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Port of Los Angeles executive director Jean Cerocca said Thursday that a timeline for the port to begin 24/7 operations was unclear and would depend on collaboration between the port’s longshore workers, truck drivers and more than 125,000 companies Those who import through cargo. every year.

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“It’s not a lever we can pull to open all the gates today, but what we’re doing is trying to squeeze the efficiency out of this port complex every minute, every hour, that we can, You can share information, build on those strong decades-old relationships, and with the strength of the federal government behind it, the job here will happen fast; it has to happen,” Serocca said. “There is no time when we would suddenly wake up and everything would happen 24/7,” he said.

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the port would begin operating seven days a week, seven days a week, to address supply chain disruptions threatening the holiday shopping season from the White House and the coronavirus pandemic. to slow down the country’s economic recovery.

Major shippers and retailers, including Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Samsung, The Home Depot and Target, have agreed to ramp up operations to clear cargo from ports and free up more space at docks.

The Port of Los Angeles will nearly double the number of hours that cargo is transferred from container ships offshore to delivery trucks as crews work through the night. According to the White House, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will fill the additional shifts.

The goal is to process and unload 3,500 additional containers during the night each week.

Round-the-clock operations at the Port of Long Beach were already in effect. The two ports are responsible for about 40% of all imports into the United States.

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On Thursday, 16 ships were waiting inside the Port of Los Angeles and 31 in San Pedro Bay. Another 31 ships were waiting to enter the Port of Long Beach. The current wait time for the ships is about 12 days, Serocca said.

“My administration is working round the clock to move more cargo faster and strengthen the resilience of our supply chains,” Biden tweeted on Wednesday morning.

US port envoy John Porcari, who was appointed to the Supply Chain Disruption Task Force in August, noted the importance of the Biden administration’s focus on the San Pedro Bay ports.

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“For the President of the United States of America to focus on the activity at your port, the freight movement chain in general is really unprecedented and it really shows the direct link between our country’s economy and the goods movement chain, which is our Ports,” Porkari said.

“Over the past several weeks we’ve gotten a commitment from some of the biggest owners of those cargo owners to move to a 24/7 delivery model. It really helps the nation, it helps clean up the docks and I think That we all know it’s certainly become clear from conversations over the past several weeks that as a nation, we need to go into the supply chain 24/7.”

White House officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris, discussed the agreement Wednesday during a private virtual roundtable that included industry executives such as Los Angeles Port Executive Director Jean Cerocca and Long Beach Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. That discussion focused on other steps needed to improve the flow of goods, including efforts to recruit and retain more long-distance truck drivers, whose shortages have been a major blow to the country’s supply chain.

Cargo ships have been anchored offshore for weeks from the two ports. 58 container ships were reported offshore as of Tuesday morning, down from a reported peak of 73 container ships offshore two weeks ago.

According to the White House, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are on track to reach new highs in container traffic this year. Through August, Los Angeles has moved 30% more and Long Beach 20% more containers to US exporters.

Serocca announced on Thursday that the port’s September cargo volumes made it the port’s best September in its 114-year history. During the month, the port moved from 883,625 units to 898,941 20-foot equivalent units. Serocca said the September numbers are approximate, as one vessel is still counting its cargo.

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So far in 2021, the port has moved 8.172 million units, an increase of 26.4% from 2020. Serocca attributes the increase in purchases to US consumers. However, exports declined, and in September, it reached its lowest volume since 2002, with only 75,802 units exported through the port.

Commitments announced on Wednesday include:

Walmart is committed to increasing its use of night time hours and increasing throughput by 50% over the next several weeks.

– UPS is committed to increasing use of 24/7 operations and increasing data-sharing with ports, which will allow it to carry up to 20% more containers from ports.

FedEx is committed to working to link the increase in night hours with changes in trucking and rail usage to increase the amount of containers that will move from ports. The changes could result in doubling of the amount of cargo going out of ports at night.

Samsung is committed to move about 60% more containers out of ports over the next 90 days by operating 24/7.

Home Depot is committed to moving an additional 10% of containers per week during newly available off-peak hours at the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles.

Aiming to move about 50% of its containers overnight, committing to increase that amount by 10% over the next 90 days to help reduce congestion at ports.

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