American Shipper

No congestion so far in Los Angeles

No congestion so far in Los Angeles

   The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are coping with early peak-season box volumes with no signs of congestion so far, providing hope that the costly port delays experienced last year may not recur this summer and fall.

   Containerships arriving at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach can berth on time and without delays, according to data from the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

   “Vessel-wise, we’re O.K.,” said John van de Merwe, chief executive officer of CMA CGM (Americas). “So far, we haven’t experienced delays.”

   But he warned the peak season will be relatively late this year, and future surges in volumes could still tax the ability of marine terminals to handle incoming Asian containers.

   “The issue is going to be: Do we have fluidity in the terminals?” van de Merwe said. He noted that a gridlock within the terminal could eventually impact congestion for vessel operations.

   Frank Caradonna, principal at Pegasus, sees U.S. West Coast bound ships becoming fully utilized as the peak season continues, and port delays can still happen. “Vancouver is more congested than Los Angeles now,” he said.