Lower container dwell time points to efficiency at Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Source: Logistics Management

Container dwell time at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach improved in February despite historic volumes at both ports for the month of February.

Dwell time, measured by the number of days containers are on a terminal after being off loaded from a ship, is viewed as a key benchmark of a terminal’s efficiency.

Michele Grubbs, Vice President of PMSA told LM in an interview that only the San Pedro Bay ports are being measured by this metric, although several other U.S. West Coast ports are reporting robust inbound container volumes. 

Dwell time has continued its seasonal downward trend, and the number of containers exceeding their stay at a terminal for more than five days has been descending as well. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach experienced a 23% increase in cargo volumes over 2017 as cargo owners advanced their freight prior to the Asian Lunar New Year holiday.

For the month of February, the average number of days a container stayed on the terminal was 2.63 days. This was lower than the 2.87 days containers stayed at terminals on average the month before, or the 3.08 average days in December. Additionally, the number of containers that exceeded five days at a terminal was 4% - a 3.8% decrease from December 2017.

Container traffic at the ports totaled over 1.3 million in February, and the lower dwell time points to the efficient supply chain practices being implemented at the marine terminals in San Pedro Bay.

“It’s a challenge to keep the dwell time down while accommodating traffic growth, however the numbers in February showed improvement - a trend we want to continue,” said Grubbs.

The Port of Long Beach will host this year's annual Intermodal Expo, where throughput efficiency will be examined with more scrutiny. 

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