The Temporary Empty Container Depot on Pier S at the Port of Long Beach is scheduled to open Dec. 29. The depot was approved by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in November to free up truck-trailer chassis and ease congestion on the docks at the second busiest seaport in North America.
The 30-acre site will be operated by Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals, a private company selected by the Port. The depot is scheduled to close March 31, 2015, after the backlog in cargo is cleared.
The temporary facility will help put back into circulation more chassis – the wheeled trailer-frames that trucks use to haul cargo containers. Because many terminals are congested and have little room to accept empty cargo containers, more space is needed to temporarily store those empties. The Empty Container Depot will free up the chassis for truckers to reuse to pick up new loads on the busy docks and speed up delivery.
“Our empty container storage facility is one of several actions we’ve taken to help relieve congestion, and Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals is a great partner to work with on this initiative,” said Jon Slangerup, Port of Long Beach Chief Executive. “We are committed to providing our stakeholders with as much operational support as possible, and this temporary depot is one way we’re doing that.”
Ports around the U.S. are experiencing congestion due to the traditional increase in imports for the holiday shopping season. The congestion is exacerbated by more cargo arriving faster on today’s giant ships, as well as a new chassis ownership system that has left some terminals and truckers without the equipment they need.
In addition to the Empty Container Depot to free up chassis, the Port has facilitated the introduction by private chassis fleets of an additional 3,000 chassis into the local area and identified a plan for the Port to operate its own chassis fleet for peak cargo shipping seasons and peak demand.