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Los Angeles And Long Beach Ports To Operate 24/7

The port of Los Angeles is shown from an aerial view, including the surrounding water. Many shipping containers and container ships are visible, looking like red, blue and white rectangular specks.
Shipping containers and container ships at the Port of Los Angeles last month.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images North America)
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The Port of Los Angeles is expanding to a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation as part of an effort to relieve pandemic-related supply chain issues and clear record-breaking backups of container ships at the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach.

The announcement came Wednesday from the White House.

"By staying open seven days a week, through the night and on the weekends, the Port of Los Angeles will be open over 60 extra hours a week," said President Joe Biden.

The two ports account for 40% of the containers that enter the United States. Biden added that the overnight hours will allow for deliveries to move more quickly.

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"The night hours are critical for increasing the movement of goods because highways are less crowded at night," he said. "In fact, during off-peak hours in Los Angeles, cargo leaves the port at a 25% faster pace than during the day shift."

Biden's plan has been met with some pushback. Harbor Trucking Association CEO Matt Schrap said improvements are needed, including more space for container returns and additional support for drivers in hooking up to shipping containers and removing cargo.

"If we do not have the ability to secure a chassis to move the cargo off the dock, then we can't move it," he said.

L.A. Councilmember Joe Buscaino issued a statement supporting the effort, but called on personnel to minimize trucking traffic in surrounding neighborhoods.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union says its members are willing to work the extra shifts needed to cover the extended hours at the ports. Retailers such as Walmart and Target have committed to expanding their nighttime hours to offload trucks more quickly.

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This is not the first time that the ports have extended their operating hours. Both did so in mid-September, and Long Beach recently launched a round-the-clock pilot program at one of its terminals.

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