PORT OF LONG BEACH BACKS OFF-PEAK HOURS SCHEME
The port of Long Beach has backed a scheme to open marine terminals during off-peak hours and encourage users to receive and deliver containers at warehouses during off-peak hours.
The port said that it has initiated a partnership with the newly-renamed Waterfront Coalition (formerly West Coast Waterfront Coalition) to promote greater off-hour use of the existing transportation system including ports, warehouses and roadways.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a $10,000 initial grant to support the Waterfront Coalition’s off-hours project.
The coalition, which includes major U.S. importers among its members, is launching a project to survey warehouses and distribution centers in Southern California to identify companies that are able and willing to receive and deliver containers during off-peak hours. The goal is to generate sufficient truck trips to support second and third shift operations in the ports.
Contrary to major ports in most other countries, the U.S. West Coast ports do not work during nights and weekends.
“The trucking industry has long requested that the ports’ marine terminals remain open longer hours, beyond the current 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday,” a spokesman for the port of Long Beach said. However, when terminals have opened during off-peak hours, there has not been sufficient truck traffic to make it economical, the spokesman added.
“The message from Washington is that we must fully utilize our existing infrastructure before we can expect federal dollars to expand the Long Beach (710) freeway,” said port of Long Beach executive director Richard Steinke.