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            september 15, 2019

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Container backlog to persist into New Year


The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are struggling to cope with the congestion and backlogs caused by an eight-day strike the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63's Office Clerical Unit, which was supported by other members of the same union, according to the Shipping Gazette. 
A week ago, there were 36 containerships at Long Beach and Los Angeles port berths with 10 others at anchor and more due to arrive over the weekend.
While San Pedro Bay ports expect to clear the backlog of ships within a week or so, with trucks restricted to Clean Truck Programme-compliant vehicles, is said to likely result in a longer wait before the backlog ashore is cleared.
To make matters worse, the threat of dock strikes on the US east coast at the end of December still remains a risk, prompting shippers to redirect cargo to west coast ports, and thus place those ports under greater strain given that their intermodal operations are already stretched, reports London's Containerisation International.
The backlog of containers has encouraged some shipping lines to introduce a US$200 per TEU container congestion surcharge for transporting boxes to Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.
This action flies in the face of a waiver of some cargo fees by port authorities at Long Beach, to "provide financial relief and help ease the backlog of containers." This follows the closure of its LBCT (Pier F), ITS (Pier G) and TTI (Pier T) terminals due to the industrial action.

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