Long Beach Relaxes Container Stacking Limits to Manage Congestion

To manage the ongoing congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a new attempt has been made. The City of Long Beach, California has temporarily relaxed the zoning rules to provide additional storage space for shipping containers. President Joe Biden’s intervention had opened the terminal gates for 24/7 operation but it was not enough to solve the ongoing congestion as containers still needed to be shifted and stored.

Opening the terminal gates for longer is only one section of this problem. The containers need to move from the terminal to the depot and it requires more trucks/trains along with increased storage capacity in the container yards or warehouses. The increased pressure on the supply chain has led to boxes tailing back into neighborhood streets. There are dozens of ships waiting at anchor for berthing at the terminal. LA Port Police Chief has said that in the neighborhood of Wilmington, there have been more than 400 sightings of improperly stored containers. He further added that residents have reported endless parades of container traffic and trucks blocking driveways.

The City of Long Beach has decided to relax the enforcement of the long-standing ban on high-stacked containers on private property. The step has been taken to supplement the extended gate hours of terminals with increased container storage capacity. In its statement, the City has said that it will work during the next 90 days’ period to assess the effectiveness of their solution and the impact on surrounding areas.

In post-pandemic America, the spending on consumer goods has surged. US imports 80% of its consumer goods and with surged consumer spending of Americans, the demand for inbound cargo has increased. The value of Chinese US-Bound exports has gone up by 20% year on year, reaching a total of $43 billion in August alone.

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