After President Biden’s meeting last week with the heads of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the CEO of the Northwest Seaport Alliance addressed the congestion situation further north on the US Pacific coast.
In a video news conference, John Wolfe said there were then about 15 cargo vessels waiting to berth at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, ports where cargo vessels can ordinarily “go directly to dock at the container terminals,” according to an article in The Seattle Times.
Wolfe said terminal operators at the ports have added some night shifts and some are offering Saturday operations in efforts to tackle the congestion. The NWSA and the terminal operators are discussing standardising the extended hours. However, “that alone is not going to fix this problem,” said Wolfe.
Trucks and warehouse space are in short supply, he noted. “When any portion of the supply chain starts to be stretched to the limits, it’s like a domino effect,” he said. “When one domino falls … the other pieces of the supply chain then start to fail, and that’s what we’re experiencing.”
The ports have been encouraging importers to pick up their containers as quickly as possible to alleviate space issues.