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Ships calling LA and Long Beach told to queue up 150 miles from shore

A working group of maritime industry stakeholders that includes the Pacific Maritime Association, the Pacific Merchant Marine Shipping Association and Marine Exchange of Southern California came up with a new queueing process for containerships at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. As of November 16, vessels heading eastbound for those ports will be required to wait to berth 150 miles from the coast. (Northbound and southbound ships can wait closer to shore, but not within 50 miles.)

The new process does not apply to ships already in the queue.

“The new container vessel queuing process creates a fair and transparent system to reduce vessels at the anchor near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” said PMA CEO Jim McKenna. “Designed through strong collaboration between PMA, PMSA and Marine Exchange of Southern California, this new procedure will improve air quality while helping ensure ports operate as efficiently as possible.”

“A safe, secure, efficient, reliable and environmentally sound marine transportation system is essential to our economy, which is why the new system is so vital,” said Marine Exchange of Southern California Executive Director Capt. James Kipling Louttit. “Our organization is thrilled to have helped develop a process that relies on comprehensive, real-time data to support the health of our ports.”

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. This is indeed a nice decision to save environment. I thanks the respective authorities for this innovative idea.

  2. Wonder how this will go over when the weather turns nasty this winter. Slow bell maneuvers to keep your place in line standing offshore sounds great on paper. But when a low pressure system comes through and big box ships start wallowing in the troughs of monstrous swells, doesn’t seem like a wise solution.

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