Q & A With Gene Seroka
Many store shelves remain bare on the West coast as we push through peak shipping season. During the holiday season, shipping workers work around the clock trying to transport goods to their proper destinations. During an interview between The American Shipper and Gene Seroka, the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, describes the current situation in the largest port in North America. With time and manpower, he hopes to get all the port issues resolved as soon as possible.
What Does Gene Seroka Have To Say About The Shipping Container Crisis?
Gene Seroka, who was appointed by the Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, in 2014, is in charge of the port terminals of Los Angeles. With over 33 years of experience in global shipping and logistics, Gene Serokka lived in China during the SARS epidemic. As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to impact employment, product transit, and manufacturing, many are wondering when things will start to get better.
The port of Los Angeles is the busiest port container in the North American continent and is responsible for the majority of the country’s imports from Asia. The pile-up at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach have caused the longest delays in import and export that this country has ever experienced. Shipping containers now sit on docks for 10 or more days where operations used to expect a shipping container to remain on dock no more than 2-3 days, 5 at most.
Why Can’t This Be Resolved Easily?
Since July of last year, congestion has increased and gotten much worse. LA and Long beach have never experienced a situation such as this. According to another expert in this field, John Martin, president of Martin Associates investigation, containers were staying in the terminal for longer periods than ever before. Consumer demand and production capacity at point of origin seemed to be the biggest contributing factors, as well as warehouse operations at 1 ½-2% vacancy.
The pandemic caused an unprecedented amount of consumer and demand situations as most of us experienced with toilet paper, food items, and cleaning products. Internet purchases were up a tremendous amount during the beginning of the pandemic, which caused a shift in the transit warehouse dynamic. Another issue began to assimilate which was train capacity. Train capacity hasn’t been this low in the last 20 years. Congestion at the intermodal railroad hubs caused backups inside, at the facilities as well as the warehouse.
The collaboration of a multitude of situations has caused an import export situation that is difficult to resolve. In efforts to resolve some of these issues, shipping companies were fined $100 beginning Nov 15. Each day that the shipping container remained on the dock the shipping company was given a fine. This resolution seems unlikely to correct the problem when there are no spaces available in the warehouses. Many have suggested solutions but none seem to quickly or effectively resolve the problems.
What Is The Current Outlook?
As of Nov 10, there were over 111 cargo ships anchored on the West Coast waiting to offload. This record-breaking number has left many people shaking their heads. During the interview with Gene Seroka back in August, they reported 25 container ships anchored in the pacific awaiting import.
Moving containers at the terminals is not a problem as the port of Los Angeles could easily move 60,000 containers in one night, creating a lot more space on the dock. The bigger issue is there are not enough trucks, trains, or warehouse space available. The congestion is occurring outside the gate. Supply and demand led to surges in freight and the warehouses and rail terminals could not handle the load. Redistribution efforts of cargo continue to places like Houston, Charleston, and other east coast terminals, but the warehouse issues still remain.
How Can Trifecta Transport Help?
The holiday season is usually the busiest time of year for shipping and transport companies. Add a global pandemic and shipping container crisis on top of that and you have a nightmare of a situation. Our team at Trifecta is here to help ease your burden and streamline your logistics process to save you time, resources, and money. We help you through every step of the way doing all the hard work for you. Whether it’s contacting multiple carriers to make sure you get your order on time or need a unique shipment delivered fast, Trifecta Transport has got you covered.
Contact Trifecta Transport Today
Despite the 24/7 federal mandate and increased port workforce, the shipping industry remains gridlocked. Time-critical shipping is important to you and it’s important to us. Let us at Trifecta Transport help you whether you are shipping by ground or by air, we can help you expedite your cargo. Our automated workflow helps you save valuable time, money, and resources. Call us today to get started!