Friday, December 10, 2021

So Much For Fixing Supply Chains: A Record 96 Containerships Are Waiting To Dock At SoCal Ports; We’re Not Going to Conference-Call Our Way Out of Port Congestion

Photo: Shutterstock/MSPhotographic
So Much For Fixing Supply Chains: A Record 96 Containerships Are Waiting To Dock At SoCal Ports:
There were 40 container ships waiting for berths within 40 miles of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Friday. But there were also 56 container ships waiting farther out to sea, putting the actual tally at an all-time-high of 96, according to new data from the Marine Exchange of Southern California.
The Marine Exchange has just unveiled its new methodology for counting container ships waiting outside the 40-mile “in port” zone. A new queuing system has been in place since mid-November that encourages container ships to wait outside of a specially designated Safety and Air Quality Area (SAQA) that extends 150 miles to the west of the ports and 50 miles to the north and south.
This has sharply reduced the number of ships closer to shore, leading to suggestions that efforts to tackle port congestion are cutting into the offshore queue — a misconception that should be dispelled by the Marine Exchange’s new counting method.
In addition to the 96 ships waiting offshore on Friday, there were 31 container ships at terminal berths, bringing the grand total to 127, at or near an all-time high. The total number of container ships either at berths or waiting offshore continues to rise: It is up 25% from the beginning of November, 41% from the beginning of October and 79% from the beginning of September. --->READ MORE HERE
Mike Blake/Reuters
We’re Not Going to Conference-Call Our Way Out of Port Congestion:
Democrats’ preferred method of solving problems isn’t going to be the reason that our ports get moving again.
The Biden administration is trying to spin a story of progress on the supply-chain crisis. It’s not working.
As Jim Geraghty highlighted in the Morning Jolt today, many businesses all across the country are facing shortages of a variety of products. As I pointed out last week, the supposedly shorter queue of ships waiting to unload at Los Angeles and Long Beach is the consequence of a different queuing system, not better efficiency. The line is actually longer than it was three weeks ago, and the timeliness of trans-Pacific freight is the worst it has ever been.
On some questions, such as financial regulation, the Biden administration has been much farther to the left than previous Democratic administrations. But on port congestion, its approach has been conventional, old-school, government-is-here-to-help Democrat.
The federal government’s response to the supply-chain problems was to create a task force. For ports, it appointed John Porcari as envoy. Since earning his master’s in public administration at SUNY Albany, Porcari has been Maryland’s deputy secretary of transportation, Maryland’s secretary of transportation (twice), and United States deputy secretary of transportation. In other words, he’s a career transportation bureaucrat. After leaving government, he was president of advisory services at WSP, a consulting firm in Washington, D.C. (To give you a flavor of the kind of outfit WSP is, its website reads: “We are the sum of our collective passion, vision and expertise. Discover the people, purpose and stories that are helping shape the organization we are today and the one we are designing for the future.”) --->READ MORE HERE
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