Ports of LA, Long Beach to report cargo dwell times monthly

Dive Brief:

  • Average container dwell times at 12 marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will soon be published by the PMSA, in hopes of aiding the recent growth of supply chain efficiency groups, American Shipper reported last week.
  • Container dwell time, or the time between unloading and container pickup, is a highly accurate indicator of port efficiency, and can help produce data-driven efficiency upgrades.
  • Between August and September of this year, container dwell time at the two ports grew from 4.3% to 8.4%, likely as a result of the Hanjin debacle and the inaccessibility of much-needed chassis.

Dive Insight:

Supply chain management is inherently data driven, so the introduction of monthly reports regarding port dwell time will be useful not just for the port authorities looking to reduce inefficiencies but for the supply chain manager looking to forecast disruptions to lead times.

We know, for example, that imports rise in September and October in preparation for the holidays, but the likelihood of a lead time delay requires more guesswork than analytics. Another long-run benefit would come for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach if they can show significant improvement in year-over-year dwell times, which would convince shippers and carriers to prefer the ports given low risk potential.

As the need to increase supply chain efficiency takes hold in the wake of a struggling shipping market and increased global risks, transparency and data become pivotal. Monthly reports are the hallmark to benchmarking, and will hopefully encourage other ports to do the same.

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Filed Under: Freight
Top image credit: Charles Csavossy