Southern California ports see more ships, but no congestion
Despite the average number of vessels at Los Angeles and Long Beach berths on any given day rising almost 10 percent in the first quarter of 2007, industry experts are reporting zero congestion.
Through March 23, an average of 48.7 vessels were at berth on any given day in the two neighboring ports, compared to an average of 44.3 vessels during the year-ago period. This year's first quarter numbers are a 15 percent increase over 2005, when an average of 42.3 vessels were at berth on any given day during the first quarter.
Marine Exchange of Southern California officials said that while the numbers indicate more ships are calling, implemented efficiencies at the terminals, such as technology, added labor, and nighttime operations have easily absorbed the increases and resulted in no congestion.
Actual first quarter statistics of vessels calling at the two ports will be available at the end of the month.
In 2004, a 'perfect storm' of labor shortages throughout the supply chain caused severe backups at the ports, resulting in dozens of vessels being parked off the California coast waiting to be unloaded.