West Coast Ports Recovering From Slowdown

Date: August 07, 2015

California Port Shipments Rebound After Recent Labor Woes

For California’s ports, 2014 and early 2015 proved to be a challenge due to work stoppages from labor groups. However, CNBC reports, the state’s ports have now rebounded from recent shipping disruptions. In June, the Port of Los Angeles saw a 14% rise in volumes to its highest level in three years. The nearby Port of Long Beach also saw June shipping levels rise, with an 8% increase. This comes after imports fell 20% in January and February 2015. Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup said, “We’re well ahead of last year.” However, BGI Worldwide Logistics founding partner Bruce Robertson noted that while “there’s been a lot of improvement, particularly since May,” about “25 percent of the trucks get stuck in the port for more than two hours.” And there remains “a shortage of truck chassis to carry containers off port property.” Still, Slangerup said it remains in shippers’ interests to go through the Port of Long Beach, where it costs $1,800 to ship a container from Shanghai through California to Chicago, and takes 17 days. By comparison, it costs $4,200 and about 24 days to ship a container from Shanghai through the East Coast to Chicago.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Getting goods to customers around the world in the most efficient, cost-effective way is hugely important for the large number of small businesses involved in import/export operations. News that the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are seeing a rebound in shipping traffic is a positive indication for small businesses because it shows shipments are being processed more efficiently. Additionally, increases in shipping traffic at these sites could have benefits for small businesses in other sectors in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas who may provide goods and services for those working at the ports.

Additional Reading

NFIB previously covered automation improvements planned for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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