. He added that Stephen Lyons, the new Port and Supply Chain Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, is working with industry to speed up the process of moving product from inland rail terminals.

On June 10, president Biden visited the Port of Los Angeles. In a statement afterwards, Seroka said: “Our ongoing work with the president and his administration continues to focus on our nation’s ports and supply chain resiliency. His visit to the Port of Los Angeles is a recognition of the tremendous effort across the maritime supply chain to move a record volume of cargo for the American economy.”

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.


  1. All of this focus on LA/LB – yet about the same amount is probably stuck up in Seattle with no action what so ever…

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