Tuesday, December 30, 2014

POLB Opens Temporary Container Depot

By Mark Edward Nero

A temporary empty container depot that is to be used to free up truck-trailer chassis and ease port congestion opened Dec. 29 on Pier S at the Port of Long Beach. The depot was approved by port officials in November.

The 30-acre site will be operated by Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals, a private company selected by the port. The depot is scheduled to close March 31, 2015, by which time the port expects the backlog in cargo to be cleared.

The temporary facility is designed to help put back into circulation more of the wheeled trailer-frames that trucks use to haul cargo containers. Because many terminals are congested and have little room to accept empty cargo containers, more space is needed to temporarily store those empties. The empty container depot is expected to free up the chassis for truckers to reuse to pick up new loads on the busy docks and speed up delivery.

“We are committed to providing our stakeholders with as much operational support as possible, and this temporary depot is one way we’re doing that,” Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup said.

West Coast ports have been experiencing congestion due to the traditional increase in imports for the holiday shopping season. The congestion has been exacerbated by more cargo arriving faster on today’s giant ships, as well as a new chassis ownership system that has left some terminals and truckers without the equipment they need.

In addition to the empty container depot to free up chassis, Long Beach has enabled the introduction by private fleets of an additional 3,000 chassis into the local area and identified a plan for the port to operate its own chassis fleet for peak cargo shipping seasons and peak demand.

Industry stakeholders seeking more information about operation of the temporary empty container depot may contact Pasha Stevedoring Senior Vice President Jeff Burgin at Jeff.Burgin@psterminals.com.