Shipping industry plans new queuing process for container ships to reduce congestion • Long Beach Post News

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which together handle 40% of the nation’s imports, are grappling with a massive supply chain crisis this year as dozens of container ships are stranded just offshore. As of Tuesday, a record 111 container ships were at anchor or adrift off the coast, aaccording to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

The backlog has raised concerns about spikes in air pollution, especially in nearby neighborhoods like Long Beach’s Westside, which have long experienced higher asthma and cancer rates.

Under the new queue Starting November 16, ships will be allocated a place in the arrivals queue based on the departure time from their last port of call. They will be required to anchor 150 miles offshore, rather than following the coast, waiting for an available place.

The plan by the Pacific Maritime Association, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and the Marine Exchange of Southern California, will force ships to slow down and spread out, reducing the number of ships at anchor before the start of the sea. winter, as well as reduce air emissions near the coastline, according to a press release.

Under the current system, container ships enter the arrival queue based on when they cross a line 20 nautical miles from the San Pedro Bay port complex.

“The ports of San Pedro Bay play a vital role in the economic health of the state of California,” PMSA President John McLaurin said in a statement. “This system offers a pragmatic solution through order and predictability that will reduce the number of idling vessels offshore in the coming months, improve safety and support the efficient movement of container-based cargo.”

The new process will not apply to ships currently in the arrival queue and could take several weeks to enforce.

Long Beach Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement that the port welcomed the new plan.

“With the measures implemented by the ports and our other partners, as well as the support of the Biden administration, we are confident that we can make up for lost time,” he said. “It’s important that the supply chain runs smoothly again, as soon as possible. “