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Ports of Seattle and Tacoma extend hours to address ship congestion

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.

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. Seattle terminals are completely unorganized. They are pulling containers and not catagorizing them. Containers are sitting at terminals in closed areas unavailable for pickup for more then 30 days completely unacceptable. Why unload more ships if they can’t move them out?

    1. There’s an entity called US Customs as well. Customs holds are on the containers until they are released, and you guessed it, they’re apparently short on staff too. In addition, different containers have different priority, and most other general cargo is on a first in, first out basis.

  2. I’m a truck driver in the port of Seattle and port of Tacoma the reason why it’s backed up the terminals are playing games and won’t release loads. The union workers treat drivers like crap saying “you guys aren’t union, drivers are scum of the earth beneath our feet” they don’t work there lazy it can take 4-9 hours to pull one load. Just last week I had an incident in Seattle they said they don’t have my location for my load. Well my boss said it’s at D318 so I went to that location my can was on the ground! So I told the top pick that’s my load so he gave it to me I get to the outgate and they ban me 2 weeks for getting my load. They play games they don’t work the issue is the longshoremen not the trucks

  3. There is no driver shortage if the LONGSHOREMEN would do their jobs and get us in and out and not have to spend any where from 2 to 7 hours trying to get our loads then we wouldn’t have a problem …

  4. We can’t deliver the freight if we can’t get the freight out of the ports … I’m tired of hearing about a driver shortage , drive up to the ports and see how many trucks try to get in and out in one hour …

  5. Look the American people deserve the truth we have multiple drivers driving to write on here to expose what’s going on cuz we see it daily but this lady right here is deleting the truth it’s pretty apparent she works for the ports and the unions and doesn’t want to end up loosing her job. Unions are a bunch of scum this lady is on the port PAYROLL

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