LA ports a ghost town much of the weekend despite Biden's goal to move cargo

Posted 43 days ago

From WWW.YAHOO.COM

Aerial view of container ships waiting to enter and unload at Port of Long Beach on October 16, 2021 in Long Beach, California. VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Despite President Joe Biden's goal to move cargo around the clock in Los Angeles ports, the gates remained shut on Sunday with a smattering of open traffic on Saturday.

The nationwide port schedule app Pier Trucker showed terminals that looked like ghost towns Sunday with barren traffic lanes as additional cargo ships continue to pile up along the coastlines of Los Angeles and Orange counties. On Friday, 88 ships were waiting to dock at either Long Beach or Los Angeles harbors — 10 additional ships from the last count on Oct. 13, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

Port officials say they are working with terminal operators to increase the open gate times. However, waterfront labor negotiator Jim Tessier, who has worked on behalf of both longshoremen and their union, says it comes down to money because shipping companies run the terminals.

“Most shipping companies are foreign and did not attend Biden’s briefing and don’t care about what he or the landlord think,” Tessier said. “The port has nothing to do with all the operations — they are the landlord. How involved is your landlord in your business?”

Tessier said the shippers sign contracts that span decades and typically do not open weekends because the additional pay for longshoremen is pricey. Hourly pay is 1.3 times the regular rate at night and 1.5 on weekends, he said.

“Historically, the industry has not been willing to pay that money,” Tessier added.

However, Port of Long Beach spokesman Lee Peterson said the port ... (Read more)