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- Mario Cordero
As the largest US port complex handling 50 percent of total US containerized imports from Asia, Los Angeles-Long Beach is the nation’s laboratory for designing solutions to the supply-chain bottlenecks facing major gateways. Those bottlenecks include vessel bunching, congested marine terminals, a buildup of empty containers, chassis shortages, truck-capacity challenges, rail service issues, and warehouses filled beyond capacity. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have worked with their supply chain partners this past year to spread out vessel calls to prevent the ships from queuing up in the harbor and contributing to terminal congestion. They have encouraged terminal operators to extend their gate hours, and they proposed fees to incentivize retailers to vacate their long-dwelling containers that contribute to port congestion. The Southern California ports have taken a leading role in establishing near-dock yards for the temporary storage of containers. Will these programs continue throughout 2022, and will the ports and their supply chain partners step forward with even more creative programs if these measures are not sufficient? The executive directors of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will present their vision of what the future holds for their gateway and, by extension, other ports across the country.