Gene Seroka of LA Port to companies: pick up your cargo

The Port of Los Angeles (Source: LA Port Authority).

The head of the busiest port on the US West Coast wants people’s cargo picked up to ease congestion.

By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent

LOS ANGELES — Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, wants companies to pick up their shipments in a faster manner to help ease the ongoing congestion brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The container dwell time is much higher than it was pre-pandemic,” Seroka said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” broadcast program. He was referring to the length of time containers spend on the port. “We’re asking our importers to pick up the cargo as quickly as they can, devan the products and return those containers back to the port.”

Seroka added that the container port is the busiest one in North America since 2014.

“The time it takes for the importer to pick up their cargo at the port is now over four days, but it’s off its high of five days sitting under dwell,” Seroka said. “Truck turn times — the amount of time that it takes a trucker to move in and out of the port to drop off and pick up containers — has decreased to 77 minutes from 88 back in December.”

“So we’re starting to see some of the trending in the right direction,” he added.

According to data provided by the Port of Los Angeles, cargo volumes during the coronavirus pandemic after an initial shipping slowdown. February also saw the seventh straight month of year-over-year cargo volume increases by TEUs in processed.

Seroka’s interview with CNBC can be seen online.

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