Several key productivity metrics, including truck turn times and container moves per hour, remain at pre-COVID related impact levels or in some cases, even exceed them, according to several Marine Terminal Operators and other maritime stakeholders this week.
According to Mario Cordero, Executive Director at the Port of Long Beach, “operations at all our terminal facilities seem to be meeting the challenges of COVID, and we as a Port complex remain open for business and processing cargo efficiently.”
For example, truck turn times at Long Beach Container Terminal are currently tracking at 33 minutes, a number that nearly matches the terminal's same performance for January and February (31 minutes), according to the Harbor Trucking Association’s Truck Mobility Data study powered by GeoStamp. In addition, “moves per hour against the vessel shows no real impact by COVID-19 and we thank our partners at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) for that achievement”, said Anthony Otto, President of LBCT. Complex wide, all terminals remain operational with no evidence of slowdowns or disruption in cargo handling. Similarly, there have been no disruptions with labor.
As far as the sector as a whole, State agencies and municipalities alike have recognized the essential nature of the maritime sector and transportation workers have been specifically deemed “essential” in recent guidance provided by the federal Department of Homeland Security, the State of California and both the Cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach. “The fact that some of these productivity measures seem to have weathered the storm and that maritime workers are being recognized as an essential part of the economy during these times is a bright spot for sure,” said Alex Cherin, Executive Director of the California Trucking Association’s Intermodal Conference.