Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Port of Los Angeles decided to divert cargo ships to other destinations because of pandemic-fueled congestion, as Bloomberg news agency reported.
Namely, approximately 800 of the port’s 15,000 workers aren’t on the job because of Covid-19, leaving fewer staff to handle a surge in imports, Gene Seroka said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Therefore, re-directing vessels to alternate ports will help the L.A. habor “dig out of this” backlog, he told Bloomberg.
To remind, the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the busiest U.S. gateway for ocean trade with China.
About 85% of container vessels are currently going straight to anchorage where they wait an average of 8 days to unload, up from fewer than 3 days when the congestion began in November and zero days during normal times, Seroka said. Truck and rail resources are “stretched thin.”
The port is experiencing a “pandemic-driven buying surge unlike any we have seen.”…Gene Seroka added.
The port is forecast to handle 730,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in February, up 34% from a year earlier. For March, 775,000 TEUs are expected in the port, an increase of 72%.
Concluding, throughout the pandemic, all cargo terminals at the Port of Los Angles have remained open and operational.
In fact, as part of America’s supply chain, port operations, manufacturing and distribution are deemed essential and continue without interruption. To minimize risks, the Port continues to coordinate with federal, state and local partners, including emergency and public health agencies, for the latest directives and recommended guidelines.