|U.S. ports remain clogged|
The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. shipping operations remain clogged as ports, truckers and warehouses struggle to find enough workers or agree on 24/7 operations. Tens of thousands of containers are stuck at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, the two ports that move more than a quarter of all American imports. More than 60 ships are lined up to dock, with waiting times stretching to three weeks. However, participants in each link in the U.S. chain - shipping lines, port workers, truckers, warehouse operators, railways and retailers - blame others for the imbalances and disagree on whether 24/7 operations will help them catch up. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are managed separately and operate 13 private container terminals. Long Beach officials said last week they would try operating 24 hours a day from Monday to Thursday. Executive director of the larger Port of Los Angeles Gene Seroka said his port will step more cautiously, keeping existing hours while waiting for truckers and warehouse operators to extend their hours. Mr. Seroka said: "It has been nearly impossible to get everyone on the same page towards 24/7 operations." The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents the dockworkers, said its members would work a third shift or on weekends, but the pile-up of containers must first be fetched out of the port, so there is space to unload more from ships. “Congestion won’t be fixed until everyone steps up and does their part,” said Frank Ponce De Leon, a coast committeeman at the ILWU. “The terminal operators have been underutilizing their option to hire us for the third shift,” he said.