FRA deputy chief visits Los Angeles and Long Beach ports

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Port of Long Beach.
Port of Long Beach

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Deputy Administrator Amit Bose visited the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on December 8, 2021 to discuss recent progress in tackling supply chain issues through collaborative efforts among the Ports, FRA, and rail carriers.

The Deputy Administrator was joined by representatives from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, railroads, and labor.

“The reductions in port congestion over these past weeks demonstrate we’re making progress in alleviating supply chain stress, and coordination across the federal government and with stakeholders is providing results,” said Deputy Administrator Bose. “We still have work to do – and we will continue to work with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to address current bottlenecks and build more flexible and resilient supply chains for the future.”

FRA has been in weekly contact with Class 1 railroads to develop strategies to improve supply chain fluidity. Rail carriers continue to operate 24/7 and have hired and trained hundreds of new employees to keep up with container imports. Cash incentive programs offered to ocean carriers and truckers have also encouraged weekend in-gate hours and reduced container backlogs. Finally, upgrades and new equipment at intermodal facilities in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as well as Midwestern states have reduced congestion, expanded storage areas, and ensured that container traffic moves smoothly.

These actions have sharply reduced the time needed to move goods from ports to consumers. At the Port of Los Angeles, a container’s average time spent in the docks fell from 12.9 days in June 2021 to 2.2 days in November 2021, lower than the pre-pandemic average of 2.5 days. Meanwhile, this month, the Port of Long Beach reduced the number of rail containers that sit on the docks by approximately two-thirds. During his visit to both ports, Deputy Administrator Bose highlighted upcoming rail-related projects that will further streamline the supply chain, including installing and repairing new tracks, connections, and inland container ports in Georgia, South Carolina, and Iowa.

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